In an extract from his new, internationally-acclaimed book, Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality (available from News Weekly Books), Australian family activist Bill Muehlenberg warns about the negative consequences of children being raised by same-sex couples.
A major part of the homosexual agenda has been that of homosexual adoption rights. And slowly they are getting what they want. On February 10, 2004, the Australian Capital Territory government’s controversial parenting bill, which allows homosexual and lesbian couples to adopt children, was passed. Other states are expected to follow suit. But is this the right direction to be taking?
Homosexuals may claim that there is no reason why they should not raise children, that sexual preference has nothing to do with the issue of good parenting. But does the evidence bear this out? Initial research is beginning to show that children do suffer from being raised by same-sex parents.
At the outset, let me say that obviously many traditional families have poor parenting skills. But exceptions do not make the rule. The point is, in most cases, a child will do better with a mother and father, and in most cases, a child will suffer as a result of being raised by same-sex parents.
The absence of opposite-sex role-models presents particular problems in child-rearing. How will a man raised by two men know how to relate to a woman? Or how will a man raised by two women know how to relate to men? Thus the Beatles were wrong: love is not all you need, at least when it comes to parenting.
As two family experts and child psychologists, Glenn Stanton and Bill Maier, point out: “The two most loving mothers in the world can’t be a father to a little boy. Love can’t equip mothers to teach a little boy how to be a man. Likewise, the two most loving men can’t be a mother to a child.
“Love does little to help a man teach a little girl how to be a woman. Can you imagine two men guiding a young girl through her first menstrual cycle or helping her through the awkwardness of picking out her first bra? Such a situation might make for a funny television sitcom but not a very good real-life situation for a young girl.”
Children need to see how men and women interact together. A homosexual or lesbian union cannot provide that role model. Children deserve better. But the interests of the child are the last thing being considered in this debate.
Today, everyone is demanding rights to do this and that, but very few seem to realise that rights must be balanced by responsibilities. The right to have a child must be balanced by the rights of the child. Children should be given the first priority, and not be allowed to be used as a political football by the homosexual lobby in their efforts to seek legitimacy for their lifestyle.
Can a homosexual couple love and nurture a child? Undoubtedly many can. But that is not the issue. As the former vice-president of the National Council for Adoption in the U.S., Mary Beth Style, has put it: “Providing a nurturing environment is not enough. A homosexual parent cannot provide the parental experience of a parent of the opposite sex, and this is as critical to the child as anything else.
“When discussing a child’s needs, it is not just a discussion of what a particular parent can provide — it is just as important to consider what a parent cannot provide and, in this case, it is half of a child’s needed parenting experience.”
The simple truth is, there exists a mountain of social science research that demonstrates that children do best when raised in a biological, two-parent household, cemented by marriage. The evidence is so overwhelming that the reader is advised to look at recent summaries of the data.
One large-scale American study, in the Journal of Marriage and Family (November 2003), found that there are “overall disadvantages” in not living with both biological parents.
The author concludes: “My analyses have clearly demonstrated some overall disadvantages of living with neither parent. Among adolescents … those in non-biological-parent families appear to rank the lowest in academic performance, educational aspiration, and locus of control. Further, they appear to fare less well in the remaining outcome areas (self-esteem, behaviour problems, and cigarette smoking).”
Yet critics might argue that in many other situations children are already being raised without a mother or a father. True, but there is a big difference in dealing with an existing crisis and the creation of a new crisis. That is, when one parent dies or is deserted by his or her spouse, society does all it can to help the children get through such difficult periods. But it is another matter altogether to deliberately create those sorts of situations.
As Stanton and Maier put it: “While a compassionate and caring society always comes to the aid of motherless and fatherless families, a wise and loving society never intentionally creates fatherless or motherless families. But that is exactly what every same-sex family does and for no other reason than adults desire such families.”
But too often the well-being of children is not at the forefront of homosexual concerns. For many homosexuals, the demand for adoption rights, like the demand for marriage rights, is really about seeking legitimacy and acceptance. That is, these are symbolic demands, as much as anything. They are part of the attempt to seek the complete public acceptance and normalisation of their lifestyle, something many societies are rightly hesitant about.
Mary Beth Style writes: “For the homosexual rights movement the right to adopt is a symbol — a goal which must be achieved in order to achieve broader victory. … Clearly, adoption as a political statement does not take into account a child’s needs at all. And an individual parent, whether heterosexual or homosexual, who is seeking to adopt principally to meet narcissistic needs is also not concerned about the best interests of the child.”
Now that enough time has passed to see some of the negative impacts of homosexual parenting, the results are starting to come in. Some book-length treatments of what it is like to be raised in a homosexual household are now appearing. These provide real-life stories of what the studies are telling us: children suffer greatly in these alternative lifestyle families.
One very important new book in this regard is Out From Under by Dawn Stefanowicz (reviewed in News Weekly, November 14, 2009).
It is a shocking story of a child thrust into the world of male homosexuality. It is a story of abuse, betrayal, loneliness and suffering. The book tells it all: her dad’s multiple male lovers and sexual escapades; the abuse she suffered at the hands of her dad; the string of boyfriends her dad had at the house; the emotional, psychological and physical dangers she experienced growing up.
No one can read this moving story and not see how destructive homosexual parenting is to a child. It is an important book, but because it speaks the truth about homosexuality, do not expect it to be featured in the mainstream media, except to be dismissed.
The media have made much of several new studies that purport to show no adverse effects on children raised in same-sex households. One of the newest and most extensive critiques of such studies is that by British sociologist Patricia Morgan. In her 160-page book, Children as Trophies? Examining the Evidence on Same-Sex Parenting (2002), she does a thorough job of documenting the evidence for the advantages of the two-parent family and revealing how studies purporting to show the benefits of being raised in a same-sex family are deeply flawed.
Also we know that homosexual relationships (especially among men) are less stable and more transient than heterosexual relationships. Homosexuals also tend to be much more promiscuous.
According to Morgan’s study: “The most ‘stable’ of ‘gay partnerships’ are ones where there is an arrangement between the two to have sex with third parties on the side, while maintaining a permanent living arrangement.
“This all suggests that children living with homosexuals — particularly male homosexuals — are more likely to face high prospects of repeated family disruption, or multiple family transitions and exposure to high stranger levels in the home, compared to those living with heterosexuals.”
If the evidence presented above is correct, we should not be talking so cavalierly about homosexual adoption rights. We should not be treating children as trophies. Nor should we be treating children as guinea-pigs in a radical social experiment. The rights of children, not the desires of adults, should be our primary concern.
And if it be thought that the concept of children as trophies is overstating things a bit, there are in fact many examples of this. A recent example in Australia clearly demonstrates the dangers of how children are being treated as commodities and lifestyle accessories by some homosexuals.
A lesbian couple has sued a doctor over what they consider to be a botched IVF case. The couple ended up with twin girls, instead of just the one child that they were hoping for. They are demanding financial payment for “wrongful birth”. They complained that the extra child interfered with their careers and relationship.
But just imagine how the children must feel, knowing that at least one of them is publicly unwanted. This commodification of children seems to be an inherent feature of the homosexual lifestyle.
Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures on ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com