It’s Not About the Children

Commenting on the recent study showing that children raised by homosexuals have worse outcomes in a number of areas, David French comes to the following conclusion:

“There could exist definitive social science that homosexual families produce — on average — worse outcomes for their children than heterosexual families, and the fervor of the gay-marriage advocates would be undimmed. After all (and like no-fault divorce), the case for gay marriage has never been about the welfare of children, but instead, the fulfillment of adults.”

Many gay marriage advocates respond to opponents by questioning why they don’t concentrate their efforts on more pervasive marriage problems like easy divorce, adultery and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. To that I would respond that those phenomena, including the push for gay marriage, stem from the same impulse that is central to the philosophy of the secular left – that is that satisfying one’s sexual desires trumps virtually every other good, including the well-being of children.

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13 Responses to It’s Not About the Children

  1. So what was your opinion of these “scientific” studies when they ruled in favor of gay parents? I’m assuming you found them invalid and worthless for your own ideological reasons, whether you deeply investigated their claims and methods or not.

    That some gay couples will not make good parents is a given (just as it is a given that many heterosexuals will not make fit parents).

    That’s a gay *adoption* issue, not a civil marriage issue. How many times do I have to explain this to you? If a broad study that was peer-reviewed strongly suggested that children of gay parents do not fare as well in key psychological areas, then yes, I’d recommend that preferential treatment be given to heterosexual couples for adoption. Unlike you, I’m not a rigid ideologue.

    That being said, it would NOT, however, change my mind regarding the validity of gay marriage as civil marriage provides legal and sociological benefits that extend beyond any children that may or may not result from it.

    If you’re going to demand that society not recognize the relationship of any couple that will not make optimal parents, then demand it across the board, not just when gays are involved because you happen to dislike gays. If you’re not going to be consistent, don’t bother pretending you’re operating out of principle rather than prejudice.

  2. Mike D says:

    those phenomena, including the push for gay marriage, stem from the same impulse that is central to the philosophy of the secular left – that is that satisfying one’s sexual desires trumps virtually every other good

    Wow, you got us! That’s exactly what we believe! We’ve been had by another righteous Christian sleuth! You were far too keen for us to slip anything past you. We masquerade under a veil of noble things like “equal rights under the law” and “the autonomy of women” and “ending discrimination based on gender and/or sexual orientation” and “educating children about sexuality so they can make informed, responsible decisions”… but really we just want everyone to GIT IT AWN. Heck I’m only an atheist because of all the fantastic atheist orgies I attend on a weekly basis.

  3. jackhudson says:

    Wow, you got us! That’s exactly what we believe! We’ve been had by another righteous Christian sleuth! You were far too keen for us to slip anything past you. We masquerade under a veil of noble things like “equal rights under the law” and “the autonomy of women” and “ending discrimination based on gender and/or sexual orientation” and “educating children about sexuality so they can make informed, responsible decisions”… but really we just want everyone to GIT IT AWN. Heck I’m only an atheist because of all the fantastic atheist orgies I attend on a weekly basis.

    I know you are too young to remember the late ‘60s and ‘70s Mike, but one of the primary impetuses for the current acceptance of homosexual marriage was the sexual revolution that occurred during that time. Pinker acknowledges as one of the decaying events that impacted the rise in violence in the late 70’s and 80’s.
    And given your own advocacy of pornography as good for a society, I would say I am not all that impressed with your concern for educating children about sexuality.

  4. No, fulfilling sexual desire does not virtually trump every other good. As a card carrying liberal, I don’t know of one liberal who thinks this way. Not one, and unlike Mike D , I am old enough to remember the 60’s and 70’s.

    Sexual freedom came when a new generation of adults cast aside the Christian prohibitions that kept them sexually repressed. The availability of Birth control did more to free us sexually than anything else. Like our post war parents, we learned that sex was fun and pleasurable and that procreation needn’t be the only reason for having sex.

    Yes, our 60’s and 70’s beliefs about sexuality do inform our current beliefs about homosexuality. While my generation was somewhat homophobic, we recognized that what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of our business.

    Our children have continued in our steps. Most of them are indifferent to homosexuality. They recognize the importance of every American having the same civil rights, regardless of who a person has sex with.

    Attempts to drag America back to a pre-sexual freedom era (and I question if there really was one to start with) will surely fail. Christians are certainly free to live according to what they believe the Bible says about sexuality but they have no right to demand that everyone play by their rules. This is a secular state and religious strictures concerning sexuality should play no part in the legal code.

    Homosexuals can be good or bad people just like heterosexuals. Their goodness or badness has nothing to do with how they have sex and with who.

  5. Johno Pearce says:

    This is pretty bad social science you, yourself, Jack, have done. In fact, it’s worse than that. The Regnerus study refers to a parent who has had a same-sex relationship. Not same-sex parents. These are two different things. Just reading the abstract would tell you this. Sort it out.

    So the study compares respondents whose parents had had same sex relationships. it is not clear whether that meant throughout their childhood, whether it was a one-off or what. But if the control group is the married heterosexual group, then this is not a fair test, since,

    ” It does not evaluate the offspring of gay marriages, since the vast majority of its respondents came of age prior to the legalization of gay marriage in several states.”

    The study’s author, from the author’ s writing, comes from a clearly biased point of view. I don’t think there’s any hiding his beliefs on the matter.

    The three French points amount to this and this only: statistical analyses so far have relied on small samples.

    So basically, you have nothing to say either way here.

    Until there can be a longitudinal study involving a large sample of people including gay married, then it is all moot.

    BUT the BIGGEST problem is this:

    The outcomes of adolescents brought up in gay relationships is contingent upon the respect they are given by society. For example, what do you think the outcome of a child of a gay relationship would be if they were picketed consistently by Christian fundies with placards shouting “God hates fags!”? How would they feel if peers at school and college are consistently telling them their parents would end up burning in hell for eternity? Does Regnerus factor this in? No, it is not a causal study. Does he even acknowledge the weaknesses of the study? Not that I can see. This is the best Regnerus does, which in effect negates all the reat of his conclusions:

    “Although the findings reported herein may be explicable in part by a variety of forces uniquely problematic for child development in lesbian and gay families—including a lack of social support for parents, stress exposure resulting from persistent stigma, and modest or absent legal security for their parental and romantic relationship statuses—the empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go. While it is certainly accurate to affirm that sexual orientation or parental sexual behavior need have nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent, the data evaluated herein using population-based estimates drawn from a large, nationally-representative sample of young Americans suggest that it may affect the reality of family experiences among a significant number.”

    Now, I am agnostic about the outcomes of kids from gay relationships. But I will NOT allow my prejudice and presupposed ideals of what gay relationships will do to get in the way of reality. Until you and yours can stop your sexual bigotry, then there will never be a fair sample who don’t suffer from the disadvantage of living in a society where fundamentalists can cause them social damage and then blame the damaged outcomes on the fact that their parents were gay.

  6. subayaitori says:

    “[T]he push for gay marriage stem(s) from the same impulse that is central to the philosophy of the secular left – that is that satisfying one’s sexual desires trumps virtually every other good, including the well-being of children.” –Jack Hudson

    I’m sorry, but this last sentiment is just seriously wrong minded.

    Sexual desires trump virtually every other good? Where the heck are you getting your information?

    Gay marriage is about two people loving one another. Sexual desire is a totally separate issue. Two gays can be happily married and not have sex. I know of a Asexual lesbian couple who recently married. They don’t need sex to be happy–or raise a family.

    You only need sex to produce a family. But the lesbian couple can use artificial insemination, even with sex taken out of the equation, and still manage reproduction and have a family to raise.

    Your sentiment is wrong for this reason, among numerous others. Like, what in tarnation does sexual orientation have to do with sexual desire, let alone the secular left?

    Really, it has nothing to do with the secular left and your misrepresentation of whatever you think it is the left is sponsoring.

    I can tell you, as someone who moved from extreme conservative to liberal, the right has more sexual hook-ups than the left–just generally speaking. The left is more open, sure, but being comfortable with sex isn’t the same as being a nympho–or whatever you think happens when you embrace your sexuality.

    The problem is, you’re not trying to embrace who you are, you’re trying to make others be like you, dictate who they can and can’t make love to, because you have it in your mind that that’s somehow a bad thing.

    I think both JP and Bruce made excellent points, and you should listen to them instead of trying to debate who is more right. The entire reason we are responding to this comment you’ve made is because it is so outrageous as to be offensive.

    Maybe try not to be so crass and attempt to temper your language better next time. I’d hate to tell you how to blog, but it’s the best advice I ever got, from a professional historian, who saw the value in what I was trying to say–but noticed how I was saying it was interfering with the message.

    It seems you could benefit from the same.

  7. Johno Pearce says:

    Some good points well made, Suba.

  8. Harry says:

    Lol I love Mike’s comment! Gave me a tickle in the middle.

  9. jackhudson says:

    No, fulfilling sexual desire does not virtually trump every other good. As a card carrying liberal, I don’t know of one liberal who thinks this way. Not one, and unlike Mike D , I am old enough to remember the 60′s and 70′s.
    Sexual freedom came when a new generation of adults cast aside the Christian prohibitions that kept them sexually repressed. The availability of Birth control did more to free us sexually than anything else. Like our post war parents, we learned that sex was fun and pleasurable and that procreation needn’t be the only reason for having sex.

    Well yes, exactly – the sexual revolution uncoupled sex from the consequences of sex – primarily pregnancy. Once sex ceases to be a procreative act, what remains? What remains is primarily the pursuit of pleasure. That is exactly what I said, and you seem to have just affirmed it in part. What followed was increased extramarital sexuality, increased divorce rates, and ironically an increase in the number of out of wedlock births.

    Yes, our 60′s and 70′s beliefs about sexuality do inform our current beliefs about homosexuality. While my generation was somewhat homophobic, we recognized that what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of our business.

    Again you are agreeing with me – yes, the views of the sexual revolution of the ‘60s are connected to the gay marriage movement today. And while I actually agree the bedroom shouldn’t be the purview of the state, what the gay agenda is asking for is for the state to sanction what they do in the bedroom.

    Our children have continued in our steps. Most of them are indifferent to homosexuality. They recognize the importance of every American having the same civil rights, regardless of who a person has sex with.

    Our children are certainly more familiar with homosexuality, as they are with pornography, divorce and out of wedlock sex. I don’t know this is a good thing given the downsides associated with those phenomena.

    Attempts to drag America back to a pre-sexual freedom era (and I question if there really was one to start with) will surely fail. Christians are certainly free to live according to what they believe the Bible says about sexuality but they have no right to demand that everyone play by their rules. This is a secular state and religious strictures concerning sexuality should play no part in the legal code.

    Not sanctioning homosexual marriage is hardly dragging America back to pre-sexual freedom era. And there is no indication that is the desire or effort of Christianity – but the question must be asked – what is the endgame? Can secular leftism impose any limits on human sexuality? Polygamy? Beastiality? Incestuous behaviors or child pornography? Our ‘sexual freedom’ has already created a huge international market for young women to be bought and sold. We have in effect reinstated a form of modern slavery to feed the appetites of Western libertines who now have no limits on their behaviors. Where do you imagine it ends?

    Homosexuals can be good or bad people just like heterosexuals. Their goodness or badness has nothing to do with how they have sex and with who.

    That’s the point – this is all about who has sex with whom, homosexuality has nothing to do with forming families and caring for children.

  10. jackhudson says:

    Sexual desires trump virtually every other good? Where the heck are you getting your information?
    Gay marriage is about two people loving one another. Sexual desire is a totally separate issue. Two gays can be happily married and not have sex. I know of a Asexual lesbian couple who recently married. They don’t need sex to be happy–or raise a family.

    I appreciate your ability to share an anecdote about some person or persons who you ‘know’ who are acting in a way completely contrary to most human beings, but rare cases don’t really inform us about why social movements occur.

    For example, children raised by a single parent can go on to live lives little different than their counterparts from two parent families, but statistically that isn’t the case. I imagine there are a few couples (both gay and straight) who are content to be abstinent while married, but for the overwhelming majority sex and marriage are connected. And obviously if they consider themselves lesbians, they are identifying themselves based on their sexual attractions – it doesn’t just mean you ‘love’ someone, I love a number of men, but I am not sexually attracted to them. So the idea still holds, that the relationship promotes one’s sexual interests above those of forming a biological family, even if that sexual interest only extends to attraction and not a practice.

    You only need sex to produce a family. But the lesbian couple can use artificial insemination, even with sex taken out of the equation, and still manage reproduction and have a family to raise.

    Sure, they can involve a third party and essentially deny a child the ordinary biological bonding that comes between a father and child. But that would be subverting a child’s interests to their own relationship which stems from their sexual attractions. And raising a family in a healthy way (per the study French refers to) requires more than merely producing a child in some manner or other.

    Your sentiment is wrong for this reason, among numerous others. Like, what in tarnation does sexual orientation have to do with sexual desire, let alone the secular left?

    Sexual orientation is obviously a product of one’s sexual desire. That seems like a pretty close connection. The secular left has historically been an advocate of tying happiness to the pursuit of satisfying one’s sexual desires.

    Really, it has nothing to do with the secular left and your misrepresentation of whatever you think it is the left is sponsoring.

    I think there is a close connection. In fact you admit such a connection below in your own life. As our society has become more secular it has become more amenable to lifestyles that prioritize sexual satisfaction over fidelity to family commitments. This is reflected in statistics about out of wedlock births and extramarital sex and the wide utilization of pornography. It is no coincidence that ideas of ‘free love’ and ‘do what feels right’ coincided with the leftist youth movements of the sixties. Even Pinker recognized this in his latest book.

    I can tell you, as someone who moved from extreme conservative to liberal, the right has more sexual hook-ups than the left–just generally speaking. The left is more open, sure, but being comfortable with sex isn’t the same as being a nympho–or whatever you think happens when you embrace your sexuality.

    So you are making a connection between becoming more secular and to the left, and your own expanding views on sexuality? Thank you for demonstrating my point. That is exactly what I am saying.

    The problem is, you’re not trying to embrace who you are, you’re trying to make others be like you, dictate who they can and can’t make love to, because you have it in your mind that that’s somehow a bad thing.

    Would you extend this philosophy to someone who was sexually attracted to minors? Why or why not?

    I think both JP and Bruce made excellent points, and you should listen to them instead of trying to debate who is more right. The entire reason we are responding to this comment you’ve made is because it is so outrageous as to be offensive.

    Actually I didn’t make the original comments, merely agreed with what the legal scholar and social commentator David French said. And the comments of yourself and others seem to verify that your secularism and left-wing political ideologies inform your views of sexuality. You yourself admitted they were joined together.

    Maybe try not to be so crass and attempt to temper your language better next time. I’d hate to tell you how to blog, but it’s the best advice I ever got, from a professional historian, who saw the value in what I was trying to say–but noticed how I was saying it was interfering with the message.

    What ‘langauge’? In what way was I crass? I didn’t call anyone a name or accuse them of anything they haven’t stated publicly on this blog or others. I didn’t use harsh language in any way. I am straight forward Tristan, but I didn’t attack anyone. This despite your claims about my personal motivations and the sarcasm of others. I think you need to get the log out of your own eye first.

  11. jackhudson says:

    This is pretty bad social science you, yourself, Jack, have done. In fact, it’s worse than that. The Regnerus study refers to a parent who has had a same-sex relationship. Not same-sex parents. These are two different things. Just reading the abstract would tell you this. Sort it out.
    So the study compares respondents whose parents had had same sex relationships. it is not clear whether that meant throughout their childhood, whether it was a one-off or what. But if the control group is the married heterosexual group, then this is not a fair test, since,
    ” It does not evaluate the offspring of gay marriages, since the vast majority of its respondents came of age prior to the legalization of gay marriage in several states.”
    The study’s author, from the author’ s writing, comes from a clearly biased point of view. I don’t think there’s any hiding his beliefs on the matter.
    The three French points amount to this and this only: statistical analyses so far have relied on small samples.
    So basically, you have nothing to say either way here.

    Actually, French comes to this conclusion:

    it is going to be extraordinarily difficult to generate anything close to a statistically reliable, apples-to-apples comparison between heterosexual and homosexual families. Homosexual families, after all, can’t have biological children, so with the narrow exception of those homosexual families who adopt babies or very young children, there will typically be a third parent in the picture. Married heterosexual families by default provide a level of inherent stability (unless disrupted by divorce or death) that homosexual families do not.

    I don’t know where you get the above quote, or they idea that Regenrus is ‘biased’, but the facts remain he is no more biased than the authors of the previous supportive studies that gay rights advocates confidently cited. And Regenrus study is much more wide-ranging than those previous studies were.

    So there is a lot to say there.

    Until there can be a longitudinal study involving a large sample of people including gay married, then it is all moot.

    As noted above, Regnerus’ study is the largest study to date.

    The outcomes of adolescents brought up in gay relationships is contingent upon the respect they are given by society. For example, what do you think the outcome of a child of a gay relationship would be if they were picketed consistently by Christian fundies with placards shouting “God hates fags!”? How would they feel if peers at school and college are consistently telling them their parents would end up burning in hell for eternity? Does Regnerus factor this in? No, it is not a causal study. Does he even acknowledge the weaknesses of the study? Not that I can see. This is the best Regnerus does, which in effect negates all the reat of his conclusions:

    “Although the findings reported herein may be explicable in part by a variety of forces uniquely problematic for child development in lesbian and gay families—including a lack of social support for parents, stress exposure resulting from persistent stigma, and modest or absent legal security for their parental and romantic relationship statuses—the empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go. While it is certainly accurate to affirm that sexual orientation or parental sexual behavior need have nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent, the data evaluated herein using population-based estimates drawn from a large, nationally-representative sample of young Americans suggest that it may affect the reality of family experiences among a significant number.”

    As someone who has raised one adult and has three teen children, I can tell you that kids who live Christian lives are constantly opposed by their peers, and no little number of adults. A young person who doesn’t party, engage in pre-marital sex or disrespect adult authorities is the most counter-culture figure in our society. They are told by prominent atheist authorities and a number of educational figures that they are dumb, delusional, and dangerous. Outward expressions of their beliefs are discouraged in public venues and they are denigrated with names like ‘fundies’ (see above) and told they are bigots and narrow-minded for not agreeing with our societies views on various subjects.

    And yet, my kids are healthy, confident, socially active, responsible, successful in their pursuits and have excellent relationships with others. So I don’t buy the fact that poor outcomes can be explained by society’s acceptance of one’s lifestyle.

    Now, I am agnostic about the outcomes of kids from gay relationships. But I will NOT allow my prejudice and presupposed ideals of what gay relationships will do to get in the way of reality. Until you and yours can stop your sexual bigotry, then there will never be a fair sample who don’t suffer from the disadvantage of living in a society where fundamentalists can cause them social damage and then blame the damaged outcomes on the fact that their parents were gay.

    I think the problem with this statement is what you appear to be saying is that good outcomes for children raised by homosexuals is dependent upon Christians believing that homosexuals are good parents. Besides begging the question, it is obviously a leap of faith that would require a fairly broad-based social experiment with no empirical support whatsoever. We have tried such social experiments before, and there have been tragic consequences.

  12. Scott Rose says:

    The Rengerus study is sociologically invalid because he makes no valid comparison. He compared young adult children of stable heterosexual marriages to young adult children from a hodgepodge of unstable parent situations, which were not even demonstrated to be “gay” parenting situations. For social science research to be valid, the sociologist must assess causation by holding all other variables constant. Thus, comparing children of heterosexual unstable parents to children of homosexual unstable parents may be valid, but comparing children of unstable heterosexual parents to those of stable homosexual couples would not be valid. The Regnerus study is invalid. So is your gay-bashing bigotry.

  13. jackhudson says:

    He compared over 3,000 young adults and their upbringing – it is one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of it’s kind. I would challenge you to present a larger study which gives better data on the subject. If you can’t than I would have to say it is your opinion which is invalid. So is your anti-family rhetoric.

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