Comments about ‘Religion can predict sexual behavior, sociologist suggests’

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Published: Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:05 p.m. MDT

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Ogden, UT

A proper study collects and analyzes data, and reaches a conclusion based on the data. Regenerus, on the other hand, gives the very real impression that he decides on his conclusion and then tries to select data to support his 'conclusion'. I have no problem understanding why his work is not deemed credible.


"The state of Utah recently filed a letter distancing itself from the study in defending its statewide ban on same-sex marriage. The state cited a recent federal district court decision dismissing Regnerus’ views as 'not worthy of serious consideration.'”

The State of Utah did more than just distance itself from the Regnerus study, it expunged all references to the study that were included in Utah's original appellate brief. The State of Utah also admitted to the 10th Circuit that the Regnerus study does *not* establish the fact for which Utah had cited the study; namely, that raising a child in a same-sex household produces outcomes that are inferior to those produced by man-woman parenting arrangements. By redacting this study from its argument, the State of Utah conceeded that there is no evidence to show that homosexual couples are inferior to heterosexual couples in raising children.

Rexburg, ID

Re: Furry 1993- Actually his work was deemed credible by the peers who reviewed his paper and recommended that it be published. And considering the fact that it hasn't ever been retracted, it is still considered credible.

Here is the issue with the Regenerus study: What he found was that children who reported to have a parent who had had a same-sex relationship had poorer outcomes. What his study did not address is whether children in stable same-sex relationships have poorer outcomes. This was because he found very few same-sex relationships that were stable, so his numbers simply couldn't reach significance. This isn't because the study was poor, but because he just didn't find that many stable same-sex households.

The problem with all the other studies on this is that they aren't credible because the surveys they are based on have not been random and/or large enough to be meaningful. Regenerus's study was both large and random.

Salt Lake City, UT

Completely agree, the problem with the study is the lack of proper context when used by others (not sure how much Regnerus does it himself) when referencing it. Then there's the side-issue of whether averages should be used to generalize/stereotype entire populations when it comes to the policy debate it's brought up in.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Hold

Regnerus failed to account for the fact that over half of the study participants never lived in a same-sex household at all, some of them lived in one for only brief periods, and nearly all of the participants were the offspring of failed heterosexual marriages. Just two of the participants met the criteria it is claimed he was studying - children raised throughout their childhood by parents in a same-sex relationship - and measures of these kids came out comparable to those of children raised by stable heterosexual parents.

So it is misleading to say that Regnerus "found...that children who reported to have a parent who had had a same-sex relationship had poorer outcomes" because this isn't what he in fact was studying. It is also misleading to say that "he found very few same-sex relationships that were stable" because he didn’t go looking for stable same-sex relationships. He instead seems to have gone looking for confirmation of his belief that gay parenting leads to poor child outcomes. Despite his efforts, all that he actually found was the impact of divorce.

Here, UT


Regnerus couldn't find a stable same-sex household because he didn't look very hard. Your comment indicates that you haven't looked very hard either. I can name a dozen stable same-sex households off the top of my head (mine being just one of them).

As for his "peers" who reviewed the study, they were just more of his anti-same-sex fellows; even his University has disavowed the study. The original publication in which it was published disavowed the study.

Regnerus is a crank and anyone who thinks his work has any validity at all is simply ignoring the facts.

equal protection
Cedar, UT

The common flaw of the Regnerus NFSS study was the failure to account for the fact that many of the subjects who were raised in same-sex households experienced prior incidents of family instability (e.g., divorce or separation) or were initially placed in the foster care system. Regnerus acknowledged that poor school performance could result from a child’s exposure to divorce or parental separation. Regnerus’s NFSS study also suffered from another defect in that it failed to measure the adult outcomes of children who were actually raised in same-sex households. Regnerus acknowledged that “any suboptimal outcomes may not be due to the sexual orientation of the parent” and that “[t]he exact source of group differences” are unknown.

The Michigan Court found Regnerus’s testimony ENTIRELY unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society.”

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

Once again, Regnerus shows that he has no idea what "causality" is. If he is positing that religion "causes" heterosexuality, he is once again alone in his field.

A more likely "cause" of his observations is that those non-heterosexuals who find that no matter how hard they pray to be made "normal," no matter how sincerely they believe, after seeing absolutely no results, come to question the condemnatory teachings of their churches, and leave.

Put in more scientific language, his subjects are self-selecting religion, based on their sexuality.

Meanwhile, everyone should know that there are churches who accept gays and lesbians as equal children of God, with the same spiritual needs and gifts, and are prepared to treat them with the same dignity, love and celebration they afford all people.

In his next study, Regnerus will measure how much Jello he can make stick to the wall, and what it means.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

"About 50 percent of younger evangelicals had premarital sex with their spouse, compared to 10 percent of Mormons, his study suggests. Mormons are the least likely religious group to be in a sexually inactive marriage, the research suggests." Speaks for itself!

Seattle, WA

Another Deseret News article calling the rising number of single people a "disaster."
How can you tell gay people they can't marry then at the same time complain about the rising number of single people?
I'm a faithul, single, celibate Mormon who experiences same-sex attraction. Can you see how this kind of talk could be hurtful to me?
No matter what I do--stay single, find a partner--people like Regnerus will regard me as contributing to the destruction of society.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@ThidBarker: Neither you nor Regnerus are accounting for a person's age at marriage. Yes, if you marry young there's a chance you might not have had sex before marriage. But, people are marrying later and later these days, in part because they know that to afford themselves, their spouse, and their children a better life, they need to have earning power. So, upwardly-mobile people are getting more education and trying to establish a career before considering themselves in a financial position to marry.

For those who are getting married later, say age 28 and up, virginity is either difficult to maintain, or if maintained would raise questions as to whether there was something wrong with you.

Virginity at age 18 is sweet. At age 35 it's a little worrisome. On average, Mormons marry younger than most. In America, I think only Orthodox and Hasidic Jews marry younger.

Hayden, ID

Tiago. Thank you for your comments. Too many people are too eager to judge persons who experience same sex attraction and for whatever it means to you, I admire your courage. I have things in my life that I constantly struggle with too but I think yours are more difficult than mine. I have to believe life in the short term is not fair but in the long run, it will be, for all of us. I think my "cross" to bear, as irritating as it is, is easier than yours. God bless you!

Hayden, ID

@ Quaker. I am just glad that Mormons are the least likely religion to be in a sexually inactive marriage! lol

Here, UT


Your first comment to Tiago commends him for remaining celibate; you second comment, to Quaker, indicates how much you enjoy your marriage (and the physical relationship right along with it). Why would you deny Tiago the same joy you enjoy?

SSM is NOT a burden to bear. It is NOT a cross to carry. It is NOT something to be afraid of or hide away. It IS as natural to an LGBT person as opposite sex attraction is to a heterosexual person.

After years of "praying the gay away" with no success, the only conclusons were (1) god doesn't exist, (2) if he exists, he doesn't care, (3) churches are lying to us. All 3 conclusions = best to leave religion behind.

layton, UT

RE: A Quaker,For those who are getting married later, say age 28 and up, virginity is either difficult to maintain, or if maintained would raise questions as to whether there was something wrong with you?

Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each Man should have his own wife, and each Woman should have her own husband.”(1Cor 7 1-2).

RE: Mountanman I am just glad that Mormons are the least likely religion to be in a sexually inactive marriage! Currently,
Prior to the 1890 Manifesto. Polygamy was openly practiced in Utah
“An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his *wife and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious.” (Titus 1:6 NLT)*Greek, must be the husband of one wife

Hayden, ID

Ranch. I am attracted to women. But I don't have sex with them. See the difference?

seattle, WA

As Regnerus has been discredited in both academia and the courts, seeing anything spoken or written by this person is clearly an act of media disinformation. He is not a creditable source of information.

Going public with your studies, and disseminating your findings before they are published is also an "ethical" no-no. His study has not been peer reviewed. No one knows if what he found is true, if his methods are correct and if his conclusions hold water. To cite his proposed study in advance is also an act of media disinformation.

Is this a newspaper or a political/religious operation? Can any crank dummy up a study and get it read into the public record as truth simply because it confirms the dominant bias of its readers? What next...a study that claims conservative religionists have better dental hygiene and escape the agony of ingrown toenails?

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

"About 50 percent of younger evangelicals had premarital sex with their spouse, compared to 10 percent of Mormons, his study suggests."

Given that a number of legitimate studies have placed Evangelicals having premarital sex at more than 90% (with Mormons not that far behind), a more likely conclusion would be that Evangelicals and Mormons lie about premarital sex at a higher rate than do people who do not belong to conservative religions. Almost 15 percent of Utah's babies are born to unmarried mothers. If you check the percent of babies born to moms married less than nine months, it's going to up that percentage a lot more. And these are the ones whose premarital sex resulted in a pregnancy carried to term, which ignores the huge percentage who just didn't get pregnant, or who miscarried or had abortions. Are 90% of these women gentiles? Come on, now!

Bored to the point of THIS!
Ogden, UT

Do people still listen to this guy?

I guess reading the comments... yes!

Here, UT

Mountanman says:

"Ranch. I am attracted to women. But I don't have sex with them. See the difference?"


You left out the disclaimer that you DO (most likely, judging by your 2nd comment) have sex with ONE woman.

I am attracted to men, but I don't have sex with them (except my partner). See the similarity?

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