Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Marriage and the Needs of Children for a Mother and Father

In my last blog post, I pointed out some of the reasons that government should protect traditional marriage and not redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. On that post, I received a comment stating that studies have shown that children raised in same-sex households are not negatively affected by it. However, this assertion is false.

Yes, a few studies have shown no difference between homosexual parenting and heterosexual parenting. However, several studies have found a difference (see here and here and here). Importantly, many of the smaller, non-random, or self-reported studies have shown no difference while larger, randomized, or more objective studies have shown significant differences in child outcomes with different kinds of parenting. Also, some studies which showed no difference compared homosexual parents to single mothers, not to married biological parents. The emerging picture from the studies is that the best environment for children is a home with their married biological mother and father. That's what the science says. And social scientists are beginning to stand behind these findings more and more, in spite of their unpopularity in the culture at large.

New studies about domestic partner violence are also painting a far less flattering picture of same-sex relationships than are portrayed in the media. We know already that households with lots of violence are bad for children, but now we are seeing that same-sex relationships are more prone to violence than heterosexual relationships. And because of faulty cultural beliefs about same sex relationships, many victims are suffering in silence.

Not only that, but many people raised in same-sex households are speaking up about how it negatively affected them and supporting traditional marriage as being best for children. Take a look here, here, and here, for example.

However, even without this extensive data, it is evident that same-sex parenting inherently, as part of the design, deprives a child of one or more of his biological parents. Obviously, if children are born into a male-female marriage and then divorce occurs and the custodial parent "marries" a same-sex partner, this is just one way for children to be raised in a same-sex household. In such cases it is obvious that the child is being purposely denied a biological parent.

But children conceived through sperm or egg donation are also being deprived of a relationship with a biological parent. The studies are showing that this has a marked impact on these children. Many such children have testified that they always longed to know their absent parent, that it has harmed them psychologically, and that being donor-conceived is, in many ways, worse than the death of a parent. Children who lose a parent to death have had a tragic loss. But children whose parent was paid to go away and not be a part of the child's life not only have that same tragic loss, but will always wrestle with the heart-rending question of "Why didn't they want me?"

If we, as a culture, raise same-sex relationships to the level of marriage, we are saying to these children in same-sex households that they are not deprived in any way when they objectively are. Such a position claims that children being raised without one of their biological parents is just as good as children being raised with both of their biological parents. That is patently absurd.

In fact, same-sex marriage not only does away with biological parenting as the norm, but it tells children that they don't even need a parent of each sex. At least when children are adopted by a husband and wife they have a male role model and a female role model so that they can understand the differences between men and women and learn to relate to both of them. Studies show that men and women parent differently and children need both. We have studies showing the necessity of mothers for a child's development (see here and here). We also have studies showing how vital fathers are to development (see here, here, here and here). Lacking a mother or a father objectively puts children at a disadvantage - whether that occurs through single-parenting or through same-sex parenting.

In order to claim that same-sex parenting is equal to mother-father parenting, you must claim that a mother adds nothing to a child's life that cannot be supplied by a man and that a father adds nothing to a child's life that cannot be supplied by a woman. That is simply false. It not only runs counter to everything we know about the impact of mothers and fathers on a child's development from the research, but it contradicts our own experience and intuition as well.

In addition to all these things, studies have shown that same-sex relationships are far less stable than male-female marriages. Thus, children raised in same-sex households are far more likely to experience the break-up of their family and all the upheaval and trauma that entails.

From all these studies, we can see that children need their biological mother and father living with them, in a stable relationship with each other that provides a good, non-violent environment for raising children. This is the ideal. Adoption or foster care isn't ideal and everyone knows it, but we have to do what we can for existing children who have been unavoidably separated from one or more of their natural parents. But, unlike adoption, same-sex marriage and parenting elevates what is clearly not the ideal - a child deprived of one or more biological parents - and makes it legally equal to the actual ideal of married biological parents raising their children. In doing so, it erases the cultural understanding of that real ideal and systematically and inherently deprives children of a parent on purpose - not merely due to a tragedy.


  1. We have a problem why now in our country where the Pro-Choicers are insisting we have more kids being put for Adoption then parents willing to Adopt them.

    So that is why I want no limits on Adoption, no matter how dysfunctional a family is, it's better then being raised by The State.


    1. Actually, many of the children in the foster care system are not available to be adopted. In lots of cases, their parents are separated from them for counselling or rehabilitation, but still retain parental rights.

      Of course, there are children who could be adopted and aren't. And we should try to get them into permanent homes, as long as those homes are with upstanding citizens and with preference shown to married mother-father homes, which is what is best for children.

      There are a number of things worse than being raised by the state.

    2. I think Christians shouldn't get legally married at all.

  2. Marrying the world is the Sin of Pergamos.

    1. I don't know of anyone who ever married "the world." That makes no sense.

    2. I think he is mistakenly thinking marrying the world is the same as marrying with government approval. The sin of Pergamos was not that they were trying to get government to grant them marriages. Pergamos people had spiritually married the world instead of marrying the Kingdom of God.
      I do believe that government does not have the right to grant marriages. It can only recognize legitimate marriages (from the long standing definition of marriage--one man one woman). This is for the purpose of benefits, legal inheritances, and other legal situations. I suppose government can decide to recognize "civil unions" as something similar but not the same as marriage.

    3. This attitude that you need Government permission to marry is a symptom of having married the world. A License is by definition permission to do something that it would be illegal to do otherwise.

      Christians should not desire any legal benefits of marriage, just as Churches shouldn't be 501c3