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Comments about ‘Kathleen Parker: Don't celebrate the new diminished role of fathers in families’

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Published: Tuesday, June 4 2013 2:18 p.m. MDT

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bandersen
Saint George, UT

A 'fatherless' society? Sounds like another feminist dream! After years of wanting to be in charge, women now are finding themselves in charge, but not knowing how to fix all the problems in the wake of achieving that dream! Government can't fix this problem (No doubt they will try), but there is hope that regular people will see the need for both a father and a mother, particularly in a day when some are screaming for a father and a father or a mother and a mother to raise the next generation. Some things just don't change, no matter how contorted society defines the family.

Summer
Salt Lake City, UT

Men/Fathers are desperately needed. There are pages of statistics that support this. Here are just a few:

1999 report of the Department of Health and Human Services:
-Girls without a father in their life are two and a half times as likely to get pregnant and 53 percent more likely to commit suicide.
-Boys without a father in their life are 63 percent more likely to run away and 37 percent more likely to abuse drugs.

-70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]

-85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]

-63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]

-The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O'Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States, CUNY, Baruch College. 1993

jeanie
orem, UT

Gender matters to families. Fathers (men) are different from mothers (women). Our biology is clearly different and functions differently. That there are people who are attracted to the same sex, I believe is a fact. But this fact does not negate the obvious need of a man (father) and a woman (mother) in the life of a child.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@Summer --

"Men/Fathers are desperately needed. There are pages of statistics that support this..."

The problem with your statistics -- and it's only a problem if you try to apply them to the issue of gay couples -- is that these researchers were studying one-PARENT homes vs two-PARENT homes. They didn't include any groups of two-parent GAY homes to compare with.

In fact, multiple other studies have proven that children grow up just fine in homes with gay or lesbian parents. That's why all the reputable groups of professional child-development experts SUPPORT gay marriage. They all realize that it's love and stability that matter the most when raising children -- not the parents' genders.

The American Academy of Pediatrics position statement, in part: “There is an emerging consensus, based on extensive review of the scientific literature, that children growing up in households headed by gay men or lesbians are not disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents".

So, yes -- two **parents** absolutely ARE important in creating stable households. Just don't make the mistake of extrapolating beyond the actual facts at hand.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

contrarius: With all due respect, the opinions of your own and the opinions of 'reputable' studies are as a kernel of sand in contrast to the Word of God. The 'extensive' studies you suggest are most likely taken from samples, biased or unbiased, picked up from the last decade or so. How does that compare with thousands of years of historical record that corroborate the importance of a father and a mother. If common sense doesn't create a void in your reasoning, then for the sake of a societal meltdown, stand up for generational guide posts, rather than the uninhibited alibis that are creating chaos for impressionable children who are searching for the truth and the stability of the ordained covenant of family.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

I see asking this question rather stupid. I think that society has gone to heck in a handbasket because we have reached this type of an attitude. The author of the above article is, herself, IMO, condescending, though she feigns standing up for males. Geez, really m'am? There is some merit to us guys, and you can list off a few of the hard to remember, difficult to find, good qualities, necessary reasons guys are needed?

Heavens, every woman that is born needs a man to father her. But far more than that, we all need each other. Women need men, and not JUST for impregnating them, or carrying out the trash. Without all the legalized bias AGAINST men, including the treatment of boys in school in comparison to girls (girls can sit somewhat longer than boys, because boys do best generally when more physically active). And, given that so many women are pushing girls ahead of guys, because the majority of primary and secondary school teachers are women, is where this bias, yea, prejudice, and to some degree, exclusion, begins.

Take away such asinine laws, and men would rule again.

jeanie
orem, UT

Studies can show many different things given enough time. There're has not been enough time for this social experiment of same gender parents raising children to claim conclusive facts.

Until then the actual fact at hand is the very way our bodies function as men and woman, and the very way we create life speaks to the fact that both genders are needed. Why would gender suddenly become irrelevant after conception? I do not deny the existence of same gender attraction. It is a challenge, but it is not equal to father and mother and it is not the norm.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I honor the presidency, but I don't respect the people. I honer their position, respect is earned. Honor Is gave to a place marker like a letter A or the number 1. Respect is earned with little bits of credits of value. A reputation is earned good or bad.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@jeanie --

"Until then the actual fact at hand ...."

I actually agree with most of this paragraph.

But guess what? Gay marriage doesn't contradict anything about this paragraph, either.

Even when gay marriage is legal, only about 3-5% of the population is gay. Therefore, the vast majority of marriages will ALWAYS be heterosexual.

Gay marriage is NOT "the norm", just as being left-handed is not "the norm". That doesn't make gay marriage "evil" or "bad", any more than left-handed people are.

And just as the existence of left-handed people doesn't threaten right-handed people, gay marriage doesn't threaten straight marriage.

Here's the one part of your paragraph that I disagree with:

"it is not equal to father and mother".

"Different than" does not necessarily mean "less than". Women are different than men, but they are not less than men. Similarly, gay marriage may be different in some ways than straight marriage -- but that doesn't make it any less.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

"Men would rule again"?
That is your goal?
Don't hold your breath.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Diligent Dave – “Take away such asinine laws, and men would rule again.”

I was right there with your well-reasoned comment up until that last bomb you dropped.

One observation – this trend has been severe for decades in minority communities and look how that has turned out for many of those young men. “Useless” and bored young men are probably the most destructive force the world has ever known (no doubt Viking women were running most the households in old-Scandinavia, to the sorrow of the rest of Europe *joke*)

We need to all be in this together as partners who value and lift up each other. Of course women should be allowed to reach their full potential (something obviously denied to them for thousands of years), but why does this have to be a zero-sum game where men lose when women win?

Going back to a patriarchal “golden age” is not the answer. We need to move forward together… all of us… as human beings with our own unique talents free of any gender favoritism or its ugly reverse.

Although I admit this thought scares me a bit when I think of how capable my wife is…

jeanie
orem, UT

Contrarius - Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking time to consider mine.

When gay marriage involves children those children are deprived of either a male parent or a female parent. It is my belief that conception is not the only time both genders are needed. Loving people in the life of a child are critical, but so are both genders.

Just one example, men tend to think more linearly, direct cause and effect thinking. Women tend to think more holistically, discerning many parts in a given situation. Like our eyesight having two slightly different perspective creates depth perception, having these two distinct perspectives gives depth to parents understanding on how best to raise their children. My own children, both boys and girls, are able to manage life's challenges because of the strong male in our home, their father, and because of the attributes of me, the female as well. Personality plays a part in parenting, no doubt, but there are real differences in the way men parent and the way women do.

Likely where we differ is the importance of gender in raising children beyond conception.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

In reality, the "reputable groups" Contrarius is talking about that say same-sex parents are no different, harm-wise, than traditional parents are actually the "ultra-left voting leadership at the top" of such groups...NOT the entire group membership at large. Most questions involving the hyper-political issue of homosexuality are originally approved by many such professional organizations for mostly political reasons, based on amazingly paper thin research that would never come even remotely close to justifying and creating such a huge policy support position if applied to a less political issue.

As more research has been done, these few pro-gay-marriage studies are being roundly criticized and even dismissed because the survey samples were almost entirely made up of self-selected, highly politically active gay parents, who volunteer for such studies. So it's no shocker that the results supported gay marriage.

A growing body of more rigorous research is verifying what humanity has known all along through common sense: having both a father and a mother is clearly best for the child according to a host of empirical measures. In fact, gay-parented homes appear to have a number of unique challenges in raising a child.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Voice of Reason
"having both a father and a mother is clearly best for the child according to a host of empirical measures. In fact, gay-parented homes appear to have a number of unique challenges in raising a child."

It's gay peoples fault that children of gay couples face higher rates of bullying from peers in school?

Here's what's wrong with the idea that we should ban gay marriage because of averages (let's pretend that children of same-sex couples score worse on average on things like juvenile delinquency and SAT scores). You're inconsistent. On average poor children have worse results. Same goes for Hispanic children, or Mississippians. You would never dream of passing laws banning poor/Hispanic/Mississippians from marrying but this argument is totally fine to use for gay couples. It's an excuse. It's just an attempt to justify bigotry against same-sex couples.

Besides, averages don't represent an individual, you're either going to be a good parent(s) or not. No matter what averages are, some gay couples will be better than some straight couples.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@jeanie --

"those children are deprived of either a male parent or a female parent."

No, actually, they aren't. Gay couples aren't somehow stealing kids from anyone.

When gay couples raise children, they are either adopting, using insemination or surrogates, or raising their own kids from a previous divorce. In all these cases, there **is no** "happy heterosexual home" waiting for these kids.

Foster-care statistics:

USA, September 2010 -- 408,000 children in foster care. 1/2 are never returned to their biological parents or primary caregivers. More than half are in foster care for over a year. 1/3 are in care for more than 2 years. More than 90% of foster kids are over a year old, with an average age of 9 years (most straight families want babies, while gay couples often adopt older kids).

Every year, 20-30,000 US kids age out of foster care. This means that these kids were NEVER adopted. They grew up in foster care because nobody wanted them.

Across the world, there are an estimated **150 MILLION** orphans.

It is very safe to say that there are simply not enough stable straight homes for all these kids.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@Voice of Reason--

"actually the "ultra-left voting leadership at the top" of such groups..."

Supporting groups include:

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Family Practitioners
Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association
National Association of Social Workers

If you believe that every one of those groups is controlled by "ultra-left leadership", let's see your evidence. I'll even spot you the NASW, because social workers are notorious liberals -- even though they see a ton more needy kids in their everyday work than you'll ever see in your lifetime.

I won't be holding my breath while I wait for that evidence.

"A growing body of more rigorous research is verifying what humanity has known all along"

ROFL!!

If you mean Regnerus, "rigorous" isn't even in the same COUNTY as his "research methods".

Regneurs intentionally compared UNSTABLE lesbian homes to STABLE straight homes. Obviously, the kids in the stable homes performed better than in the unstable ones. No surprise there. His study was all about STABILITY -- it said absolutely nothing about gender-related differences.

If you mean somebody else, let's see your evidence.

Still not holding my breath.

jeanie
orem, UT

Contrarius -

Again, where we disagree is the importance of a mom and a dad in raising children.

As far as depriving children of a mom or dad -

Surrogate services and insemination by gay couples are choices adults have made that obviously deprive children of a parent of the opposite gender.

A marriage that produced children provided a parent of each gender for a child even if that marriage ended in divorce. However, children do not choose divorce, parents do. Divorce deprives children of an intact home with a mom and a dad who would have had daily interaction with their children.

Older children do have a harder time being placed in a traditional family, I agree. Kudos to those gay couple who take those kids on and love and raise them. But I know of too many couples that have struggled to adopt to believe that there are not enough Mom/Dad homes for most.

haggie
Visalia, CA

Forget the gay discussion. The question was do women need men. The answer is OF COURSE! Not just because the children need them, but because we are built to complement one another. We are designed (whether you believe in God or not) physically to defend and provide. Women are designed physically to bear and nuture.

We have an upside down world that has taken the good in young men and thrown it all out with the general lack of focus at an early age in boys and the high energy. It is too much work and innappropriate to have energy. Hogwash, that is generally in our DNA.

Our society is telling young men that they can just take care of themselves. Don't worry about taking care of a family. If you happen to get someone pregnant, the government will take care of them. Guys with that mindset tend to drive to the easist job that provides a sufficient income.

amazondoc
USA, TN

@jeanie --

"Surrogate services and insemination by gay couples are choices adults have made that obviously deprive children of a parent of the opposite gender. "

Nope.

Those kids wouldn't exist **at all** if not for the surrogacy or insemination. Therefore they are not being "deprived" of anything -- instead, they are being given the gift of life.

You might as well claim that I was "deprived" of vast wealth because I was not born into the Rockefeller family. That's just looking at things backwards.

"However, children do not choose divorce, parents do. Divorce deprives children of an intact home"

Surely you are not going to blame divorce on gay marriage or on homosexuality in general?

The divorce rate in this country is around 50%. That isn't the fault of gay people, I assure you.

"But I know of too many couples that have struggled to adopt to believe that there are not enough Mom/Dad homes for most."

The numbers don't lie. Tell those "struggling" couples that they should be adopting older and/or imperfect kids instead of clinging to their dream of a perfect white infant.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Women need to stop treating men badly. It's so common to see a father denigrated in a sit com or commercial that women just find it funny. Just like men used to joke openly about women being dumb or just not getting something. Mad Men is the only show I've seen that and it's in the context of showing how ridiculous it was.

I see my married friends basically taking the subordinate role now instead of a 50/50 partnership. A lot of men just don't want a subordinate role in a household.

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