UT Finds No Scientific Misconduct on Study of Children of Gay Parents

After conducting a required inquiry into the methodology of a controversial study on the children of gay parents, UT has found no formal investigation is warranted.

UT sociologist Mark Regnerus had taken up the question of how different the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships are. He concluded that they are “very different,” finding that adult children of a mother who had reported at least one same-sex relationship tended to fare worse on certain life outcomes.

The study did not examine causality—whether those children tended to fare worse because of those relationships or due to other factors. But in part because it took on a politically charged topic, it caused a media firestorm nonetheless.

After a writer and blogger raised a complaint about the study, the University conducted an inquiry to determine whether the accusations made  had merit. Following procedures, the Office of the Vice President for Research met with a four-member faculty advisory panel.

The panel’s conclusion: that there was insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. It noted, however, that that does not mean the study wasn’t “even perhaps seriously flawed.” Rather, it indiciates that there was no evidence of unethical practices like falsification.

Provost Steven Leslie accepted the report this week, closing the matter from UT’s perspective. Beyond UT and this study, however, the scholarly exploration of the issue will no doubt go on.


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