Upside Down Parenting Study Down Under

The Washington Post could barely contain its excitement in a new headline, "Children of same-sex couples are happier and healthier than peers, research shows." This was double trouble, since the Post got its analysis wrong, and the latest study out of Australia suffers from the same flaws as almost all other pro-homosexual parenting research. The study is not of same-sex couples, but of "same-sex attracted parents," who may or may not be in a relationship. It found that children with such a parent scored higher on measures of "general health," "general behavior," and "family cohesion" -- yet lower (by less than the margin of error) on "mental health."

But the data are of dubious value to begin with, because they are based on the parents' own self-report ("My kid is doing great!") rather than a more objective measure; and they are drawn from a "convenience sample" (like people responding to an ad in the "gay" media) rather than a genuinely random one.

The distortion this introduces is clear from the socioeconomic profile of the sample -- 73% of the homosexual parents had at least a college degree (vs. 28% of all Australian mothers), and 59% (79% of the men) had household incomes over $100,000 in Australian dollars (the median Australian household income is only $64,168).

In his 2012 research, sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin turned the conventional wisdom of the politically correct academic world on its head by proving that children raised by homosexual parents do suffer disadvantages when compared to children raised by their married mother and father. FRC's Peter Sprigg analyzed the study -- published in the journal Social Science Research. He and others confirmed that it was the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound study ever conducted on the issue -- which explains why liberals have tried so desperately to discredit it.

Regnerus's research found numerous and significant differences between these groups -- with the outcomes for children of homosexuals rated "suboptimal" (Regnerus's word) in almost every category. His study remains the gold standard for such research -- and it clearly showed children do better with a married mom and dad.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family  Research Council.