Regnerus, Mark
25 Articles at

Mark Regnerus is Contributing Editor of Public Discourse, Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. His research is in the areas of sexual behavior, family, marriage, and religion. Mark is the author of more than forty published articles and book chapters, and three books. His most recent book is entitled Cheap Sex and the Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy (Oxford, 2017,) in which he describes the world that has come to be due to the influence of technology on sex and sexuality. He is also the author of Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying (Oxford, 2011) and Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford, 2007). His research and opinion pieces have been featured in numerous media outlets. He was also the author of a 2012 study appearing in Social Science Research on the comparatively optimal outcomes of young adults from stably-married families. He and his wife Deeann have three children.


New! Will the Fog of War Smuggle Same-Sex Marriage into Ukraine?

In light of both Ukraine's cultural stance on LGBTQ issues and the data showing drawbacks of same sex parenting, a presidential fiat legalizing same-sex marriage would be an affront to the nation. Furthermore, any capitalizing on Ukraine's current dependence on the US and EU governments by encouraging its ideological colonization in the utter absence of popular support would be not virtuous but vicious.

Date posted: 2022-08-01

War Highlights Sex Differences and Family Ties

A nation could recover from the loss of scores of men, as the twentieth century's postwar societies all did. But it has no future without women and children and the moral order of the family and society that these not only represent but constitute. Civilization hinges on women.

Date posted: 2022-03-05

When Marriage Becomes a Private Matter

My marriage is an entity with ramifications and consequences that echo outside our home. The same is true in reverse: what happens in other marriages can affect ours. A marriage needs friends, and it can likewise supply friendship to others' unions.

Date posted: 2021-07-03

Christianity's Global Marriage Problem

In an era of new options, more choices, greater temptations, high expectations, consistent anxiety, and endemic uncertainty, nothing about the process of marrying can be taken for granted - even among those belonging to a faith that has long encouraged it. In an era of independence, intentionally becoming interdependent seems increasingly risky.

Date posted: 2020-09-23

Weak Data, Small Samples, and Politicized Conclusions on LGBT Discrimination

The measurement, analytic, and interpretive decision-making displayed in much (though certainly not all) of the LGBT discrimination and well-being literature is troubling, indicative of a lack of standards, poorly defined concepts, impressionistic conclusions derived from small numbers of interviews, the politicization of results, and the overall novelty of the field.

Date posted: 2020-02-08

New Data Show "Gender-Affirming" Surgery Doesn't Really Improve Mental Health. So Why Are the Study's Authors Saying It Does?

Data from a new study show that the beneficial effect of surgery for transgender people is so small that a clinic may have to perform as many as 49 gender-affirming surgeries before they could expect to prevent one additional person from seeking subsequent mental health treatment. Yet that's not what the authors say. That the authors corrupted otherwise-excellent data and analyses with a skewed interpretation signals an abandonment of scientific rigor and reason in favor of complicity with activist groups seeking to normalize infertility-inducing and permanently disfiguring surgeries.

Date posted: 2019-11-26

Does "Conversion Therapy" Hurt People Who Identify as Transgender? The New JAMA Psychiatry Study Cannot Tell Us

A new study purports to prove the harms of "conversion therapy" for those who identify as transgender. But there are at least four good reasons for being leery of the results appearing therein

Date posted: 2019-09-22

Graduate Students: Don't Wait for Tenure to Enjoy Your Life

Don't delay your life. Don't wait until you get a job, then tenure, to do the normal things that make life sweet, like marrying and having children. Remember the time-worn observation: "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Professors who build their career around their own ego and cutthroat ambition tend to shrivel into something you don't want to be.

Date posted: 2019-09-07

How the Rise in Unreligious Americans affects Sex and Marriage: Comparative Evidence from New Survey Data

Permissive sexual attitudes and practices have not stimulated the religious revival many Christians believe the extremes of Sexual Revolution will inspire. There is no evidence of it in the data. On the contrary: Christians seem to grow more complicit - or at least more quiet about their misgivings - by the year.

Date posted: 2019-08-31

The Future of American Sexuality and Family: Five Key Trends

We find ourselves in a liminal spot, one between long-taken-for-granted traditional relationships anchored in marriage and the future relationship system characterized more consistently by "confluent love." There will not be two dominant systems.

Date posted: 2018-11-15

Scientists Have Unwittingly Revealed that the Obergefell Decision Did Nothing to Diminish Sexual Minority Distress

A new study is being used to make the claim that allowing conscientious objection to same-sex marriage leads to increased rates of mental health problems in sexual minorities. But is that really what the data show

Date posted: 2018-07-23

Polyamory: Complicated New Identity or Primarily About Sex?

A study of consensual, overlapping sex partners unwittingly reveals the strengths of monogamy. That social scientists seem to speak only about the personal and relational consequences of behavior patterns, and think nothing about the social consequences of relationship systems, is further evidence that more is afoot than the mere sharing of information.

Date posted: 2018-03-31

The Truth about Men, Women, and Sex

Recent revelations about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse underscore certain blunt realities about men, women, and sex. How can we confront those realities in a way that leads to less sexual violence?

Date posted: 2017-12-24

No Long-Term Harm? The New Scientific Silence on Child-Adult Sex and the Age of Consent

Two new studies use a small amount of old data to try to undermine the idea that it is abusive or damaging for adults to have sex with minors. Disturbingly, no one seems to be challenging this conclusion.

Date posted: 2017-09-26

Can Same-Sex Marriage Really Reduce Teen Suicide?

The legalization of same-sex marriage may be associated with a short-term emotional bump for youth who identify as sexual minorities, but it is not a robust, long-term panacea for the emotional struggles of teenagers.

Date posted: 2017-03-10

Hijacking Science: How the "No Differences" Consensus about Same-Sex Households and Children Works

The claim that there are no differences in outcomes for children living in same-sex households arises from how scholars collect, analyze, and present data to support a politically expedient conclusion, not from what the data tend to reveal at face value.

Date posted: 2016-11-04

Where did transgenderism come from?

Before the year 2000, no US state recognized same-sex marriage. By 2015, it was legal throughout the US and most of Western Europe. Before 2015 most Americans knew nothing about transgender issues.

Date posted: 2016-06-23

Media Gush over New Study, Only to Find Same-Sex Parents More Irritated with Their Children

The social science on same-sex households with children isn't settled. It's just plain unsettling.

Date posted: 2016-05-13

New Research on Same-Sex Households Reveals Kids Do Best With Mom and Dad

Published research employing the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), the ECLS (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study), the US Census (ACS), the Canadian Census, and now the NHIS all reveal a comparable basic narrative, namely, that children who grow up with a married mother and father fare best.

Date posted: 2015-05-12

Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future

Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it's reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.

Date posted: 2014-09-23

Shifting sands

Think that legalizing same-sex marriage won't affect its supporters' moral standards? Think again.

Date posted: 2014-08-30

A Married Mom and Dad Really Do Matter: New Evidence from Canada

A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.

Date posted: 2014-01-09

Yes, Marriage Will Change--and Here's How

The sexual permissiveness of men will emerge a winner in the contest of ideas as same-sex marital norms begin to shape the larger institution of marriage.

Date posted: 2013-07-19

The New Birds and the Bees

Our language about sexuality is dominated by public health, with its talk of risk, "protection," health, choice, and rights. In so doing we scoff at babies--the crowning glory of human creativity--and where they come from.

Date posted: 2013-07-19

Porn Use and Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

Young adult men's support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and fairness. It may be, in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.

Date posted: 2013-02-12