Mugged social scientist Regnerus on the hijacking of social science

From Mark Regnerus, on his controversial study of troubled gay parenting,  at MercatorNet:

It was nearly five years ago that I first received data back from the research firm that had carried out the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) protocol. Shortly thereafter, I began to question the scholarly consensus that there were “no differences” between same-sex and opposite-sex households with children. My skepticism didn’t sit well with the guild.

Social network analysts subsequently assessed patterns of “citation networks” in the same-sex parenting literature and concluded that there is indeed a consensus out there that claims there are “no differences.” I see it. I just think the foundation for the consensus is more slipshod than rock-solid. It is the result of early but methodologically limited evaluations that formed a politically expedient narrative. It is not the product of many rigorous, sustained examinations of high-quality data over time, across countries, and using different measurement strategies and analytic approaches.

In fact, I am unaware of any other domain of science in which scholars have so little high-quality data to answer comparatively new research questions and yet are so quick to declare those questions answered and done with. We don’t do that in any other field or with any other question. What ought to be an empirical matter—an important one, no doubt—has instead turned into a moral test of fealty. More.

Reality check: All that really happened was that the critics chose to count only stable gay parenting arrangements, ignoring the possibility that unstable ones may be more common than they are among man-woman couples. So, by cherry picking, they got the result they needed for the media. And Regnerus got fixed for messing with Big Gay.

Social science is not, of course, science. It is progressivism wielding science as a billy club. Continued public funding is an unaddressed scandal.

The trouble is, such scandals can’t really be addressed as more and more of the electorate becomes dependent on government to live, and doesn’t care as long as the bafflegab keeps the benefits increasing.

Look, I am not judging the new post-employed. They cannot afford to care.

The little people who do still pay taxes tend to be victims of push studies showing what is wrong with them. But they’re doomed anyway unless the system collapses and they can make their way out. All systems collapse in time.

See also: How did UTexas sociologist Mark Regnerus get to be so hated? A study of gay parenting exploded when it hit the media


Social pseudo-science on climate change denial