February 14, 2004
Science Says Of Same Sex Marriage
In hours of debate by the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention over
whether to legalize "same sex marriage" the more articulate advocates
opposed a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to "one man, one
Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, an African American said she was born "one generation
removed from slavery" in an Arkansas shack "because the public hospital
would not allow blacks to deliver children." She saw same sex marriage as a
civil rights issue: "I know the pain of being less than equal and I cannot
and will not impose that status on anyone else. I could not in good
conscience ever vote to send anyone to that place from which my family
However, marriage is not a civil rights issue. No one at the Constitutional
Convention noted that America's major black denominations support a Federal
Marriage Amendment which states "Marriage in the United States shall consist
only of the union of a man and a woman."
House Speaker Thomas Finneran, a Democrat, was eloquent at one point, "Every
society, every culture, every nation in all of recorded history, including
Massachusetts, has up until this point at least defined marriage as one man
and one woman."
Yes, but why? Social science research can answer that question, but it was
Outside the Constitutional Convention, Ron Crews, President of the
Massachusetts Family Institute said, "The reason we are in this battle to
preserve the definition of marriage is that we believe the state should be
concerned about the highest good. And we believe that the highest good, the
ideal, is that children need a mom and a dad."
That is backed up by a large and growing body of social science research.
The Witherspoon Institute at Princeton has posted the "Top 10 Social
Scientific Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage (SSM)."
1. Children hunger for their biological parents.
A third of
lesbians have children according to the Census. Some do it by In Vitro
Fertilization, deliberately creating a class of children who will never know
their father. Yale Psychiatrist Kyle Pruett reports that children of IVF
often ask, "Mommy, what did you do with my daddy?" "Can I write him a
letter?" "Has he ever seen me?" "Didn't he like me?"
2. Children need fathers:
"We know that
fathers excel in reducing antisocial behavior/delinquency in boys and sexual
activity in girls," says Witherspoon. "Girls who grow 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
3. Children need mothers:
A fifth of gay
couples have children. There will be more if SSM is legalized. "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 (of) puberty and adolescence."
4. Evidence suggests children raised in SS homes experience gender and
an advocate for SSM and a sociologist, writes "lesbian parenting may free
daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gender
prescriptions." For example, sons of lesbians are less masculine and
daughters of lesbians are more masculine. She found that a "significantly
greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbian mothers than
those raised by heterosexual mothers...reported having a homoerotic
5. Sexual fidelity.
asserts, "One of the biggest threats that SSM poses to marriage is that it
would probably undercut the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage." In his
book, "Virtually Normal," Andrew Sullivan writes "There is more likely to be
greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men
than between a man and a woman." Research of civil unions and marriages in
Vermont reveals that while 79 percent of heterosexual men and women value
sexual fidelity, "only about 50 percent of gay men in civil unions" felt
6. Women & marriage domesticate men.
reports, "Men who are married earn more, work harder, drink less, live
longer, spend more time attending religious services and are more sexually
faithful...It is unlikely that SSM would domesticate men in the way
heterosexual marriage does." Gay activists like Andrew Sullivan disagree but
are likely "clinging to a foolish hope. This foolish hope does not justify
yet another effort to meddle with marriage."
For the other "Top 10" findings, see Witherspoon's website,
Advocates for traditional marriage need to cite this
sort of research if they expect to win the day.