Why was this professor’s study scrutinized?

October 4, 2012

People disagree with scholarly studies all the time. So what made the University of Texas investigate a professor’s recent study?

One angry, gay blogger, as it turns out.

Previous studies have concluded that children raised in same—sex households do just as well in school and in life as their peers.

University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus tested that conventional wisdom with a study of 3,000 adults raised by straight, gay and bisexual parents.

Result: Adults raised in same—sex households had higher rates of depression and dependence on welfare.

Some gay rights groups denounced Regnerus as a bigot and denounced his study as lies. Gay blogger Scott Rose was one of them.

Why scrutinize this study?

Rose demanded the university investigate the professor’s peer—reviewed study, claiming the conclusions were false and that it was compromised because the conservative Witherspoon Institute funded the study.

The university could’ve refused the blogger’s request. But instead, it confiscated Regnerus’ computers and scoured through thousands of his emails. Eventually the university vouched for the professor’s work.

But the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a free speech advocacy group, thinks Regnerus was singled out for publishing politically incorrect findings.

Regnerus sounds like he was prepared for the backlash and doesn’t hold grudges: “Since it’s a sensitive subject that offers quite different conclusions from previous studies, it’s not surprising that it has drawn critics.”

Should the University of Texas have investigated its professor’s study? Let us know your opinion below.

Schools: University of Texas at Austin Cases: University of Texas at Austin: Scientific Misconduct Investigation Into Author of Controversial Study