April 11th, 2010 by Bethany French

In January of this year, the Journal of Marriage and Family published a study that concluded that it was unnecessary for children to be raised by both a mother and a father. USA today sums up the study here:

Sociologists Stacey and Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California, spent five years reviewing 81 studies of one- and two-parent families, including gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples. “No research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being,” they conclude.

However, Stacey and Biblarz do come to a conclusion that the gender of parents matters!  They seem to believe that straight men are inferior to women and gay men when it comes to parenting!   One of the results of the study found that the gender identity of children raised by same-sex parents was more ambiguous, and Stacey and Biblarz actually come to the conclusion that this is a positive effect, rather than a negative effect.  Dr. Jennifer Morse has consolidated several statements directly from this study which expound on their views:

“Women parenting without men scored higher on warmth and quality of interactions with their children than not only fathers, but also mothers who coparent with husbands.”

“If contemporary mothering and fathering seem to be converging,… research shows that sizable average differences remain that consistently favor women, inside or outside of marriage.”…

“12 year old boys in mother only families (whether lesbian or heterosexual) did not differ from sons raised by a mother and a father on masculinity scales but scored over a standard deviation higher on femininity scales. Thus growing up without a father did not impede masculine development but enabled boys to achieve greater gender flexibility.”

“If, as we expect, future research replicates the finding that fatherless parenting fosters greater gender flexibility in boys, this represents a potential benefit. Research implies that adults with androgynous gender traits may enjoy social psychological advantages over more gender traditional peers.”…

“Thus, it may not be fatherlessness that expands gender capacities in sons but heterosexual fatherlessness. When gay men, lesbians or heterosexual women parent apart from the influence of heterosexual masculinity, they all seem to do so in comparatively gender-flexible ways that may enable their sons to break free from gender constraints as well.”

“Parenting by gay men more closely resembles that by mothers than by most married, heterosexual fathers.”

Are we to come to the conclusion that a child having a loving father in the home is not in the child’s best interest? Is it really a positive thing for the child to potentially have confusion about their gender? That may be the statement these researchers are making, since it is clear that their study showed same-sex or fatherless parenting does have a significant effect on childhood development in this area. However, they are setting aside one of the most important questions of all:  what are the actual experiences and thoughts of a child growing up in a home without a father?  Should we not be asking what is really best for the child?  Following is a Mercator study cited in a previous article here on VOR that specifically takes into account the child’s perspective:

Lesbians raising boys think they can fully compensate for the absence of a father — that fatherlessness is not a problem unless an oppressive society makes it one. But the children do not see it that way:

Parents reported a number of instances where children age four and older would ask about their father. Children would ask someone to be their daddy, ask where their father was, or express the wish to have a father. They would make up their own answers, such as their father was dead, or someone was in fact their father. (10)

Can the “second mommy” compensate for the absence of a father? There is substantial evidence that children benefit from having a second sex represented in the home — not just a second person. Developmental psychologist Norma Radin and her colleagues studied the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren born to adolescent unwed mothers living with their parents. The young children who had positively involved grandfathers displayed more competence than those with an absent or uninvolved grandfather. The presence of the grandmother, on the other hand, did not have a clear-cut impact, suggesting a redundancy between the two forms of maternal influence.(11) Children, especially boys with involved grandfathers, showed less fear, anger, and distress.(12)

Even gay-affirming therapists are noting the problem. In an article entitled, “A Boy and Two Mothers”, Toni Heineman reports that in spite of the pretence that two “mothers” were the same as a mother and father, families had to cope with the reality of an absent father.(13)

Men and women grow up with certain natural expectations about what it means to be a man or a woman. Although activists may claim that these feelings are mere social constructions which they can overcome, in practice nature will always have its way.

The needs and desires that children have for an involved father or father figure are not going to go away.  Children naturally do not want to miss out on either the love of a mother, or the love of a father, in their different expressions!  An excellent quote from Glenn Stanton’s article Fathers Matter sums up some of these differences:

Erik Erikson, a pioneer in the world of child psychology, asserts that a father’s love and a mother’s love are qualitatively different. Fathers “love more dangerously” because their love is more “expectant, more instrumental” than a mother’s love.2 A father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting a child that no one else can replicate.

When we are looking at the family, there is no way to get around the fact that fathers are important.  Heterosexual marriage is important.  Children want their parents to live together and love them in their own unique ways, whether that is politically correct or not!

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January 23rd, 2010 by M. French


Did you know that having both a child’s mother and father involved in their life is of no real significance? That is the conclusion of sociologists quoted in a USA Today article published recently:

Sociologists Stacey and Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California, spent five years reviewing 81 studies of one- and two-parent families, including gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples. “No research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being,” they conclude.

“Children being raised by same-gender parents, on most all of the measures that we care about, self-esteem, school performance, social adjustment and so on, seem to be doing just fine and, in most cases, are statistically indistinguishable from kids raised by married moms and dads on these measures,” Biblarz says.

Did you catch that? “Children being raised by same-gender parents, on most all of the measures that we care about … are statistically indistinguishable from kids raised by married moms and dads on these measures.” Rather than determining that there is no difference between children raised by same-sex couples and those raised by their mother and father, Stacey and Biblarz have decided that according to the measurements they “care about,” there is no discernible difference. What are some of the differences that it would seem these sociologists find unimportant? The following is a section from Dr. Brown’s forthcoming book A Queer Thing Happened to America:

According to Prof. A. Dean Byrd, the meta-analytical study of gay researchers Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz found that lesbian mothers had a feminizing effect on their sons and a masculinizing effect on their daughters. They report: “…the adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste…in other words, once again, children (especially girls) raised by lesbians appear to depart from traditional gender-based norms, while children raised by heterosexual mothers appear to conform to them.”

Yet for Stacey and Biblarz, this was not a negative, and they even suggested that same-sex parenting might be superior. As noted by Dale O’Leary:

Paula Ettelbrick of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force admitted that Stacey and Biblarz had “burst the bubble of one of the best-kept secrets” of the gay community – namely, that the studies it had been using didn’t actually support the claims it was making. Not all gay activists saw this as a problem. Kate Kendall, head of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, who raises two children with her partner, took the Stacey-Biblarz article as good news: “There’s only one response to a study that children raised by lesbian and gay parents may be somewhat more likely to reject notions of rigid sexual orientation – that response has to be elation.”

Originally, the goal with this kind of research was to determine what gay activists already “knew”… that children raised by same-sex couples were identical to those raised by their mother and father. The target has now changed to only include statistical measurements that those behind the research decide they “care about” (which evidently does not include promiscuity, sexual orientation, and gender identity), resulting in the opportunity to issue soundbites to mass publications that whether a child is raised by both their mother and father or not does not “matter.”

These are complex issues, and we certainly hope that children raised by same-sex couples grow up to live healthy productive lives, but issuing statements that having a mother and father in the life of a child doesn’t matter, and backing it with data that is laden with presuppositions that many (if not most) would not hold to, is irresponsible. We’ll dig deeper into this subject over the coming weeks, looking at studies that have been done over the years, but a brief excerpt from a Mercator article should suffice in bringing home the reality of what all this means in real life. What happens when a father is replaced with a second mother in a child’s life (which we are being led to believe should not matter)?

Lesbians raising boys think they can fully compensate for the absence of a father — that fatherlessness is not a problem unless an oppressive society makes it one. But the children do not see it that way:

Parents reported a number of instances where children age four and older would ask about their father. Children would ask someone to be their daddy, ask where their father was, or express the wish to have a father. They would make up their own answers, such as their father was dead, or someone was in fact their father. (10)

Can the “second mommy” compensate for the absence of a father? There is substantial evidence that children benefit from having a second sex represented in the home — not just a second person. Developmental psychologist Norma Radin and her colleagues studied the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren born to adolescent unwed mothers living with their parents. The young children who had positively involved grandfathers displayed more competence than those with an absent or uninvolved grandfather. The presence of the grandmother, on the other hand, did not have a clear-cut impact, suggesting a redundancy between the two forms of maternal influence.(11) Children, especially boys with involved grandfathers, showed less fear, anger, and distress.(12)

Even gay-affirming therapists are noting the problem. In an article entitled, “A Boy and Two Mothers”, Toni Heineman reports that in spite of the pretence that two “mothers” were the same as a mother and father, families had to cope with the reality of an absent father.(13)

Men and women grow up with certain natural expectations about what it means to be a man or a woman. Although activists may claim that these feelings are mere social constructions which they can overcome, in practice nature will always have its way.

I can’t believe we’re living in an era that would make what I’m about to say a controversial statement, but here we are… we were designed to be raised by our mother and father.

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