Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Marriage Protection Amendment Part III: The Social Science Case

The LDS Church, along with 54 other religious leaders, signed a letter which supports the Marriage Protection Amendment. While obviously a plea from the religious side of the aisle, these religious leaders also give evidence of their view that traditional marriage is good and even essential to our society. They call this evidence, “Top 10 Social Scientific Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage.” The ten are as follows:

1. Children hunger for their biological parents
2. Children need fathers
3. Children need mothers
4. Inadequate evidence on same sex couple parenting
5. Children raised in same sex homes experience gender and sexual disorders
6. Vive la difference
7. Sexual fidelity
8. Marriage, procreation, and the fertility implosion
9. For the sake of the children
10. Women and marriage domesticate men

Each point is made using evidence from studies conducted by social scientists hailing from universities such as Yale and Stanford. It is hard, researched, and quite frankly damning evidence. Much of this research was conducted not to discredit gay marriage, but in response to other societal factors working against the traditional family.

Some may scoff that these points advocate a “Leave It To Beaver” family and ignore the reality of an ever-dwindling “family” structure.

Those people would be right.

The "Ten Arguments" do advocate a return to traditional families. That's because science says the traditional family works the best. Science has told us what a family should be, and why it is important.

Consider this statement from Sara McLanahan, a Princeton University sociologist quoted on the Religious Coalition for Marriage website,

“If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal. Such a design, in theory, would not only ensure that children had access to the time and money of two adults, it would also provide a system of checks and balances that promoted quality parenting. The fact that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice for that child, and it would reduce the likelihood that either parent would abuse the child.”

The two-parent ideal. Two parents biologically connected to their children. This is the best way to provide for children. This is what a “family” should be. All of our efforts should be put towards protecting and reinforcing this ideal.


Ashlee said...

How many parts to this is there?

Just kidding.

Though I don't think we need to literally go back to Leave It To Beaver land where women weren't supposed to work and they were always supposed to have dinner on the table by the time hubby came through the door, I do think that it does pose as a more realistic ideal than what we have seen a lot of families come to. Today we have other people raising our children for us, we focus more on material items than on the special bonds that are created when we spend time together as a family. Boys need a good male role model within the home for constant nurturing. Girls need a good female role model within the home for the same reason. Someone with whom they can hopefully turn to with questions, etc.

Cameron said...

It's fascinating to me that the "traditional" family of a mom and dad has been proven to be best.

Much of the research I have seen came about in response to divorce and single parenting and such that has grown exponentially over the last 40 years or so. This research wasn't necessarily done in response to gay marriage advocates. It was done to see the effects of the "other" reasons for the disintegration of the family.

The facts prove that moms and dads are essential to raising children. Studies show that moms generally nurture and show compassion, and that dads provide and protect and show justice. Both genders and their roles are vital to children's upbringing.

But all this brings up another question. Is family just a way to raise children? Are there other reasons for two people to live together other than to raise kids?

Maybe that'll be Part IV

Ashlee said...

though I'm not ahuge Tom Cruise fan right now, and though the saying from his movie is cheesy, the phrase, "you complete me" comes to mind.

of course there is a reason past procreation and rearing. The best part of being married and living together is knowing that you always have someone there. you get to start and end your day with your best friend. By adding children to your home, you are completing your circle. We get to share our love with them and in turn our hearts get to grow in ways that no other experience can.