This is an expression of faith. Faith is not science and science is not faith. It is sad and frustrating that a university professor does not understand the difference between the two.

Stephen M. Krason is a professor of political science at Franciscan University of Steubenville. At Crisis Magazine, an outlet for the orthodox Catholic fringe, Krason writes: “Same-Sex Parenting: The Child Maltreatment No One Mentions.” One might think that a professor could appreciate research for what it is. That assumption is incorrect when applied to Mr. Krason who is seeking ideological confirmation.

Krason’s confirmation bias is quite noticeable in this paragraph:

It’s interesting that … self-styled child advocates … are silent about the harms to children from being brought up by same-sex (male homosexual or, more typically, lesbian) couples. Almost intuitively, the average person would think this to be a recipe for serious, perhaps life-altering, problems for such children. The research now coming out suggests that the average person’s instincts are indeed correct—even though the mainstream academic social science and related professional organizations, which long ago became apologists if not mouthpieces for the homosexualist movement, ignore or try to discredit or even suppress it.

That would be false unless the “average person” subscribes to Church dogma which claims that gay people are “objectively disordered.” That judgment by Vatican prelates has no basis in medical science or reality. Being gay is not a disorder. Moreover, gay people are not part of some movement because being gay is not a political statement. It is a natural variant of human sexuality. Mr. Krason simply lacks an understanding of human sexuality and the ability to separate faith and science.

Krason’s disconnect from scientific realities goes even further when it comes to Mark Regnerus. Either he hasn’t read the study in question, does not understand it or is just being dishonest — perhaps all three.

Many are aware of University of Texas sociologist Dr. Mark Regernus’s studies several years ago which indicated—he was careful to avoid sweeping conclusions—that, among other things, children reared in homes headed by same-sex parents were “more likely” to: have poor educational attainment, cohabit when they became adults, be sexually molested, have sexually transmitted diseases, smoke tobacco and marijuana, be on public assistance as adults, be in mental health counseling or therapy and suffer from depression, and get into trouble with the law. Regernus’s careful research, not unexpectedly, was met by denunciation from mainstream social scientists, who claimed his research was flawed without even seriously examining his data. The peer-reviewed professional journal that published the results of his studies was attacked, and the charge made that its review procedure was flawed. He was even subjected to a “scientific misconduct” investigation by his university, which ultimately exonerated him.

That diatribe falls apart with Krason’s first sentence which is ironic given his charge that critics did not examine Regnerus’ data. In point of fact, Regnerus’ subjects were not children reared by same-sex parents.

Rather, as children they became aware that one parent had an extra-marital affair with a same-sex paramour. Children from dysfunctional families (which is what Regnerus describes) are going to have more problems as adults than children from stable families.

The real problem with that 2012 product was that Regnerus, and the people who paid for the research, asserted a claim that was not true (that gays are crappy parents). Regnerus finally came clean in a 2013 New York Times interview with Bill Keller. Keller wrote:

In most cases, the parents subsequently broke up. In other words, this group wasn’t the offspring of committed gay couples but of failed unions, some of them probably sham marriages. It’s not even clear whether the parents who strayed were gay or lesbian, or simply experimenting. The second group consisted of kids who spent their childhoods in lasting, married, mom-and-dad families.

Guess which group had problems?

The study was pretty well demolished by peers. , Regnerus, when I talked to him, conceded that his study compared apples and oranges, because “I didn’t have oranges.”

The oranges, of course, were adults who were raised by gay couples. It seemed pretty clear that Regnerus (funded by conservative Catholic groups) was determined to demonstrate a particular outcome intended to influence the Supreme Court as they were about to hear United States v. Windsor. He delivered.

At for the journal’s flaws, they were obvious. For starters, it did not employ double-blind peer review. The reviewers knew that they were reviewing Regnerus. Secondly, they overlooked, or did not discover, some significant conflicts of interest. For example, an executive at one of the organizations that funded the study worked with Regnerus to design the study. In effect, the Tobacco Institute sent one of their scientists to help design a study at a university intended to prove that nicotine was not addictive and that smoking was not a health hazard.

The attack on Regernus occurred simply because of the overwhelming pro-homosexualist bias of mainstream social science and the efforts of homosexualist organizations against him.

Regnerus was sharply criticized for making claims that simply were not true.

Mr. Krason’s commentary is either the product of ignorance or outright dishonesty. More confirmation bias. I have no idea what a “homosexualist” is but it seems to be an attempt to claim that being gay is a political matter. I so not know about the biases of researchers but most real social scientists do not accept that gay people are disordered. Most real social scientists are not interested in conforming the real world to Church dogma. Science is supposed to be a secular endeavor (regardless of personal beliefs) because faith is not science and science is not faith.

Mr. Krason is a university professor. He is obliged to know the difference between faith and science. He seemingly does not. Yes, I am repeating myself because the flaw is so obvious.

Then there is this:

The research of Fr. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America who has been connected with the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at CUA and now the Ruth Institute, has confirmed and expanded on Regnerus’s earlier findings. I have known Fr. Sullins for many years, as he has been a fellow board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and is also the organization’s chaplain. He was one of the Episcopal clergy who converted to Catholicism and under the special provision put in place by Pope John Paul II was ordained to the priesthood. Like Regnerus, he’s a careful and ethical researcher who aims for what social science scholarship is supposed to be about: discerning the truth.

As a priest, Sullins’ truth is Church dogma. One cannot “confirm” Regnerus’ research because the subjects of that research were not representative of Regnerus’ conclusions. Sullins’ paper was designed to coincide with the Supreme Court’s hearing Obergefell v. Hodges. The attack on gay parenting was intended as an attack on marriage equality.

Among the studies that they [mainstream scientists] have ignored which showed “substantially higher rates of problems or functional deficiencies among children with same-sex parents,” Sullins tells us, have been those relying on “large statistically representative” samples from the Centers for Disease Control and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health.

Krason has not identified a specific CDC study. However:

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 in the United States during the 1994-95 school year.

If and it is a big if (explained below), any of these kids were raised by a gay couple the would have faced considerable obstacles as 7th to 12th graders in 1994. Aside from the absence of marriage equality, gay parenting was a bit of a novelty which could have isolated these children from their peers. If Sullins had his way, that climate would continue but kids raised by gay couples today enjoy considerably more acceptance.

Sullins has several papers that reach the same conclusion (which was preordained). Sullins cites this CDC research and this CDC research which he claims as verification. Neither demonstrate children living with same-sex parents.

Quoting a piece in The Atlantic:

“Research … has developed a scholarly consensus that shows that children raised by same-sex couples are at no important disadvantage,” wrote Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld in an email. “There is a noisy fringe of academics who claim that children raised by same-sex couples are in disastrous peril,” a viewpoint which “has little or no credibility within academia.”


Reading the paper, it’s impossible to say whether the kids in question spent most of their lives with heterosexual parents who then got divorced, for example, or a single parent who had multiple partners over time. This family history matters: “We have decades of research showing that family instability and divorce takes a toll on children,” Rosenfeld wrote. Because of this constraint, he said, the paper cannot speak to the way being raised by same-sex parents affects the well-being of children. In an email, Sullins disputed this criticism, pointing to other widely accepted studies on emotional well-being and family structure that rely on the same data.

Furthermore, Sullins published to the British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science. It is a pay-for-inclusion, for-profit journal that is not associated with any college or university.

Another Sullins paper is: “Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression among Adults with Same-Sex Parents.” I would also note that the outlet for that spew, Depression Research and Treatment, is published by Hindawi Publishing Corporation in Cairo, Egypt. It is an open access, single blind journal (reviewers are anonymous—authors are known to reviewers).

The point is that Sullins does not publish to respected scholarly journals. Mr. Krason should know and understand the difference. He does not.

Krason goes on and on including a suggestion that gays molest their children:

Sullins’s own research has shown the following. In comparison to children with opposite-sex parents, children in the care of same-sex couples, were: almost twice as likely to have a developmental disability; almost twice as likely to have had medical treatment for an emotional problem and three times as likely to have had medicine prescribed for a psychological condition in the past year before the study; ten times more likely to have been sexually touched by a parent or other adult and four times more likely to have been forced to have sex against their will;

This is at considerable odds with mainstream research. Krason has things ass backwards. He is claiming that mainstream research has an agenda. It must be some kind of conspiracy that has spread throughout academia and into the most prestigious academic journals. Good research is agnostic to the result. Investigators go with the evidence. It is Father Sullins who has an agenda. He (and Mr. Krason) are Defenders of the Faith™.

Eventually there is this. The suggestion becomes an outright assertion:

In his writing, Sullins also speaks about much earlier studies—before even Regnerus’s—which showed the harms of same-sex parenting and were also ignored by mainstream social science. He mentions Paul Cameron’s studies, which—confirmed by Sullins later—showed that children with same-sex parents were more likely to be sexually molested.

No responsible scientist would ever cite Paul Cameron as a source. Cameron is the crackpot who claimed, by scouring obituaries, that gays had a median life expectancy 20 years shorter than the general population. Just how desperate is Mr. Krason?

Krason is painfully verbose but he seems confused:

Even if further research makes the harm of same-sex parenting indisputable—which, to this social scientist, is virtually so already—don’t expect mainstream social science to accept it. Ideology has long-since replaced true scholarship there—they are blind followers masquerading as independent thinkers at the cutting edge.

A professor of political science is a social scientist? Furthermore, it is not mainstream science that is seeking to conform to an ideology. That applies to people like Regnerus and Father Sullins who are trying to support the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Who does Krason think he is fooling?

I will tell you who. The readers of extreme outlets like Crisis Magazine. The comment section is a revolting display of homophobic ignorance. I honestly do not see how these people go about living day to day. Possibly through the same confirmation bias that infects Stephen M. Krason. Someone simply discards evidence that does not conform to their religious beliefs. Theirs is not a world that cherishes critical thinking. They have been dumbed down by the mythology of ancient chronicles and the religious leaders who profit from them.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.