University stands by controversial study on children of gay parents

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The University of Texas has made a statement defending a report which suggested that children born to parents who had a gay relationship have more problems in adult life than those born to married, straight parents.

The population-based survey, written by Professor Mark Regnerus, was published in July’s Social Science Research, and was the largest of its kind, the University of Texas said, to feature children with gay parents in such a broad, probability-sampled population.

It appeared to suggest that children born in the twentieth century to parents who had a gay relationship have encountered more personal problems in adult life than those born to married, straight parents.

The paper, which investigated a sample of 3000 people, 248 with a gay parent, came under heavy criticism because it suggested that the children of gay parents were more likely to suffer from depression than those of straight parents.

Blogger, Scott Rose, lodged a complaint with the university, saying that Professor Regnerus had deviated from “ethical standards”, that it included “possible falsifications”, and that he was not able to act impartially because of his Catholic beliefs.

“Since it’s a sensitive subject that offers quite different conclusions from previous studies, it’s not surprising that it has drawn critics,” Mr Regnerus told

A statement from the University read:

“The University of Texas at Austin has determined that no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus regarding his July article in the journal Social Science Research,”

“As with much university research, Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large.”

After the announcement, Mr Rose wrote on his blog that he will continue to pursue his claims against Professor Regnerus.

“The legitimate scientific community is united in concerns about the Regnerus study’s lack of intellectual integrity, and the fact that prior to publication, the study did not receive ethical and appropriate professional peer review,”Mr Rose wrote.

Professor Regnerus added that despite the findings of his study, he believed same-sex couples were capable of being good parents, saying:

“It is certainly accurate to affirm that sexual orientation or parental sexual behavior need have nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent.”