NOM chairman Brian Brown rarely responds to anybody on Twitter, but this morning he couldn’t resist the above image posted by activist Scott Wooledge, who was reacting to a screed posted yesterday by Brown on NOM’s blog. An excerpt:
You may have read the completely misleading headline this week: “Children of Same Sex Couples are Happier and Healthier than Peers, Research Shows” (Washington Post, July 7). The sensationalized headline is yet another example of the mainstream media and their active agenda to push the redefinition of marriage across America. You’ll remember the Pew Research study of media coverage of gay marriage where they found that stories sympathetic to redefining marriage outnumbered those sympathetic to preserving marriage by a five to one margin. The media’s bias and intellectual dishonesty when it comes to the marriage debate allows them to trumpet a recent Australian study as if it is proven fact, while at the same time being highly critical of the New Family Structures Study and other research that challenges their political posture on the issue. The subject of the headline is a farce of a study based on bad methodology. The survey the Post reports on was done in Australia and purports to show that children of same-sex parents actually are better off than their peers being raised by a mother and father. We know of course that there is no basis for such an outrageous claim, and a closer look at this Australian survey itself confirms our skepticism about it.
On Wednesday, Regnerus himself denounced the Australian study in a lengthy rant published by the Witherspoon Institute. Here’s how he begins:
Imagine if evangelical sociologists set out to document how the children of evangelical Christian parents fare in life. Imagine that they begin their effort by recruiting parents of children who attend Sunday School classes at places like Wheaton Bible Church outside Chicago and Saddleback Community Church in Orange County, California—both located in prosperous communities with above-average social capital and support for families, children, and faith. They choose this approach because churchgoing, self-identified evangelicals with children under age eighteen comprise less than 3 percent of the population of American adults (this is true), and the researchers figure it will be easier to recruit participants than to evaluate those who might show up randomly in a population-based sample. They know a random sample is best, but they cite “cost constraints” and “difficult research constraints” in justifying their decision to use a convenience sample. Would the social scientific community consider this study a solid one, employing high-quality sample selection methods and useful both for understanding the experience of Christian households in America and for comparing this group of children with other children? To put it mildly, it’s unlikely. And I would agree with them.