Monday, May 09, 2011

Family Research Council, total garbage.


I just found this on the family research council [don't capitalize their name!]. Such douches, although it further convinces me that the only true barrier against LGBT acceptance are those pesky people who are raised or indoctrinated into the fundie lifestyle, and are scarred for life. Which means that at the very least, the climate for untraditional families will improve as these people die off naturally, replaced by more accepting moderates. I am curious to know the mortality rate for fundies, and think that this would be worthy of a grand research study measuring the evolving standards of decency in society.

Back to these "ten arguments", I just wanted to go through them one by one with my own responses, particularly when I've been so curious lately about my future "hypothetical family". I mean obviously I want to know how accepting the United States or France will be in the future taking into the consideration the recent surge in neoconservatism, a word that I always misuse. I refuse to be pigeonholed in some lame state like Vermont when I could be frolicking in the wheat fields of Kansas* wheat or the endless highways of South Florida with my "gaybies".

1. Children hunger for their biological parents.
Homosexual couples using in vitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogate mothers deliberately create a class of children who will live apart from their mother or father. Yale Child Study Center psychiatrist Kyle Pruett reports that children of IVF often ask their single or lesbian mothers about their fathers, asking their mothers questions like the following:"Mommy, what did you do with my daddy?" "Can I write him a letter?" "Has he ever seen me?" "Didn't you like him? Didn't he like me?" Elizabeth Marquardt reports that children of divorce often report similar feelings about their non-custodial parent, usually the father.

False. That's what they've been taught to do by the overtly heteronormative media. As someone who has never met like 75% of his "blood family", including but not limited to dozens of cousins, dozens of aunts and uncles, quite a few grandparents and a parent, I can tell you from experience that I don't spend my days yearning in agony for my biological parent [Bema Sr., apologies to April for turning her blog into and the Bema family reunion] any more than I do "yearning in agony" for the next episode of 30 Rock. I'm not going to say that this applies to every baby from a "broken home", but the difference is especially sharp when it applies to a two-parent LGBT household where the only thing separating them from an "ordinary" heterosexual and sterile couple is their sexual orientation. They both share the need to bring an outsider into the loop to have a baby; in either case, the child would go grow up with the conception of their nontraditional parents being equivalent to biological parents, and it's not like that's some terrible trauma to the child.

2. Children need fathers.
If same-sex civil marriage becomes common, most same-sex couples with children would be lesbian couples. This would mean that we would have yet more children being raised apart from fathers. Among other things, we know that fathers excel in reducing antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys and sexual activity in girls.
What is fascinating is that fathers exercise a unique social and biological influence on their children. For instance, a recent study of father absence on girls found that girls who grew up apart from their biological father were much more likely to experience early puberty and a teen pregnancy than girls who spent their entire childhood in an intact family. This study, along with David Popenoe's work, suggests that a father's pheromones influence the biological development of his daughter, that a strong marriage provides a model for girls of what to look for in a man, and gives them the confidence to resist the sexual entreaties of their boyfriends.

Wow. If this isn't the most paternalistic explanation I've heard in support of a father, although it can be said that any argument in favor of having a father is paternalistic. The clear solution here is to develop a perfume for those underprivileged girls who don't have a father, called "Electra, by Sigmund Freud." Once again, in re-invoking this antiquated concept, fundies are claiming that a man is required for female fulfillment at every stage of a woman's life. 

3. Children need mothers.
Although homosexual men are less likely to have children than lesbians, homosexual men are and will be raising children. There will be even more if homosexual civil marriage is legalized. These households deny children a mother. Among other things, mothers excel in providing children with emotional security and in reading the physical and emotional cues of infants. Obviously, they also give their daughters unique counsel as they confront the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with puberty and adolescence. Stanford psychologist Eleanor MacCoby summarizes much of this literature in her book, The Two Sexes. See also Steven Rhoads' book, Taking Sex Differences Seriously.
Essentially the same argument as #2. Homosexual child-rearing is wrong, because it's wrong.

4. Evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate.
A number of leading professional associations have asserted that there are "no differences" between children raised by homosexuals and those raised by heterosexuals. But the research in this area is quite preliminary; most of the studies are done by advocates and most suffer from serious methodological problems. Sociologist Steven Nock of the University of Virginia, who is agnostic on the issue of same-sex civil marriage, offered this review of the literature on gay parenting as an expert witness for a Canadian court considering legalization of same-sex civil marriage:
Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that 1) all of the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal flaw of design or execution; and 2) not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research. This is not exactly the kind of social scientific evidence you would want to launch a major family experiment. Steven Nock, affidavit to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice regarding Hedy Halpern et al. University of Virginia Sociology Department (2001).
First of all, we're not experimenting with people's lives here, gaybies vs "ordinary" children: the final showdown. At the end of this civil rights phase, homosexuals are not just going to say, "Well, you proved us wrong with science. Let's call it a day." Second of all, what they fail to take into account is that billions of people have already been raised by homosexuals, they just didn't know it. There's no way you could accurately conduct a study that both conformed to scientific ethics and is mildly accurate on sexual orientation. You could only find out someone's true sexual orientation if you followed them everywhere and tracked their every move and generally conducted the experiment á la Tuskegee with blind subjects, but you can't do that. You have to rely on biased self-reported information. A child-rearing couple isn't going to participate in a study and disclose their true orientation when that information could wind up in the hands of their spouse. The determination of gaybies and ordinary babies is undefined like brackish water so, at best, we can only study characteristics like household wealth or single-vs-double parents, not orientation. So fuck you, Steven Nock, you fail.

5. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders.
Although the evidence on child outcomes is sketchy, it does suggest that children raised by lesbians or homosexual men are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Judith Stacey-- a sociologist and an advocate for same-sex civil marriage--reviewed the literature on child outcomes and found the following: "lesbian parenting may free daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gender prescriptions." Her conclusion here is based on studies that show that sons of lesbians are less masculine and that daughters of lesbians are more masculine.  
She also found that a "significantly greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbian mothers than those raised by heterosexual mothers ... reported having a homoerotic relationship." Stacey also observes that children of lesbians are more likely to report homoerotic attractions.
Her review must be viewed judiciously, given the methodological flaws detailed by Professor Nock in the literature as a whole. Nevertheless, theses studies give some credence to conservative concerns about the effects of homosexual parenting.
This is too good to be true. Apparently, not following stereotypes means you have a disorder to the frc. Tee-hee-hee, Rachel Maddow has a disorder because she cuts her hair short. Oh, and even though all studies present "flaws" according to Nock, supra, we'll let it slide if you fit our agenda. 

Notice how the study says that children of lesbians are more likely to report homoerotic attractions. They interpret this as a bad thing, but it is actually an argument in favor of homosexual child-rearing, since these children have been freed from the bonds of repressing any and all homosexual interest even if it is true and exists.

6. Same-sex "marriage" would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage.
One of the biggest threats that same-sex "marriage" poses to marriage is that it would probably undercut the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage. In the first edition of his book in defense of same-sex marriage, Virtually Normal, homosexual commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote: "There is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman." Of course, this line of thinking--were it incorporated into marriage and telegraphed to the public in sitcoms, magazines, and other mass media--would do enormous harm to the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage.
One recent study of civil unions and marriages in Vermont suggests this is a very real concern. More than 79 percent of heterosexual married men and women, along with lesbians in civil unions, reported that they strongly valued sexual fidelity. Only about 50 percent of gay men in civil unions valued sexual fidelity.
Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solomon, Civil Unions in the State of Vermont: A Report on the First Year. University of Vermont Department of Psychology, 2003.
Hey, as long it's consensual.

7. Same-sex "marriage" would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose.
Traditionally, marriage and procreation have been tightly connected to one another. Indeed, from a sociological perspective, the primary purpose that marriage serves is to secure a mother and father for each child who is born into a society. Now, however, many Westerners see marriage in primarily emotional terms.
Among other things, the danger with this mentality is that it fosters an anti-natalist mindset that fuels population decline, which in turn puts tremendous social, political, and economic strains on the larger society. Same-sex marriage would only further undercut the procreative norm long associated with marriage insofar as it establishes that there is no necessary link between procreation and marriage.
This was spelled out in the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts, where the majority opinion dismissed the procreative meaning of marriage. It is no accident that the countries that have legalized or are considering legalizing same-sex marriage have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. For instance, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada have birthrates that hover around 1.6 children per woman--well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1.
Well, I've already stated before that I can procreate just as well as straight couples without any sexual effort. I could get other people to do it for me. The country has no need to constantly expand it's population unless you feel that Americans constitute some master race that needs to win the fertility marathon. While we're at it, why don't we annex Canada so we have some more lebensraum... I mean, space for suburbs? Anyway, traditionally, marriage has not been for the benefit of the child so much as for the benefit of the husband and the piece of property he uses to make issue.

8. Same-sex "marriage" would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment.
The divorce and sexual revolutions of the last four decades have seriously undercut the norm that couples should get and stay married if they intend to have children, are expecting a child, or already have children. Political scientist James Q. Wilson reports that the introduction of no-fault divorce further destabilized marriage by weakening the legal and cultural meaning of the marriage contract. George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate and an economist, found that the widespread availability of contraception and abortion in the 1960s and 1970s, and the sexual revolution they enabled, made it easier for men to abandon women they got pregnant, since they could always blame their girlfriends for not using contraception or procuring an abortion.
It is plausible to suspect that legal recognition of homosexual civil marriage would have similar consequences for the institution of marriage; that is, it would further destabilize the norm that adults should sacrifice to get and stay married for the sake of their children. Why? Same-sex civil marriage would institutionalize the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father.
This would be particularly important for men, who are more likely to abandon their children. Homosexual civil marriage would make it even easier than it already is for men to rationalize their abandonment of their children. After all, they could tell themselves, our society, which affirms lesbian couples raising children, believes that children do not need a father. So, they might tell themselves, I do not need to marry or stay married to the mother of my children.
really couldn't  slog my way through this one. Somehow, having two fathers cheapens the institution of fatherhood.

9. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles.
If same-sex civil marriage is institutionalized, our society would take yet another step down the road of de-gendering marriage. There would be more use of gender-neutral language like "partners" and--more importantly--more social and cultural pressures to neuter our thinking and our behaviors in marriage.
But marriages typically thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical ways and are attentive to the gendered needs and aspirations of their husband or wife. For instance, women are happier when their husband earns the lion's share of the household income. Likewise, couples are less likely to divorce when the wife concentrates on childrearing and the husband concentrates on breadwinning, as University of Virginia psychologist Mavis Hetherington admits.
What they're trying to get at is the fact that, when you have two same sexed people in a couple, one can't be naturally dominant over the other in the power usually derived from their gender, thwarting the attempts of good men everywhere to subordinate their wives. The University of Virginia is a conservative fuckfest with lots of mutual mental masturbation** [3M, the scourge of academics], so why would I listen to their research and opinions? Mavis Hetherington sounds like a fin-de-siecle Freudian psychoanalyst who still believes in frigidity and feminine hysteria andwrites scrip for magnesium smelling salts, and I've inferred all that merely by looking at his name.

10. Women and marriage domesticate men.
Men who are married earn more, work harder, drink less, live longer, spend more time attending religious services, and are more sexually faithful. They also see their testosterone levels drop, especially when they have children in the home.
If the distinctive sexual patterns of "committed" gay couples are any indication (see above), it is unlikely that homosexual marriage would domesticate men in the way that heterosexual marriage does. It is also extremely unlikely that the biological effects of heterosexual marriage on men would also be found in homosexual marriage. Thus, gay activists who argue that same-sex civil marriage will domesticate gay men are, in all likelihood, clinging to a foolish hope. This foolish hope does not justify yet another effort to meddle with marriage.
Do you know why my step-father makes more than my mother? Because he has a woman to take care of their children so he can "devote" himself to working. My mother has the same educational and career commitments as him yet she always ends up taking care of the children and the house more. As to the word domesticate and the dichotomy of usage they present here, I think they're trying to make fun of S and M collars associated with gays, since "domestication" for straight people is different from the "domestication" of gay men which involves "distinctive sexual patterns".

The feelings I hold about the family research council should have been made clear, and I lobby that we add one of those side widgets entitled "Conservative Hate Fest + kesha***" where they can simmer for the life of this blog.

*Is that what they grow in Kansas?
** I love Annie Hall too much.
***Fulfilling an ancient promise?