Comments about ‘Studies challenge widely held assumptions about same-sex parenting’

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Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 10:01 p.m. MDT

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

If the best we can do is 'god has spoken, and that's how it is', then we've thrown the entire concept of religious freedom out. If that's the case, we've picked winners and losers. And I need you to lose.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Allen said, as quoted in the article- "Often an area of research starts this way. The problem comes when you try to extrapolate what you find to the broader population. You cannot. It says absolutely nothing about the population of lesbian and gay parents, only about those particular ones."

I frequently voice concern over everyone accepting the 'inductive leap' and take data from a sample and apply it to everyone- however, in this case there is something else to consider.

Can we reasonably induce that because '10 gay couples' did this right or wrong, that all will? No, not really. However, we CAN reasonably deduce that 'because a gay agent is intentionally acting in dysfunction of our anatomical design to biologically multiply and replenish the Earth, their rebellion to the most basic law of the existence of mankind disqualifies them from being able to adequately parent.'

Will they teach their children to be straight, gay, or 'do whatever you want?' In what universe does such relativism thrive or even survive? Adequate child development can't foster from a relativist parent teaching "forget the design of your body and reject ANY morality or philosophy that disagrees- just do whatever you want."

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

I noticed that the story focused a lot on the "biological" aspect - how does this translate into outcomes for children that are adopted or conceived with donor sperm or eggs? Does just one parent need to be biological or both?

Claudio
Springville, Ut

VOR,

Your statement that parents will teach kids to be gay, straight, etc. is ridiculous. First, we know that such thoughts and feelings are not taught; if they were I doubt the many LDS who have them would choose to continue having them... for some reason I don't think they relish or enjoy the hate and vilifying they suffer at the hands of bigots.

For the record, we teach children from an early age what their gender is: blue is for boys, pink for girls; boys play with trucks, girls with dolls; boys play football, girls cheerlead, etc. Who's to say that these are appropriate? If a girl wants to wrestle or a boy participate in ballet, is it wrong? The answer should be no, but unfortunately society at large is still too bigoted to accept differences in what we have been told is the role of a boy or a girl.

To summarize my point, to think that gay parents are teaching children to be gay just simply can't be proven, while the fact that straight, gay, etc. parents alike seem to continue to assign bigoted gender roles without much concern.

DistantThunder
Vincentown, NJ

Typically in a health,y functional loving home, children learn to IDENTIFY with the same sex parents, and learn to RELATE to the opposite sex parent. Changing this socialization process invites dysfunction.

BrentBot
Salt Lake City, UT

Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin. found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

When marriage loses its unique status, women and children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a principle.

ChuckGG
Gaithersburg, MD

It is an interesting study and I appreciate the author of the study stating that he hopes it will not be used for political arguments. A couple of points - Just as same-sex couples show similar traits to single and step families, we need to bear in mind that this should not preclude same-sex couples from having families. In many cases, male and female, one partner is the biological parent of the child often conceived from a prior relationship. Certainly, like the single (in particular, widowed) and step parent families, these children belong with their parents, however that situation arose.

Secondly, the social stigma factor may have been contributory (and was not analyzed, as mentioned). Given gay acceptance is relatively new, we should look at future studies in a generation or two and compare. This is similar to inter-racial marriages in the 1950's. Those, too, suffered social stigma then but, over time, mostly has improved. As society evolves, same-sex marriages and families should become as mainstream as inter-racial and inter-faith marriages are today. Let's see these studies in another 25 years.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

Once again public policy has been based upon wishful thinking and power politics (do it our way regardless of the facts or we'll publicly ridicule you)rather than the facts.

We have 2,000 years and more of studying biological parent families. Many decades of tracking the effects of a single mother. We're only into the first generation of gay/lesbian "families". Yet our legislators bend to the pressure groups and do what they want rather than doing what is good.

Now the preliminary evidence is coming out. Watch how it will be rationalized away rather than regarded. Watch how the authors of the study will be personally attacked for not speaking the politically correct dogma. Watch how "facts" and "evidence" will once again be shunted aside for political purposes.

Even though there has never been any scientific evidence of a "gay gene" it hasn't stopped advocates of claiming "gay isn't a choice -- I was born this way." No evidence. Just conjecture.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

Can a gay parent teach a child to be gay? Again, total lack of time-tested evidence is lacking so we can only refer to logic. If one is "born gay", then, no, one cannot be taught. BUT, there is no scientific evidence that gay is a biological condition. There is more evidence "effeminate" behavior is biological, though much is yet to be discovered -- too much to base any politics on it. But... to be effeminate is NOT the same as gay -- there is plenty of evidence of straight men who are effeminate and are constantly harassed by gay men trying to pick them up.

So what if there is no evidence of a gay gene? Well, if there is no evidence as Time Magazine stated last year quoting leading scientists, then the only choice left is -- it is environmentally affected. Meaning, it is a choice and a learned behavior. If it is a learned behavior than a gay parent can influence, teach, a child to be gay.

Facts are stubborn things.

OthersShoes
SILVER SPRING, MD

Its an interesting view into another study that exhibits bad science; I believe the study suggesting no bias against same-sex parents and this particular study are both poorly controlled. The fact of the matter is that there are far too many other power variables at play here, namely level of education and income of the parents. Its really too difficult to sample a novel concept and be able to draw comparisons against such a massive tradition as the nuclear family. Both studies are incredibly vulnerable into playing into their own biases.

On the political side of this: studies (that are nearly irrefutable) consistently demonstrate the myriad problems of children whose parents have gone through divorce. Yet, divorce, which is also against biblical teachings, is still legal.

My point is I suppose, that no matter what lens you peer into these issues with, there will always be a substantive argument from progressive's appealing for certain inalienable, civil rights. The use of religion against same-sex marriage will never be adequate if we are to believe that governmental institutions protect against religious biases.

Abinadis friend
Boise, Idaho

As long as America has religious freedom you can still act the way you think is best. However God has given us directions. And as it was stated by bribri86, if we obey we will always be right. There is more to life than this
existance. We will never be sorry by doing what the Lord says.

Jared
Average, SE

ChuckGG, comparing same-sex marriages to inter-racial marriages is not valid. Yes, there was considerable stigma against inter-racial marriages (and there is still much of it all around the world from people of all races - this stigma has been stronger and weaker over time, depending on cultural values) but there is a fundamental difference in inter-racial marriage and same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is a fundamental shift in the definition of marriage. This shift should not be taken lightly. We know dual-parent households work - this has been the foundation of civilizations for thousands and thousands of years (I'm not ignoring the long history of polygyny throughout the world but there's a 200 word limit). You conclude from the study that "[the results] should not preclude same-sex couples from having families" - if that is true then the opposite is also true - the results should not encourage same-sex couple to have families because we don't know what the outcome will be 25 years down the road. Are we willing to see what happens when the foundation of society is changed? Frequent divorces have had large enough changes already; do we need more?

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

Seems to me their are ample children raised by Hetero-sexual couples that are "bad apples." Seems like parenting style has just as much to do with who is raising the kids.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Claudio,

My statement about teaching was not 'about teaching' but 'about morality and relativism'. And holding that opinion is something that several philosophers have held and rationally argued for thousands of years. Call it what you like, but there is no logic in calling it ridiculous. This is the problem with relativism. Those who reject moral standards of any kind in favor of 'living the lifestyle' they want are favoring impulse over reason.

Attraction is something we all have. I'm find certain types of blonde and brunette hair attractive. If I governed myself purely on my feelings, natural or not, I would sleep with every attractive person I could seduce. There is no morality in that! I say nothing about gay attraction, but only the human anatomical system that is biologically designed to function for multiplying and replenishing the Earth. People call my opinion bigotry, I call it reason- and reason that has worked fairly well for quite some time. Gay attraction is nothing to feel guilty for, but acting against the basic laws of humanity disqualifies not their ability, but their willingness to teach children true principles of governance and morality. They choose to be unfit 'parents'.

ChuckGG
Gaithersburg, MD

Jared, I think the comparison between SSM and inter-racial marriage is fair. One of the points often lost with those who are against SSM is that these families already exist, and have existed, for generations. The only difference is that with secular SSM there would be legal recognition of SSM. However, whether SSM passes or fails nationally will little change the existence or number of these families. The only difference will be whether they gain all the legal rights now inherent in traditional marriage.

We could talk about the religious aspects of marriage but as secular marriage has nothing to do with sectarian marriage, it really is a moot point. Legal or not, churches may continue to refrain from performing SSMs. It's up to them.

I also believe that you are implying something could/should be done to prevent SSM families or children being raised by SS couples. That ship has sailed. I would not worry about the "foundation of society" when the numbers of families are infinitesimal relative to straight families. SSM and families are a blip on the radar screen but still deserving of SSM legal protections.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"So what if there is no evidence of a gay gene? Well, if there is no evidence as Time Magazine stated last year quoting leading scientists, then the only choice left is -- it is environmentally affected. Meaning, it is a choice and a learned behavior. "..so because no one had proved the earth was round until..it must have been flat for all those centuries.

isrred
Logan, UT

"So what if there is no evidence of a gay gene? Well, if there is no evidence as Time Magazine stated last year quoting leading scientists, then the only choice left is -- it is environmentally affected. Meaning, it is a choice and a learned behavior."

As many as 16 different genes work together to determine your eye color. So are you saying that because there is no singular "eye color" gene that eye color is therefore not genetic? How absurd! Just because there isn't a singular "gay gene" does NOT mean that it can automatically be ruled to be not-genetic.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

If children did NOT do better in a traditional marriage that would be surprising. Based on thousands of years of human development we are probably hard-wired to develop social skills observing and participating in the yin-yang balance of a father and mother.

Although I agree that marriage is important I cringe a little when someone says that marriage is the basis of civilization and this is something that has been going on for 5000 years. Marriage predates that. Stone-age societies that would be normally be labelled as 'uncivilized' also recognizing that fathers and mothers are equal partners that bring different benefits to the rearing of children.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I have access to the journal and took the time to go through the articles and responses. I think the Deseret News' coverage would have been more accurate if they had quoted from pages 771–774 in which Dr. Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University states:

"Some observers may believe that the findings from the Regnerus study have implications for issues such as child custody, adoption, and same-sex marriage. Readers should be cautious, however, before deriving policy implications from these findings."

Dr. Amato goes on to say "Social science has produced a long list of parental characteristics that are statistically associated with children’s development and well-being, including personality traits, cognitive ability, education, earnings, mental health, child-rearing philosophies, and parenting skills. But we do not restrict the right to marry and raise children on the basis of any of these characteristics."

Other than that I commend the Deseret News for trying at least to present the author's work honestly and accurately.

John Harrison
Sandy, UT

A number of factors stand out here that might affect the outcomes as much or more than the sexual inclinations of parents.

One is that the comparison wasn't made to adopted children.

Another is that poverty doesn't seem to be well controlled for from the welfare numbers.

Most striking are the numbers on abuse. Being an abuse victim could be the causation of a number of these findings. Why are children of lesbian mothers so much more likely to be victims of abuse? Is this a sampling error? The way the data is presented masks if the parents did it, so it is hard to blame the parents.

It will be interesting to see if the Deseret News gives as much attention to follow up studies that rip this one to shreds. I expect the soon after the raw data is published on Monday serious flaws will be found. But good for the authors for publishing their data. That is courageous.

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