The New Liberal Push for Fatherless (and Motherless) Families

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“We know the statistics,” said Barack Obama in a speech for Father’s Day 2008, “that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker.”

If “we are honest with ourselves,” said Obama, “we’ll admit that … too many fathers” are missing—they are “missing from too many lives and too many homes.”

Obama summed up: “We need fathers.”

boy alone 2Well, that being the case, why is President Obama pushing for fatherless families—or, more specifically, for a new form of American family that is fatherless?

The answer, of course, is gay marriage. With their sudden embrace of gay marriage, Obama and liberals/progressives nationwide are unrelentingly advocating a redefinition of family that embraces fatherless families. Think about it: married female-female parents will be households without dads.

In so doing, liberals are shattering a rare consensus they had nurtured with conservatives. There are few things that liberals and conservatives agree upon, but one was the crucial importance of children being raised in a home with a dad, and a mom.

That principle remains unchanged. What has changed, however, is liberals/progressives fierce acceptance and advancement of gay marriage. In this rapid push, they are jettisoning this national consensus on fathers. As for those who disagree with their new paradigm, they are derided as cruel, thoughtless bigots.

Actually, what today’s liberals are advocating is even more radical. They are pushing not only for fatherless families but also, conversely, motherless families. Think about it: married male-male parents will be households without moms.

Liberals always appeal to our emotions regarding children: What about the children? Well, yes, what about the children?

As Barack Obama said in 2008, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that children need fathers, and mothers.

For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.

Dr. Paul Kengor

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Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • Gail Finke

    Many of the proponents of SSM say that having two parents is all that matters — because gender equity requires saying that men and women are interchangeable. True? No. Consistent? Yes…

  • Richard III

    Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’m surprised that liberals have stopped (for the moment) at “just” 2 parents (if one doesn’t count divorcees). Oh, I know their already pushing and being pushed for polygamy, but what’s surprising is that it has yet to be fully embraced by the liberal agenda. Or maybe that’s just because the brave voices of what’s left of our vestige of democracy are still saying “NO!”.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Gail, the American Academy of Pediatrics is also saying that having two parents is all that matters. They have come out in favor of same-sex marriage. A longitudinal study in their journal a few years ago showed that grown children raised by lesbian mothers were as well or better adjusted than their counterparts raised by opposite-sex parents.

  • Richard III

    Unfortunately, the AAP is not a reliable, unbiased source. It wasn’t long ago that they and all other medical and health institutions regarded homosexual acts as disordered. Now, most of these institutions have caved into political pressure, releasing statements that have not been fully tested and therefore are not 100% accurate or verifiable. Some children raised by same-sex couples may do just fine, but there is no guarantee that all such children will, and no same-sex couple can conceive or give birth to children. It’s nearly always best for a child to be raised by the married man and woman who conceived him, and when that is impossible or harmful in rare cases, he ought to be placed in the care of another opposite sex couple who are kind, caring, and who know the child and his family well. By no means are same-sex couples necessarily abusive, but the greatest dad in the world can never be a good mom, and the greatest mom ever can never be a good dad. There are some things that just are not shared universally by men and women naturally, so it is best for a child to learn about femininity, sympathy, manners, and sensitivity from a mother and to learn about masculinity, physical activity, sportsmanship, and controlling one’s emotions and passions from a father.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Paul, you are correct that “married female-female parents will be households without dads.” But they will be households with two parents. As I discovered while raising a boy, introducing a second parent into the home dramatically changes the power dynamics. A one-to-one negotiation between parent and child is inherently advantageous to the child when compared with a one-to-two negotiation. And believe me, children learn the art of negotiation at a very early age.

    It doesn’t matter whether the two parents are male or female, as long as role models are available in the extended family and the community.

    Furthermore, if one father is great, then two are even better! Aunts and female cousins, family members, etc., can make up the difference. It’s amazing how creative people/parents can be when faced with an unusual challenge, provided they are invested in the well-being of the child. I’ve seen it work in so many cases. I think it’s time to give these unusual families a break and a thumbs-up.

  • Gail Finke

    Yes. It’s hard to believe that in the face of decades of nearly unanimous evidence that children do best with a mother and a father (not just any two adults), the AAP said that. But they did.

    There is one study that, if interpreted in a certain way, indicates that grown children of lesbians do as well as other children in some areas. It is an anomaly among the few studies that have been done and, considering that the number of children brought up in a same-sex household is very small, no study of the phenomenon can be considered reliable. There just isn’t enough evidence. But all studies show that children of divorced parents do worse in every measurable category, and all studies of gay and lesbian relationships (not parents specifically) show that lesbian relationships break up at far higher rates than opposite-sex couples, which would indicate that if one is concerned with the wellbeing of children, lesbian households are not a good choice.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Yes, this month’s Atlantic Monthly article about same-sex marriage pointed out that women are far more likely to initiate a divorce than men. (New Rule: If you don’t want a divorce, don’t marry a woman.) This is true for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. So I’ll grant you that lesbian parenting may not be optimal, although the outcomes for children of stable lesbian households has been good. However, any search for the “optimal” could lead us into perilous paths of, e.g., denying marriage rights to people of color, to Norwegians, to bowlers, to people under 35, etc. We don’t wanna go there. It gets sticky.

    However, if lesbian households “on average’ break up at a higher rate, gay male households break up at a lower rate, if we are to believe the Atlantic’s sources. So if “break-ups” are a criterion for placing foster children, then I would think male same-sex households would be a good bet.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Liberals are pushing for polygamy? I’m a liberal, and I’m not pushing for polygamy. Do you have any statistics on the number of liberals pushing for polygamy?

  • Sophie Sommers

    Richard, you write that “there’s no guarantee that all children raised by same-sex couples will do just fine.” Is there such a guarantee for children of opposite-sex couples?

    Maybe children should be placed with parents that have the best prospects for raising them well, regardless of those parents’ gender.

  • Pat

    Sophie, it does matter whether the “parents” are 2 males or females.A dad brings things to the table that a mom can’t and vice versa. This is crucial within the structure of daily living.

  • Gail Finke

    You’re being disingenuous. Stability is one of many factors that influences the optimal home environment for children. Every study merely shows what all human societies already know — the mother and father are the basic unit and despite individual exceptions (we all know bad parents) on the whole it is by far the best, most successful way to raise human beings. The reason home stability it’s important is that any alternative to the mother-father home is supposed to replace it as best as possible, which means denying adoption to family situations that are likely to fail, and not pretending that a radical new proposal for engineering society is “just as good as” the universal and eternal model for families. Male-male homosexual partnerships, for example, are in general far more sexualized environments, with far more risk-taking and aberrant behavior — all of which are bad for children’s normal development. Children in these homes are also more likely to be abused. And before you say it — yes, children in single-parent homes, particularly homes headed by mothers who have never married, are also more likely to be abused. That is why laws for divorce should be tightened and laws encouraging marriage should be strengthened. We know what works, that is where resources should be concentrated — not on inventing new rights for people that deprive children of the right to know their parents and their extended families, to be raised by a mother and a father, and to have their best interests in mind.

  • Gail Finke

    This is a straw argument, however many times you make it. There is no guarantee that a speed limit will stop individual drivers from speeding either, but you make it because it is the best and most effective way to keep everyone driving safely. There will alway be unsafe drivers, and there will always be bad parents. Exceptions make bad laws.

  • Richard III

    There is no guarantee for opposite-sex couples, but the odds are much better. Opposite-sex marriage is as old as humanity; the father, mother, and child/children family unit is older than any other social structure. If same-sex marriage is really as normal and natural as its proponents want us to believe, why isn’t it equally old? Why have nearly all lasting cultures condemned it, while celebrating opposite-sex marriage? Why is it much rarer than traditional marriage even in this age of widespread license, liberality, and “tolerance”? Why did most liberals up until VERY recently oppose it?

    Marriage between one man and one woman is the best possible way for children to be conceived, born, and raised within a stable, healthy, loving environment, and the tragic exceptions spring not from problems with the marriage structure, but from one or more bad people within the structure. And those cases are EXCEPTIONS, NOT RULES. The rule is that opposite-sex marriage is very old, universally celebrated, and in most cases beneficial for the children, the couple, and society as a whole. Why mess with success?

  • Richard III

    I do not have any statistics, but polygamy is starting to be pushed in Canada by a group of radicals. Right now, the group is small and has little support, but the same-sex marriage movement started out in the same way. As little as decade ago, only small, scattered groups of ultra-radical liberals wanted legalized and celebrated SSM. Now, it’s almost a universal hallmark of any serious liberal adherent, and some conservatives are starting to jump on the bandwagon.

    I am very happy to hear that you do not support polygamy. Please never do so, for the sake of children, marriage, families, America, and yourself.

  • BB

    I was listening to your segment on Ava Marie radio early this morning about homosexuals and marriage and the Buzz words you said gays use such as defending themselves as being “consenting adults” Really Paul???!! How much time do you actually spend around homosexual people?? Their buzz words are “having equal rights” “VALIDATED” and “LOVE”!! Of which you neglected to refer to as being BUZZ WORDS! I am Catholic and I don’t support what they do as being considered “Married” as in between one MAN and one WOMAN. Yet I don’t agree, with YOUR spin on what you say gays typically go around saying in defense of getting married! If you are going to refer to buzz words..please recheck your sources and report what truly is used!

  • Rosemary

    Look what just happened to Michael Jackson’s daughter. That poor girl has no mom and no dad. She is already lost at 15 years of age, and in desperation, she hurt herself on purpose yesterday.

  • Paul McGuire

    What? “Male-male homosexual partnerships, for example, are in general far more sexualized environments, with far more risk-taking and aberrant behavior ”

    Wouldn’t you think that two men who are mature enough to want to commit to each other in a long term relationship and raise a child together would move past any risky life they lived before settling down? Do you think that all gay men are out there having multiple sex partners? I can assure you that I know plenty of monogamous committed gay couples who are not into all that “risky behavior.”

    Also, there are plenty of studies, even one recently out of Australia that show that same-sex couples are doing just fine raising kids.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/tick-for-samesex-families-20130605-2npxf.html

  • Sophie Sommers

    Richard, you write that polygamy is “starting to be pushed in Canada by a group of radicals.” Haven’t there always been polygamous Mormon families in Canada? Polygamy is still illegal there, though the government has tried to accommodate the Mormons, I believe. So is this anything new?

    The case against polygamy is strong. If it ever becomes as weak as the case against same-sex marriage, then maybe it should be legalized. But I don’t expect that will ever happen.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Well, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the AAP, the two APAs and the ASA are wrong and the new Melbourne study is wrong, and that a mother/father/child configuration is “optimal.” We’re still left with a number of vexing questions.

    First, a family headed by heterosexuals may be optimal by only that single measure but sub-optimal by other measures such as caring, resources, stability, and commitment to the child. As you say, there are many factors that contribute to optimality. Why give extra weighting to the parents’ genders? If the happy, prosperous, and doting same-sex parents pictured in the Atlantic Monthly article can offer a better environment for an adoptee than any heterosexual couple available, then why force a child into a family that is sub-optimal by every other measure? Are you saying that the environment the gay couple offers is sub-optimal by definition? Irredeemably so? Such a conclusion would be even farther out of line with pediatric recommendations than your stated one.

    Second, where do we set the boundary between “optimal” and “suboptimal” parenting arrangements? Should only those couples who can stay in the “optimal” category be allowed to bear children? What would that mean for the institution of marriage? Wouldn’t it further sever marriage from procreation? I thought that everyone who married was supposed to procreate?

    Third, if “optimality” is the bar for procreation or adoption, then what will happen if someone does a study showing that African-Americans do not, on average, provide optimal environments for children? What if we discover that all Romanians are offering sub-optimal conditions for raising children? Or that Italians do a much better job of parenting than Germans?

    This is why I don’t understand your concerns about optimality. I certainly wasn’t raised under optimal conditions, nor was anyone I know. It’s just life. We take the lumps with the gravy and, if we have the wisdom sought by AAs, we learn to know the difference between the things we can change and the things we can’t.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Paul, I think two paragraphs of your linked article bear quoting. (BTW, the sample of 315 gay and lesbian parents was large enough to make the findings significant; the final report is not out yet, but here’s something about the interim report)

    “An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

    However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along.”

  • Sophie Sommers

    Richard, please see my earlier comment to Gail about “optimality.” The majority of pediatric professionals do not agree with you that the “odds are much better” for children raised opposite-sex couples. But let’s assume for a moment that what you claim is true.

    How good do the odds have to be before a couple can bear a child or adopt one? Isn’t marriage about procreation and/or the raising of children, according to Catholic doctrine? It sounds as though you would like to disqualify a lot of married couples from parenting. How does this sit with Church teaching?

  • Richard III

    Nobody is forcing children to leave optimal parents for suboptimal ones by defending traditional marriage and parenting. If a child’s biological birth-parents are in any significant way suboptimal, then all efforts must be made to place the child in the care of another couple that is heterosexual, responsible, and caring. To turn a child over to a heterosexual but abusive and incompetent would be wrong, and nobody here defending families is pushing for that.

  • ML

    Maybe maybe maybe. when is a truth a truth? If something is wrong at one point what determines if it is right at another point in time? If something is right at one point what would determine if it is wrong at another point? Truths don’t change with the whim of society because the majority of people agree or disagree with it?

  • QuoVadisAnima

    “The case against polygamy is strong”? Interesting, because the lawsuits I’ve read about being prepared (if not already put in motion) in our country are using essentially the same argument that homosexual activists have been using. What do you see as the strong argument against it?

  • Sophie Sommers

    QVA, are there some lawsuits in the pipeline? I searched but didn’t find any. Canada recently ruled that its ban on polygamy is not unconstitutional, and polygamy is still illegal in the U.S.

    One problem with polygamy is that is structurally inegalitarian, with all the negative effects that that entails. Studies have shown that women in polygamous marriages are at a greater risk of harmful effects such as low self-esteem and depression, especially during pregnancy, when their husbands are more likely to turn to other women. These women also have more problems in their relationships with their children and they are likely to experience feelings of powerlessness and emotional abuse.

    Another obvious problem with polygyny is that it monopolizes the pool of available mates, leaving many men without wives. This is socially destabilizing.

    I don’t think polygamists will get any traction anytime soon. The arguments against polygamy are solid, and I don’t believe American or Canadian males would ever allow a few of their number to monopolize females.

    Opponents of same-sex marriage are using polygamy as a bugaboo in a slippery-slope argument that is well past its expiration date.

  • Sophie Sommers

    ML, I agree with you that truths don’t change with the whims of society. But sometimes society conveniently ignores certain truths for very long periods of time. In some cases, too, there is insufficient knowledge about certain matters for millennia. I believe we are living in an age when we can finally have a much greater understanding of human sexuality than ever before. Not only is there more reliable information, but it is shared on an absolutely huge scale all across the globe, and thus change is happening very rapidly.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    The news blurbs I saw were too far back (at least a year ago) to remember the details, but I don’t have the time to try to relocate it. Though I do believe there was a recent allusion to them in an article about polyamory (might have been that salon.com article?)

    I find it interesting that you say the arguments are solid, but every issue you present here is similar to the arguments that were used against normalizing the homosexual lifestyle for a very long time – and suddenly all of those reasons have turned out to be “wrong-headed” or “biased” or “homophobic” or “fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-your-favorite-explanation-is”.
    (And now we know that the APA was wrong back when it called homosexuality a deviant & disordered form of human sexuality, but it is right now when it says that it is just another genetic roll of the dice – except that the APA just recently had to recant that genetic defense because the one study turned out not to be scientifically replicable – oops, jumped the gun there – & admitted that environment appears to be the biggest factor. So given their well-replicated desire to put opinions before science which APA position are we to believe?)

    Given this precedent of now-it’s-deviant-now-it’s not, why are you so certain that a new level of “enlightenment” is not going to happen with other forms of sexuality that are currently considered deviant but could well be the new “normal” tomorrow? So Canada is still stuck in the dark ages of anti-Mormonism or sexually restrictive prudity or something, but some day they will stop discriminating against people who just want to have their love recognized by society – it doesn’t affect anyone else & what people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no one else’s business, etc, etc. We probably have more information about children being raised in a polygamist household than a same sex one – whose research are we to believe? That produced by people who are biased against polygamy or that from people who are open to its gifts? And the women and children are only negatively affected because society is so judgmental and condemning – otherwise they would be just fine…

    As for the bugaboo argument, have you not seen the recent effort to present pedophilia & pederasty in a more sympathetic light?

  • ML

    change does not make the truth change. The truth is the truth at anytime in history. Our perception may change, we may change and move toward or away from truth, and still announce we have the truth because the majority of people now claim as we do. But I would say this is a very deceptive reality. When one holds to a very basic truth…let say a rose is a rose. I ‘ve always believed it to be a rose and always known it as a rose. But a new thought came up and said we should really call it a thistle because it has thorns on it. People began agreeing and decided to change the name because enough people agreed. But there were still some people who believed it to be a rose because they saw the beauty in the rose and could never image calling it anything else. So my question is, would it be a rose or a thistle?

  • pnyikos

    “consenting adults” is just as much a combination of buzz words as the others. It is invoked whenever people warn that there is a slippery slope, the next step in which is to legitimate consenting sex between all adolescents, and between an adult and an adolescent. NAMBLA is already on record during the last two decades about being in favor of that, and there is plenty of sympathy in society for that next step.

    Don’t be fooled by the hue and cry about “Priestly pedophilia” — misnamed because the vast majority of cases fall under the rubric of adult-adolescent sex. The stock fallback of NAMBLA, etc. is that it isn’t the sexual activity, but the abuse of the priest’s position of authority, and the blatant hypocrisy of the supposedly holy priest, that is the real issue.

  • pnyikos

    Sophie, what you say has to be balanced against the tendency of children to play off one parent against the other. This is aggravated by the fact that parents, being human and having lived apart from each other before adulthood in different (perhaps radically different) families, are bound to have different opinions about what is best for the children.

    Compromise, in order to present a united front against children, is not usually satisfying to both parents, and often is not satisfying to either.

    As for grandparents, aunts, and uncles — in some cases, the further away they are and the less they have to do with the children, the better. The really good ones, who know how to help without interfering, are in the minority.

  • pnyikos

    Sophie, could it be that the harmony between you and your (current?) husband on raising children is due to the fact that he defers to your judgment about what is best for your children, inasmuch as you knew them well before he did?

  • pnyikos

    About those gay male households, Sophie: how many of them have “open marriages” in which adultery is perfectly acceptable, as it was between the young heterosexual couple in the movie “10″?

    If you saw it, you may recall the classic line of the young woman in the title role (played by Bo Derek), when the older would-be adulterer was shocked when he learned that she wasn’t bothered by her husband knowing she was having an affair.

    When he concluded with saying that he thought they had a problem, she countered “I think you are the one with the problem.”

    By the way, that line summarizes a great deal of the Gay Power movement. For instance, after intimidating the American Psychiatric Association into dropping the classification of homosexuality as a mental disease, they coined the word “homophobia.” Thus the Catholic Church, with its belief that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” is supposed to be “the one with the problem”–a phobia, an irrational fear.

  • Richard III

    And the question remains, just what is the definition of “consent”? This could very easily lead to cases where one of the partners appeared to be willing by whatever standards or definitions there are, when they really weren’t, and it could lead to people who emphatically don’t consent being molested by people who do.

  • Mary Anne

    Keep it simple. HONOR YOUR FATHER “AND” YOUR MOTHER (that would be #4).

  • pnyikos

    Sophie, do not confuse the entire AAP etc. with a report put out by a tiny handful, nor even a statement voted on by a small minority.

    I used to be a member of the American Mathematical Society, by far the biggest organization of research mathematicians in the USA. One of the things that made me drop my membership is that a vote was taken at a national meeting attended by less than five percent of the members as to whether to boycott any state that had not passed the national Equal Rights Amendment.

    The motion passed, and the vote was binding on the whole AMS.

    You may be heartily glad of this oligarchial decision, because of the way one state ERA after another has been ruled by the State Supreme Court to mandate same-sex marriage. But back in those days (early 1980′s) anyone who predicted that the ERA would have that effect would have been ridiculed.

  • Sophie Sommers

    QVA, you say that the issues I raised against polygamy are similar to the arguments that were once used against normalizing homosexuality. The first issue I raised was that polygamy is inegalitarian. I never heard that argument used against homosexuality. The second one was about women’s lower-self esteem as a result of sharing the affections of their husbands. But low self-esteem among homosexuals was mostly a result of their being stigmatized. Feelings of powerless and emotional abuse, troubles with children? These weren’t associated with homosexuality any more than with heterosexuality. Monopolizing the pool of males? Well, pooling “out” gay men together is not exactly a problem unless you’d prefer them to get into the straight marriage pool where they will break women’s hearts and contribute to divorce rates.

    You write that polygamy doesn’t affect anyone else, but it does, for the reasons that I gave, especially the monopolization of females.

    I realize that opponents of same-sex marriage like to suggest that there is massive confusion about homosexuality and child-rearing in the medical and social services sector. But there is not. All those organizations, the AMA, the two APAs, the AAP, the ASA, the World Health Organization, and others, are unanimous that homosexuality is not a disorder and that same-sex parenting is not bad for children.

    Polygamy, pedophilia, and pederasty are all bugaboos used in fighting same-sex marriage and parenting. This is not to say they don’t exist or that they’re not problems. But they are separate issues, and there are solid consequentialists (“harm”) arguments against each of them, while there are no valid consequentialist arguments against homosexuality or same-sex marriage and parenting.

  • Sophie Sommers

    ML, I’m assuming your rose/thistle analogy was regarding same-sex marriage or the status of homosexuality over the years.

    But a rose is a genus of plants, marriage is an evolving institution, and homosexuality is a sexual orientation. While our knowledge of roses may have improved over the years, the rose is essentially what it has been since earliest recorded history, and to call it a thistle would simply be wrong. It is objectively not a thistle.

    Marriage has taken many forms over the centuries, uniting mostly men and women in various configurations and for various purposes. There is no reason why it should not evolve to include same-sex couples, and it has already done so.

    Homosexuality is like a plant about which little was known until recently. But it’s not like a rose. Many people are disturbed that it no longer carries the strongly negative associations that it once did, but more and more people are figuring it out.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Pnyikos, in your account, the AMS voted on a political policy that had nothing to do with math. By contrast, the decisions of the two APAs, the AAP, the ASA, the AMA, and the World Health Organization were about a matter of great concern to health professionals everywhere. They saw that negative public perceptions of homosexuality were not justified by the science that they were trained to apply. They correctly saw that these negative perceptions were themselves creating a dysfunctional class of people who were more prone to suicide, depression, substance-abuse, and high-risk sexual behavior. It was a public health issue, and these organizations spotted one of the major sources of the problem.

  • Sophie Sommers

    Pnyikos, I have no information regarding the gay male households used in the Melbourne study, and I am not about to make any assumptions about them.

    I think you are mistaken to conclude that an inversion of values (of the kind you described) is always wrong. Each case must be judged on its own merits. Bo Derek’s response, “I think you are the one with the problem” certainly seems problematic to me as well as to you, but not because it inverts values. It does so because it wrongly inverts them as far as I am concerned.

    If the subject had been racism instead of adultery, I think we might both have identified with a character who says to a Southern white racist sheriff, “Sir, I think you are the one with the problem.” That’s where the audience cheers.

  • Sophie Sommers

    BTW, Richard, I meant to ask you: If the AAP is not a reliable, unbiased source of information and opinion about pediatric issues, then who is?

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Perhaps I have misunderstood how you are applying the word “inegalitarian” here. At Dictionary.com it is defined as “lacking in or disdaining equality”. Merriam-Webster defines it as “marked by disparity in social and economic standing”. Rather than wasting both of our time throwing guesses out about what you mean, please explain more specifically in what manner you consider polygamy to be inegalitarian.

    As for low self esteem, are you not aware that originally homosexuality itself was believed to be the reason for it (supported by once gold standard research), but now we are enlightened & understand that it is the stigmatization by society that causes it? So polygamy might be currently thought to cause low self esteem (it depends who you ask, of course), but new studies may yet reveal that it is the stigmatization of these relationships by society that cause it. As for the monopolizing of the gender pool, don’t be silly – women are free to have multiple husbands as well if they want – we’re an equal opportunity society & gender is just a social construct anyway so don’t fence people in according to your old-fashioned, rigid, prudish standards – people should be able to live and love they want without having to bow to the expectations that others want to force on them.

    I find it amusing in a sad, painful sort of way that you insist the line of demarcation is clear even while the sand is eroding under our feet. Perhaps I have spent more time talking to the activists than you? I don’t know, but I promise you that I am not making this stuff up – I am parroting to you
    the very arguments that have been expressed to me by Legion (editing out the ones that you will dismiss as too extreme to count, though it’s not as if the radicals are having no influence or effect on these issues).

    Why bother throwing all your lettered organizations at me even after I pointed out to you how they have already been shown to be bowing to political pressure & ignoring science on at least one major issue in this debate? That makes little sense. They leapt from a recognition that homosexuality is not a mental illness to the unsupported & unscientific
    conclusion that there’s nothing disordered about it at all. That logic is on par with concluding that some animal mothers in nature do not develop the nurturing instinct & attack or eat their own young – it’s a natural occurence that’s a biological aberration rather than a mental illness so therefore it must be okay!

    Here is another example of why these so-called science and health organizations have little credibility:
    “Headlines are full of a new Australian “interim report” that studied kids with homosexual parents — one that reportedly shows “children of same-sex couples thriving.” Not surprisingly, the motivation for the research may be more
    political than academic. Just last year, the Australian Parliament rejected the redefinition of marriage — but the pressure from liberals is still on.”

    “Homosexual activists around the world are desperate to counter the “gold-standard” research released last year by University of Texas sociologist Dr. Mark Regnerus. His study, which surveyed upwards of 5,000 people, showed that children with a parent who had a homosexual relationship suffered serious deficits on a wide range of outcomes. Regnerus responded to the reports out of Australia, criticizing it for its methodological weaknesses. Unlike Regnerus’s
    survey, the Australian authors refused to use a random sample and instead recruited participants at local gay and lesbian groups.”

    “Simply put,” Regnerus says, “its participants are likely very aware of the political import of the study topic, and an unknown number of them probably signed up for that very reason. As a result, I’m just not sure I trust their
    self-reports, which may be subject to considerable ‘social desirability bias,’ or the tendency to portray oneself on surveys as better than one actually is.”

    “Also, this study is not limited to kids raised by same-sex
    “couples” — it’s a study of “children… with at least one parent who self identifies as being same-sex attracted.” Ironically, one of the chief criticisms of Regnerus was that his subjects were not necessarily raised by same-sex couples (a point he made clear). If that limited the relevance of Regnerus’s research to the debate over the same-sex “marriage,” as critics claimed, then surely the same is true of the Australian study.”

  • Richard III

    Anyone like Regenerus who conducts broad, objective experiments, gathers data, publishes it, and presents it in a clear unbiased manner, stating exactly what is and isn’t covered in the study and what is or isn’t conclusive or probable. Also anyone who meets the above criteria and isn’t afraid of being insulted or blacklisted with or without warrant by anyone who doesn’t like what he, she, or they have to say.

  • Sophie

    Richard, I gather from what you’ve said that you haven’t looked very closely into the Regnerus study. If you are genuinely interested in it, I can provide links that will open your eyes. Regnerus has pretty much destroyed his own credibility with the American Sociological Association and with the world of scientific scholarship in general. It’s not just that they didn’t like what he had to say, it was that his study was seriously flawed and he violated the ASA’s code of ethics on about four counts, mainly having to do with egregious conflicts of interest. Could it be that you favor Regnerus over the ASA because you like what he had to say? Science and ideology are not a good mix.

  • Sophie

    QVA: Do you really fail to see how a polygamous relationship would be inherently inegalitarian? Can you not imagine how powerless a woman must feel when she must share her husband with multiple other females? She has relatively little leverage with him, but his leverage with her is grotesquely amplified.

    If you find nothing wrong with polygamy, then why are you opposed to it?

    Yes, I am aware that psychologists once thought homosexuality caused low self-esteem. They also had a number of other mistaken ideas. Ever hear of phrenology?

    Women’s low self-esteem in a polygamous relationship may in fact be partly caused by social stigmatization, but their husbands don’t seem to be much affected by it, which suggests that the real issue is the power imbalance in the relationship.

    If polygamy were legal, I doubt you would see very many polyandrous households (one wife, multiple husbands). The “pool monopolization” problem really only works in one direction. What women would be “free” to do hardly matters. It’s what they “want” to do that does.

    Who has shown that all my lettered organizations have bowed to political pressure and ignored science? The Catholic press?

    Why do you say that the declassification of homosexuality is “unsupported and unscientific?” What is your standard? Is this just your opinion, or can you cite any institutional opinion that carries more combined weight than that of the numerous scientific associations that I cited? Whom should I believe—you, or the World Health Organization?

    Are you saying that the results of the Melbourne study were skewed by political pressure? Do you have any proof of this, or is it just a baseless charge?

    As you pointed out, Regnerus faults the Melbourne study for precisely the same reasons that his study was faulted, i.e., its samples not being limited to kids raised by same-sex couples. I don’t know yet whether what he claims is true about the Melbourne study, but I do know that it was true of his own study, in which only one or two of the respondents had actually been raised by a same-sex couple.

  • Jason

    A must listen concerning the homosexual marriage agenda from the mouths and minds of homosexual marriage activists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ebw3hEeU5KE

  • QuoVadisAnima

    (This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad – you really cannot see it, can you?)

    You are projecting your own assumptions & mistaken beliefs about polygamy on others; who are you to interfere with the freely made choices by consenting adults? Isn’t it more likely that a woman who willingly accepts a non-dominant position is actually the kind of person who is more prone to low self esteem rather than the other way around? And women can have multiple husbands, so the inegalitarian relationships you see actually are not unequal because women are allowed the exact same “power” positions as men if they choose them. Everyone gets to choose & freely consent so it’s all good. And if someone decides they are unhappy or made a mistake, it’s not like they’re stuck. Heteros divorce all the time so polygamists shouldn’t have to bear any reproaches if they decide to do so down the line either.

    If psychology has been wrong before (& we both at least agree that they have, even if not necessarily in agreement about what), then what gives you the confidence that they are right in this 180 on homosexuality? Especially given their recent admission that their previous declaration that homosexuality is genetic has not borne out scientifically to be true. So why would you trust an organization that would make ANY assertion as fact without sufficient evidence to substantiate such an assertion? Such a group is completely unreliable no matter which side of the argument you’re on.

    As for the Melbourne study, again you ask for proof even as it is given to you – Regnerus points out that they deliberately sought out participants with a substantially higher likelihood of bias, along with the hypocrisy that the Melbourne study blatantly did what he was accused of doing. And you want to know if there is any proof that the Melbourne study was skewed? LOL! Gee, never mind how it looks, let’s ask them – I’m sure we can trust that whatever they answer will be honest.
    As for the WHO, good thing they are there benevolently & disinterestedly saving us from pandemics like H1N1 with their stock, I mean stocking up, in pharma’s anti-flu drugs & vaccines – nope, no political agendas or corruption there at all… ;-)

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