Monday, September 3, 2012

The Death of the Traditional Family?

Interesting piece at Salon:
If you want what’s best for your kids, one surefire way to provide them with a healthy, happy home is to make sure they have lesbian parents. In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date, zero percent of children reported physical or sexual abuse—not a one. In the general population, 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.

When this news broke, the responses were mixed: It spread like wildfire among LGBT groups and news outlets, the mainstream media reported it as the latest in recent news about LGBT parents being as up to par as straight parents, and—unsurprisingly—conservative groups picked the study apart, trying to find reasons why it was incorrect.

No matter the reactions, however, the study undoubtedly put yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional notion that children need both a mother and a father. This research was just one study in a long line of work showing that children of same-sex parents are just as well adjusted and happy as those raised by heterosexual parents.

A five-year review of eighty-one parenting studies published in the 2010 Journal of Marriage and Family, for example, reported that children raised by same-sex parents are “statistically indistinguishable” from those raised by straight parents in terms of self-esteem, academics, and social adjustment. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association all agree that same-sex couples are just as fit to parent as their heterosexual counterparts.

Today’s “perfect” family is not what it used to be.

In the United States, 29.5 percent of children live in single-parent households (up 10 percent from 1980) and 40.6 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers (up 22 percent since 1980). Most of those unmarried moms are actually in relationships, and a study from Princeton and Columbia, which followed more than five thousand children from birth, found that more than 50 percent of the unmarried parents they studied were living together at the time their baby was born, while 30 percent were in a relationship but not living together.

The use of reproductive technology by straight, gay, married, or unmarried couples is on the rise, and the way Americans choose to create their families is increasingly more fluid. The nuclear family is on the way out.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, reported similar findings circa 2006:

"The 30-year search for proof that gay parents are destructive looks a lot like the hunt for WMD. The American Psychological Association has compiled abstracts of 67 studies. Some are plainly biased, and only the latest two or three have avoided the methodological flaws of earlier investigations. But after 67 tries, you'd expect the harm of gay parenting to show up somewhere. Yet in study after study, on measure after measure, kids turn out the same...

...Such unwelcome findings haven't chastened the antigay lobby any more than they've chastened the Bush administration. If the direct evidence doesn't bear you out, look for indirect evidence. So conservatives have developed a subtler argument: On average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents.
Let's take this argument a piece at a time. It's true that two parents are better than one. It's also true that married parents are better than unmarried ones. But those aren't arguments against gay parenthood. They're arguments for gay marriage.

...The Family Research Council says lesbians are dangerous parents because of their "high prevalence of life events and behaviors related to mental health problems," particularly rapes and sexual attacks. But if you look up the study cited by the council, guess who committed virtually all of the rapes and sexual attacks? Men.
You want to protect kids? Here's my proposed constitutional amendment: "Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union involving at least one woman."

Leah said...

As a lesbian and future foster/adoptive parent, I loved this. Thanks for covering news related to adoption by same-sex couples! I've often felt alienated by the hyper-Christian, heterocentric adoption blog culture, particularly in the realm of special needs adoption (which I'm planning to pursue). So thanks for being an ally. It truly means a lot.

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Leah said...

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