Society, 50(5), 439-446, 2013
8 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2013 Last revised: 16 Nov 2014
Date Written: August 13, 2013
Publication of the study, How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study (Regnerus, 2012), caused a firestorm in the scientific community. Unlike previous studies, it found differences between the children raised by parents who had experienced a same-sex relationship as compared to those raised by heterosexual parents. Most would acknowledge that policy-relevant social science is seldom value free and frequently gets politicized, but the Regnerus controversy illustrates that it is value dependent, with scientist deeply embedded in its politicization. The kind of science that gets conducted, how findings are interpreted and received, and the degree of critical scrutiny such studies receive is dependent upon scientists’ sociopolitical views. Making every effort to apply the same standards when scrutinizing studies that provide politically palatable results as those that do not, and promoting rather than discouraging ideological diversity among researchers and their funders, are the best way to ensure value-pluralism and the integrity of science in the oft-politicized field of social science.
Keywords: Gay Parenting, Gay Marriage, Scientific Groupthink, Bias, Politics and Science, Politically Correct Science, Regnerus, Diversity
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