Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:38 PM
Ok, this topic is really sliding down the crapper.
Yes other many (most) animals can be raised by only one gender. Most of them are also raised entirely underwater. Does this justify raising humans entirely underwater? Some animals eat live snakes, and some are very violent with their young, and some have young that eat the weaker young. We can't generalize across species unless there is a damn good logical reason to do so, and in the case of homosexual parenting, there really isn't.
So let's look at humans now, huh?
I'm not going to cite sources. Two reasons: One, I couldn't be assed hunting papers right now; and Two, I've since finished my degree at uni so I've lost my access to their excellent research databases, and quite frankly, I don't trust internet articles as far as I can throw them, even when they do agree with me.
But I am going to argue from my knowledge, which originated in reading peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.
Of all the factors that can negatively influence a child's psychological development, abuse is the most powerful. After that, comes, in no particular order: nutrition, environmental stimuli (stuff to explore and play with), access to education, SES (socio-economic status), extended family and/or stable and close significant others, environmental stability, etc etc.
But presence of abuse within the family pretty much outweighs them all combined when considering "normal" psychological development. Abuse can include: neglect, sexual abuse, physical/emotional/verbal violence against the child, physical/emotional/verbal violence between the parents, etc. Abuse between the parents can be very damaging, but abuse against the child is the most damaging. 90% of all child abuse in all family types is perpetrated by mothers. The most common is neglect, followed by verbal, then emotional, then physical, then sexual.
It stands to reason, then, that in a family where there is no mother, there is a drastically reduced chance of any type of child abuse. Indeed, this is born out by research into abuse among straight, lesbian, and gay couples. Gay male couples are nearly always much less violent and abusive than straight or lesbian couples. Lesbian couples tend to be the most abusive, though the difference isn't that big between lesbian couples and straight couples (sometimes the difference isn't statistically significant).
So when considering gay males raising a child, in the context of child abuse and spousal abuse, the child seems to be better off than they would be with straight parents. If abuse were the only factor, this would be a good enough argument. But it isn't. Another fact is that gay male couples tend to bring in significantly higher combined salaries, and thus the child is brought up in a higher SES, with better nutrition, better access to education, and more environmental stimuli and stability. The only thing they *might* miss out on is extended family or stable close significant others, but this would be due primarily to social stigmas and intolerant families.
In short, children would be much better off being raised by gay male parents than by any other gender combination. The issue about their resultant sexuality is mute because anyone with half a brain knows that homosexuality is genetic and no study has ever found that children raised by gay parents are any more likely than children raised by straight parents to turn out gay. In fact, in the few major studies that I have seen, children raised by gay parents were actually less likely to be gay, but this is most sensibly attributed to sampling bias as in most cases gay couples have a limited selection of sources for their children. However, one thing that children raised by gay parents nearly always show is a very high tolerance for people of varying sexualities, which shouldn't be in the least bit surprising.
Now, this has all been talking about gay males raising kids, which, for some reason, seems to be the biggest issue of contention among posters over the last 4 pages of this topic. It seems that as soon as people think "homosexual" they immediately think "men fvcking each other in the ass". It's like lesbians slip completely under the radar.
Well, the topic title, if you read it, specifically says: "Should Danish lesbians have children?" Notice how it makes no reference to male homosexuals.
Now, I can't speak for the situation in Danishland, only in the US and Australia, because that's where I've read research from. But if it's anything like in the US, I'd be cautious about letting lesbians have children. The reason is twofold: lesbian couples tend to be slightly more abusive than straight couples; and lesbian couples typically earn much less money than straight couples. The reasons for either one of these facts are irrelevant, but these facts alone make the issue of letting them raise kids a more serious one, because statistically, the children would be being raised in a lower standard of living and would be much more likely to recieve and/or witness various types of domestic abuse. Outside of research, I've witnessed this sort of thing first hand, when a lesbian neighbour of mine came home in a foul temper and saw her son playing on the driveway (which he was prohibited from doing for some reason), so she actually ran over him with her car, then reversed back over him, got out, and screamed at him for being on the driveway, while his ribs were showing through his grazed skin and he was bleeding everywhere. Her partner then came out, was filled in on what an idiot the child was, called the ambulance, and then the kid had to put up with both of them beratting him angrily for getting ran over. I know (at least, I hope) this is an extreme example, but I've seen this first-hand, and I've never seen anything like this from any other family structure.
However, when it comes down to it, this is an issue of rights, and we can't punish the majority for the acts of the minority, nor can we use statistics to discriminate against any particular group. Otherwise, a statistical argument could be put forward to discriminate and prevent straight couples from having children! Or anyone from Alabama and Texas! No. This is about equal rights, and as such, I think it's plain to see that in the interest of equality, Danish lesbians should be allowed to have children, much like lesbians of any country, much like gays or straights from any country, much like all human adults all over the world.
In the end, we allow, and even purposefully perpetrate far greater wrongs and atrocities, with nary a second thought. What do you think the effects on a child's development would be if they witnessed their family blown to pieces as their home town is bombed to the ground? Or seeing their sister screaming and burning to death as they tremble in wide-eyed terror and hide from the enemy soldiers firing steel projectiles of death past what remains of your house? Or the girl hiding in her mother's skirt, peeking through to see enemy soldiers beat her father senseless before taking him away all the while yelling in another language and her mother begs and sobs and prays, leaving her with her last memory of seeing her father? Oh, we humans do far greater things to fvck up children than most of us are willing to be aware of. And then we get hung up about what would happen if two people who loved each other, who just happen to be the same gender, raised a child the best they could, in a caring, loving family. As spoof raised in his excellent topic: are we truly hypocritical? I say we don't need to look very far for the answer, and that the answer may very well be the one we don't want to hear.