Does Watching Porn Make Straight Men More Pro Gay?
A sociologist who made headlines for publishing a controversial study, which many found flawed, that claimed children of gay parents were worse off than children of straight parents, is back in the spotlight for a new bizarre claim. He says that straight men who watch porn are more likely back same-sex marriage.
This is how Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas, summarized his study on the website for the Witherspoon Institute, an organization that's linked to the National Organization for Marriage: Porn "undermines the concept that in the act of sexual intercourse, we share our 'body and whole self ... permanently and exclusively.' On the contrary, it reinforces the idea that people can share their bodies but not their inmost selves, and that they can do so temporarily and (definitely) not exclusively without harm."
He goes on to say that porn makes the viewer believe that sex has nothing to do with marriage, and this somehow leads to straight men accepting gay marriage. "Of the men who view pornographic material 'every day or almost every day,'" Regnerus writes, "54 percent 'strongly agreed' that gay and lesbian marriage should be legal, compared with around 13 percent of those whose porn-use patterns were either monthly or less often than that."
The Texas professor does not discuss how porn impacts women. He claims, in fact, that "women typically aren't as into porn as men are, and yet women in general tend to support same-sex marriage more readily than do men. A recent Gallup poll noted that 56 percent of women favor it, while only 42 percent of men do. No, this theory is not about women."
Earlier this year, social scientists and scholars slammed Regnerus' anti-gay parenting study, in which he said that children of same-sex parents were worse off than children from straight parents. Some claimed that he violated ethical standards when researching the study, called "New Family Structures Study," and officials from the University of Texas, where Regnerus teaches, launched an investigation. The results, however, concluded the professor did not violate ethical standards nor break any rules.
The study surveyed about 3,000 18 to 39 year olds who were mostly raised by straight parents: 175 individuals said they had mothers who once had a same-sex relationship and 73 said their fathers were involved with someone of the same sex. The results claim that children from these parents are more likely to end up on welfare, be unemployed, and attend therapy as adults when compared to children from straight couples.
The initial study outraged LGBT rights organizations such as GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign and Family Equality Council, calling the paper "flawed "flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound." In November, the professor admitted that his controversial study was flawed but still supported his findings. He told Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine that he would be more careful about the language he used in his findings in the future.
"I said 'lesbian mothers' and 'gay fathers,' when in fact, I don't know about their sexual orientation; I do know about their same-sex relationship behavior." he said. "But as far as the findings themselves, I stand behind them."