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Philip Cohen Takes a Stand in Controversy Over Gay Parenting Study

Cohen calls for the resignation of the editor of Social Science Research after accusations of conflict of interest in the peer review process

Dr. Philip Cohen, sociologist at the University of Maryland and a Faculty Associate of the Maryland Population Research Center, has called for the editor of the journal Social Science Research to step down because of a continuing controversy involving conflict of interest among peer reviewers of a study on gay parenting, which was published in the journal in June of 2012. Two individuals served as peer reviewers for the journal article after disclosing that they had also been paid consultants on the study. According to Dr. Cohen, this represents clear conflict of interest.

The study in question attempted to compare the long-term well-being of children who were raised by homosexual parents with those who were raised by married heterosexual couples. It claimed “numerous, consistent differences” among young adults whose parents engaged in homosexual behavior. These results are controversial, however, as a number of scholars have questioned the study’s methodology. 

“I believe the paper should be retracted because the conclusions are demonstrably wrong, because the author lied in the paper about the involvement of the institute that funded it, and because the peer review process was compromised by conflicts of interest. As long as this remains corrected, and James Wright remains editor, the integrity of the journal is indelibly tarnished,” Cohen writes in his blog, Family Inequality.  He has stated that he will have no further dealings with the journal until its current editor, James Wright, steps down.

Read an article on the controversy in Inside Higher Ed

View Dr. Cohen’s comments in his blog, Family Inequality

Read the controversial journal article