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“Gay” Parenting and Child Outcomes: The Devil is in the Details

A recent study by University of Texas sociologist Dr. Mark Regnerus is receiving a large amount of media attention. The study, published in Social Science Research, supposedly calls into question the empirically-based argument that children who grow up in households with two mommies or two daddies generally show no differences on a host of outcomes relative to kids who grow up with a mom and a dad. You can read a summary of the work, written by the lead author, here.

As William Saletan, of writes, however, the devil is in the details. The survey methodology, analytical strategy, and overall conclusions drawn by the reseachers all suffer from serious limitations (never mind the role of the funding source for the study). Saletan does an excellent job of evaluating the work and highlighting how the findings, if anything, argue for marriage equality.

This work, and the ensuing discussion/debate, demonstrates once again how conclusions drawn from research are only as sound as the science behind the research.

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