SPECIAL REPORT: A Plea for Honest Social Research: The Work of Walter R. Schumm

In this age of cancel culture and woke gender ideology—both of which go a step or two further than mere “political correctness”—it is rare to find a scholar willing to challenge the status quo of LGBTQ research. Those who do are either castigated (by the media, other researchers, or their employers) or simply ignored. (If others don’t cite your work, does it even exist?) One scholar who has dared to push back against the sacred cows of established academic research is Walter R. Schumm, who holds his Ph.D. in Family Studies from Purdue University, and who has been on the fac­ulty at Kansas State University for over two decades. Professor Schumm is a particularly prolific researcher; his curriculum vitae lists over 335 publications, including academic articles, book chapters, book reviews, technical reports, and his own books or handbooks. Only a small portion of this body of work deals directly with same-sex parenting, and yet, it is precisely that work that led to his early retire­ment in 2010.1 This is particularly troubling, given that the thrust of his research is not to disparage gay people or gay parents, or try to reverse current policy. Rather, his stated aim (found in his 2018 book) “is not that same-sex marriage be declared illegal or same-sex adoption be banned . . . but that perhaps a few persons here and there will have been challenged to think more carefully about scientific research in areas of political controversy, and be a little less eager to jump to conclusions that may not in fact be warranted after a careful, detailed, systematic review of the research literature.”2 In his recent body of work, Schumm seeks not to demonize gay parents, but rather to demonstrate some severe limitations in the science behind recent findings on gay parenthood. In the arguments preceding the passing of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the American public was told repeatedly—under oath—that same-sex parents were no different than opposite-sex
Please subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.