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Monday, June 29 - 1:33pmSanction this postReply
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With the recent Supreme Court decision on behalf of same-sex marriage, I think it's worth noting that there is one respect in which same-sex marriage is not the same as heterosexual marriage.  An important difference arises in the context of child rearing.  Ideally, a child should have heterosexual parents.

 

Children are better off raised by a man and a woman and ideally by the biological parents. Being raised by two women and never having the biological father (or at least a man) as a guardian and head of household, or being raised by two men and never having the biological mother (or at least a woman) as a guardian and head of household trivializes the importance of the child's roots and biological origin. It also fails to socialize the child towards an appreciation of both sexes and of a reproductive ideal that is based on a committed love for their own offspring. Biological parents have a natural devotion to the care and support that the child needs and deserves.

 

Admittedly, there are irresponsible heterosexual parents and responsible homosexual ones, which is often the argument that gay couples are as capable of responsible parenting as heterosexual couples are. However, other things being equal, the child is better off raised by a heterosexual couple and, preferably, by the biological parents.

 

The child of a dysfunctional family may be better off raised by adoptive parents or in a foster home, but we don't equate the value of foster parenting with that of biological parenting. Neither should we equate the value of homosexual parenting with that of heterosexual parenting.

 

Question:  Why is it called "same-sex marriage" instead of "homosexual marriage"?  Is it that the term "homosexual" normally refers to gay men and not to lesbians?



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Post 1

Monday, June 29 - 2:28pmSanction this postReply
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Bill, I have far less concern for adopted kids in gay homes than I have for the rampant bastardy we see today.  The former acts as a red herring to distract us from the latter.  Broken straight homes and slatternly straight parents should concern us far more.  If you can make a quantitative argument to the contrary, please share it.



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Monday, June 29 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
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What children need are the wide range of knowledge and skills that are helpful in having a good life.

 

I grew up with two brothers, but because of a three year difference in our ages, I can say that it would have been better if we had been closer to the same age - that would have made it more likely that I would have experienced them as peers in a way that would have been more instructive and rewarding.  (In more rural or older cultures, or larger families a three year age difference might not have mattered as much.)  All in all it is better to be in a family, as a child, where your siblings are your intimate riends.

 

Because I grew up without a sister, I'm sure that there was more mystery about what girls were all about then there ever should have been. And I paid for my naivety and misconceptions later.  All and all it is better to have siblings of both genders.

 

In today's much tougher economy where it takes two salaries instead of one for most families to survive, all children are getting less parenting.

Any single parent family leaves the kids deprived of some parenting. (But there is a line beyond which little parenting is better than bad parenting.)  All and all it is the quality of parenting and how much of it you get.

 

When a child grows up without a male parent, or without a female parent, there is more that they have to acquire regarding what a man or what a woman is. (We build models in our heads that we use to understand and react to members of the opposite sex, and to adult members of our own sex as guides by which we model and understand ourselves during our younger years).

 

But I'd say that each of the paragraphs above is of no importance at all compared to growing up with even a single parent of either sex who is both loving, strong and confident in their parenting, see us for who we are and especially the best within us and has reasonable self-esteem.  Even a so-called normal heterosexual couple can be very damaging to child if they have even slightly lower than average self-esteem because it will mean they have a range of defensiveness that is like another party living in the house with everyone... and it isn't a good person.
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Bill, I suspect that "same-sex" is used only because of a feeling that "homosexual" may still carry a slight negative connotation due to a long history of cultural disapproval or dislike for homosexuals (mostly targeted at gay men) - but that's just my guess.
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Side note: As to the benefits of a child having a role model by which they form the very complex inner-model of what a man or a woman is when they don't have such a person as a parent (for whatever reason), I suspect that over time it will be considered a normal (and almost required) part of parenting to seek out and enlist quality role-models for the child - but it won't be as good as full time parents of both sexes because a chosen, part-time role-model won't make visible the full range and sublety of behaviors across as wide a context.)
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On a political/legal/natural-rights basis, I don't think any government should be licensing marriages or interfering in adoptions or saying how children are raised (as long as the kid's rights aren't violated) - but I suspect we agree on this.



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Post 3

Monday, June 29 - 4:47pmSanction this postReply
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Maybe children are better off with heterosexual parents.  This is a testable social-scientific claim.  What do your data look like?

 

Mark Regenerus, an academic sociologist, has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years for a finding that people who, to their knowledge, had a homosexual parent showed more pathologies than those who did not.  The gay jihadists tried to shut him up, but his employer (U Texas) stood by him and the attempt failed.  Some religious conservatives tried to cite him as confirmation of their own beliefs, but this didn't go over either.

 

Regenerus was modest in his conclusions.  His subjects had been children in the 70s and 80s, before gay marriage and gay adoption.  If one of the parents was gay (he took the subjects' word for this), then in those days the marriage was likely one of deception and infidelity, with divorce, abandonment and nasty custody fights.  This, rather than, homosexuality per se, could have been the cause of the pathologies.  We may need to wait another generation before we have a large enough sample to rule this out.  Maybe children of stable, openly gay parents will turn out as bad as you expect.  On the other hand, if they grow up with two women maybe they'll be really good at sports and, with men, will have an an encyclopedic knowledge of musical theater and an exquisite fashion sense.  If you already know of findings on the question, please pass them along.

 

Why do people say "same-sex marriage" rather than "homosexual marriage" or "gay marriage"?  (Actually I see both pretty regularly.)  One explanation is that we've always had gay marriage.  Henri III, Oscar Wilde, Rock Hudson and Billie Jean King are among the many homosexuals who've been married, but they were married to members of the opposite sex.  Same-sex marriage is new.

 

(Edited by Peter Reidy on 6/29, 5:05pm)



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Monday, June 29 - 5:47pmSanction this postReply
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Well stated, Peter.

 

It would be very difficult to do any study of child-rearing successes since that would require controlling for mental/emotional stability and self-esteem levels - all down to a fine level - while marking variations based upon a couple being same-sex versus opposite sex.

 

(Good catch on the "Same-sex" terminology)



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