Our own Brandon Andrew Robinson has recently published a piece in the Huffington Post entitled “Underlying Assumption of Regnerus’s Claims.” In it, Brandon challenges the recent public claims made by Dr. Mark Regnerus.
This is the introduction to his piece:
Dr. Mark Regnerus, a professor in the department where I am a graduate student, has recently returned to the media forefront with his claims about heterosexual anal sex at Franciscan University and with his testimony in Michigan at a federal court trial on gay marriage. At Franciscan University, Regnerus claimed that the rise of gay marriage would lead to the “normalization of gay men’s sexual behavior,” which will somehow then prompt a rise in heterosexual people practicing anal sex. In Michigan, Regnerus testified on Monday that historically and cross-culturally marriage has been between one man and one woman. He also said that there was “notable instability” in same-sex relationships, though the two children in his study who were raised from birth to 18 years of age by intact same-sex couples “looked pretty good.” Putting somewhat aside the veracity of these claims (which should ultimately be empirically investigated by scholars and researchers), I am somewhat perplexed as a sociologist-in-training by the fact that the underlying assumptions in these statements are left unquestioned.
Here is the link to the rest of his piece: Underlying Assumptions of Regnerus’s Claims.
By Shane Michael Gordon
The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) on the UT campus provides opportunities for any UT student and any member of the Austin community to explore, organize and promote the learning of gender and sexuality issues. The GSC has in the ten years of its existence made strong efforts to provide resources for anyone willing to learn and become informed of LGBTQ and women’s issues while offering outreach, education and advocacy throughout campus.
History of the GSC is rooted primarily in two organizations, the Women’s Research Center and the GLBTA Agency, formed in 1997 and 2001 respectively through the student government and headed by student directors. As the organizations’ services overlapped an agreement was formed to establish a joint center with a permanent office and full-time director. With help from the student government the Gender and Sexuality Center officially opened its doors in August 2004.
As one of its missions is to promote the understanding of the LGBTQ community, the GSC hopes to help instructors improve the classroom setting for LGBTQ students. Here are some tips for promoting a diverse, inclusive and respectful learning environment:
- Do not immediately assume everyone in the classroom is heterosexual or traditionally gendered, as this assumption can segue into students making anti-LGBTQ remarks just because of an alleged “absence” of LBGTQ students.
- Do use inclusive language in your syllabi, presentations and whenever possible, such as discussing civil unions as well as marriage and using the term “parent” in lieu of mother and father.
- Do not make negative remarks or jokes aimed toward LGBTQ people.
- Do work to set an example of proper conduct for students, especially if you encounter a biased remark, as this can be an important opportunity to set the facts straight about the LGBTQ community, along with promoting understanding while actively dialoguing with students to create an accepting and non-judgmental classroom environment.
The GSC is currently headed by its director Ixchel Rosal (firstname.lastname@example.org) with education coordinator Shane Whalley (email@example.com) and program coordinator Liz Elsen (firstname.lastname@example.org). As the Center prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary it plans to continue the work it has been doing while expanding its programs throughout both the campus and the community.