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Pitfalls to same-sex parenting?

Being entitled to an opinion is one thing, having an informed opinion is a completely different matter.

To suggest that we can arbitrarily decouple marriage’s inextricable link to procreation is uninformed nonsense. Long before the hullabaloo about same-sex marriage almost every supreme court case that dealt with the “right to marry” mentioned the institution’s link to procreation.

“The first purpose of matrimony, by the laws of nature and society, is procreation.” Again, “the procreation of children under the shield and sanction of the law” is one of the “two principal ends of marriage.”

Finally, “marriage exists as a protected legal institution primarily because of societal values associated with the propagation of the human race.” This is an important link that should be preserved and research on family structure and parenting demonstrates why.

Some people claim that there is no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex parenting but the studies used to support such claims invariably use skewed samples. Psychologist Abbie Goldberg notes that such studies tend to focus exclusively on “white, middle-class persons who are relatively ‘out’ in the gay community and who are living in urban areas”.

After reviewing the 59 studies used by the American Psychological Association to claim that there were no differences between same-sex and heterosexual parenting, Loren Marks notes: “The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. […] Such a statement would not be grounded in science.”

The best available research from the social sciences supports the ideal that the best environment in which to raise children is by their biological mother and father. I should preface this point with the obvious: children can and are raised admirably outside of this arrangement. That some single-parents outside of this ideal do as good a job or better is not at issue. This is not to belittle such efforts. The issue is, where is the best research and data from the social sciences pointing?

No doubt Modern Family has some people TV brain-damaged but consider the findings of the research institution, Child Trends. “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 step-families or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes…

“There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.”

Rutgers University sociologist David Popenoe also notes: “The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender-differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to child-rearing is unique and irreplaceable.”

He goes on to state that, “The two sexes are different to the core, and each is necessary–culturally and biologically — for the optimal development of a human being.”

University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox shares similar findings: “Let me now conclude our review of the social scientific literature on sex and parenting by spelling out what should be obvious to all. The best psychological, sociological, and biological research to date now suggests that — on average — men and women bring different gifts to the parenting enterprise, that children benefit from having parents with distinct parenting styles, and that family breakdown poses a serious threat to children and to the societies in which they live.”

We could go on ad nauseum and some may say that I have. Very well, the point is this. We cannot and should not acquiesce to the uninformed, unscientific opinions of same-sex marriage advocates in light of the evidence from the social sciences and more importantly, at the expense of our children and ultimately, our society. — Adrian Sobers

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