Thursday, June 14, 2012

"No difference" thesis in same-sex parenting "not settled science"

Ana Samuel, "The Kids Aren’t All Right: New Family Structures and the 'No Differences' Claim" (Public Discourse, June 14, 2012).

Our correspondent on retainer in Rome, Zachary Mabee, summarizes:
This is a pretty thorough rundown of some recent research, as well as the more general state of the research, regarding what is commonly called, as the author notes, the "no differences" claim, according to which same-sex couples' child-rearing is statistically on par, more or less, with that of heterosexual couples. While such data, she also notes, is *not* demonstratively or indisputably conclusive, it does seem to suggest that the "no differences" claim, at least in a more straightforward formulation, is not empirically tenable.

[Hat tip to Z.M.]


Robert Allen


As I have already asked ad nauseum, why are we even entertaining this notion? If ever there has been a no-brainer, it is the belief, held since time immemorial, that a child desperately needs a mother (female parent) and a father (male parent). I know you are just trying to be helpful providing us with the latest findings here. It makes me angry, though, that we have to defend something that is so obviously correct. Homosexuals trying to raise children are hell-bent on defying Nature itself; the traditional family is embedded in that system. (It is highly ironic that many of the so-called philosophers egging them on, such as Brian Leiter, call themselves 'Naturalists'.) Their lifestyle is also deeply offensive to those of us with precious little to lay claim to in this Puritanical, money-grubbing society except our vocation as parents.



So gays cant raise productive children??? Who are you to really judge that? God? I think not. Thiks whole issue is not about if gays should raise children well or not. What society needs to look at is whats does a child need. a child needs love, a safe home, a stable home, a honest home, a loving home ect..... If a gay couple or a black and white couple or a single mother or father can establish this for a child than who are you or society to judge them on their parenting skills? Did you think to look at societies negative outlook for the child?? If people would stop judging and be more open minded on what the needs of the child are then maybe the child of a homosexual parents wouldnt be bullied or scared to come and just kill themselfs because "society" wont accept them or give them the human rights that they deserve.....

Pertinacious Papist



Hello, my friend. I see at least three problems with your assumptions:

(1) You seem to assume that gender differences, as well as differences between "fathers," "mothers," "husbands," and "wives," etc., are purely functional, so that any "role-capable" men and women can be plugged into these slots. However, this assumes a purely functionalist or instrumentalist view of persons, which is hugely problematic. A widow must, out of necessity, try to limp along by playing father as well as mother to her children, but even if she remarried so as to give the children a step-father, it's not the same. When one begins introducing other changes, things begin coming apart fast. There is more to a person than a function he can perform; otherwise R2D2 might make a fine "parent." The problems here are too metaphysically consuming to probe further here.

(2) You seem to assume that the research on child-rearing incontestably supports the benefits of same-sex parenting. This is hardly true. Two quick examples: Timothy J. Dailey, PhD, "Homosexual Parenting: Placing children at risk" and Peter Sprigg, "New Study On Homosexual Parents Tops All Previous Research."

(3) You also appear to assume that homosexuals are the only bullied ones. It's true that they seem to be getting the limelight in the media these days, doubtless due in part to the well-known huge same-sex lobbies in the upper echelons of nearly every branch of media and government. But the assumption is incorrect. The shoe is very much on the other foot these days, and same-sex violence against "homophobes" has been around for sometime, as seen in this article by Barbara Kralis, entitled: "The Celebrated Matthew Shepard & The Forgotten Mary Stachowicz" (New Oxford Review, 2003).