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AND CHILDREN same-sex marriage. Helen Lovejoy Maggie Gallagher.

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Presentation on theme: "AND CHILDREN same-sex marriage. Helen Lovejoy Maggie Gallagher."— Presentation transcript:

1 AND CHILDREN same-sex marriage

2 Helen Lovejoy

3 Maggie Gallagher

4 Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes… There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents. “What Marriage is For”

5 The “Think of the Children” Objection 1. Children hunger for their biological parents. Homosexual couples using in vitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogate mothers deliberately create a class of children who will live apart from their mother or father. Yale Child Study Center psychiatrist Kyle Pruett reports that children of IVF often ask their single or lesbian mothers about their fathers, asking their mothers questions like the following:"Mommy, what did you do with my daddy?" "Can I write him a letter?" "Has he ever seen me?" "Didn't you like him? Didn't he like me?" Elizabeth Marquardt reports that children of divorce often report similar feelings about their non-custodial parent, usually the father.

6 The “Think of the Children” Objection Even when a man marries an older woman and they do not adopt, his marriage helps protect children. How? His marriage means, if he keeps his vows, that he will not produce out-of-wedlock children. “What Marriage is For”

7 The “Think of the Children” Objection 4. Evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate. A number of leading professional associations have asserted that there are "no differences" between children raised by homosexuals and those raised by heterosexuals. But the research in this area is quite preliminary; most of the studies are done by advocates and most suffer from serious methodological problems. Sociologist Steven Nock of the University of Virginia, who is agnostic on the issue of same-sex civil marriage, offered this review of the literature on gay parenting as an expert witness for a Canadian court considering legalization of same-sex civil marriage: Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that 1) all of the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal flaw of design or execution; and 2) not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research.

8 The “Think of the Children” Objection 5. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Although the evidence on child outcomes is sketchy, it does suggest that children raised by lesbians or homosexual men are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Judith Stacey-- a sociologist and an advocate for same-sex civil marriage--reviewed the literature on child outcomes and found the following: "lesbian parenting may free daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gender prescriptions." Her conclusion here is based on studies that show that sons of lesbians are less masculine and that daughters of lesbians are more masculine… Her review must be viewed judiciously, given the methodological flaws detailed by Professor Nock in the literature as a whole. Nevertheless, theses studies give some credence to conservative concerns about the effects of homosexual parenting.

9 The “Think of the Children” Objection Although it is sometimes asserted in policy debates that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same- sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children raised by heterosexual parents, those assertions find no support in the scientific research literature… Indeed, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has been remarkably consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are every bit as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents. American Psychological Association

10 The “Think of the Children” Objection Beliefs that gay and lesbian adults are not fit parents, or that the psychosocial development of the children of gay and lesbian parents is compromised, have no basis in science. Our position is based on a review representing approximately 50 empirical studies and at least another 50 articles and book chapters and does not rest on the results of any one study Canadian Psychological Association

11 The “Think of the Children” Objection The family studies literature indicates that it is family processes (such as the quality of parenting and relationships within the family) that contribute to determining children’s wellbeing and ‘outcomes’, rather than family structures, per se, such as the number, gender, sexuality and co-habitation status of parents. The research indicates that parenting practices and children’s outcomes in families parented by lesbian and gay parents are likely to be at least as favourable as those in families of heterosexual parents, despite the reality that considerable legal discrimination and inequity remain significant challenges for these families. Australian Psychological Association

12 The “Think of the Children” Argument 6. Same-sex "marriage" would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage. One of the biggest threats that same-sex "marriage" poses to marriage is that it would probably undercut the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage. In the first edition of his book in defense of same-sex marriage, Virtually Normal, homosexual commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote: "There is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman." Of course, this line of thinking--were it incorporated into marriage and telegraphed to the public in sitcoms, magazines, and other mass media--would do enormous harm to the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage.

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