A review of Children As Trophies? By Patricia Morgan.

The Christian Institute, 2002.

The demands of the homosexual lobby never seem to diminish, and their determined war of attrition is paying off handsomely. One area which has eluded them however is that of complete access to children (via adoption rights and so on). But they have been very active in trying to convince the rest of society that there is no preferred parenting option, that one parent is as good as the next, and that love and commitment is all that matters.

Thus there have been many claims made lately that studies show no adverse effects to children raised in same-sex households. These contentions have been raised so often that most people accept them as gospel. But the question is, what studies? Indeed, a host of questions spring to mind. What do they actually say? How reliable are they? Who conducted the studies? What is their methodology? What size sample group were used? And so on.

There have been several good examinations of these studies in the recent past. One of the newest and most extensive is that by Patricia Morgan. In her 160-page book she does a thorough job of documenting the evidence for the two-parent family, and revealing how studies purporting to show the benefits of being raised in a same-sex family are deeply flawed.

She begins her analysis by noting a common tactic used by those who support same-sex parenting: the observation that there are so many dysfunctional heterosexual families. But, “no amount of decrying or demonstrating the disadvantages of one situation is, in itself, proof of the advantages of another. Deficiencies or condemnations of heterosexual parenting are not, in themselves, valid evidence for the superiority of homosexual parenting.” Moreover, as she points out, most children who go into government care because of abuse or other problems, come from homes other than where a mum and dad are present, committed by marriage.

And as politically incorrect as it may be, “the evidence is that around a third of all molestations of children are homosexual molestations, and the same applies to the proportion of paedophiles who are homosexual.”

The bulk of her book is a review of 144 academic papers on gay parenting. She demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of these studies are quite worthless. They are so poorly done that the “results” prove nothing. The methodological shortcomings include: failure to design the study properly; failure to properly measure the relevant variables; failure to control for extraneous variables; and failure to use proper statistical tests. These and other shortcomings mean that most of the studies and reports are invalid.

Many of the studies, for example, are little more than anecdotal. People offer gushing praise for their lifestyle choice, and report that everything is just fine in the family. Says Morgan, “While anecdotes may illustrate conclusions drawn from well-conducted research, in themselves they prove nothing”. Using self-congratulatory testimonials is hardly objective science: “It is astonishing how collections of anecdotes are reverentially accepted by public bodies, academics and research institutes, who would immediately laugh away the use of similar material as ‘evidence’ elsewhere.”

Plenty of other problems are found in the so-called studies. Small sample groups are a frequent drawback. Often just several dozen are featured in a study, making any reliable and informative statistical conclusions almost impossible to achieve.

Another problem is where the samples come from. The truth is, in most cases the study is advertised in a homosexual newspaper, and people with a vested interest (those who want to promote the homosexual agenda) are thereby recruited. Self-selected volunteers with vested interests are hardly scientific sample groups. Proper studies of child development based on randomly selected, representative sample groups seem not to exist.

And that leads to a further problem. Self-reporting is not a basis for an objective, neutral study. What homosexual is going to say he or she is a lousy parent, and what young child raised in a same-sex household is going to badmouth his or her parents? Self-reporting leads to no useful objective evidence.

The volunteers involved in such ‘research’ “know the purpose of the research and have an interest in the outcome. So have the researchers, who are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the homosexual movement”.

Like parent, like child

Another point that can be raised is what the studies actually say. Often the media gives them a spin that is not so accurate. Some of the better studies, for example, are much more qualified and nuanced than the popular press would have us believe. That is, some of the studies really offer a mixed message, and call for further research in the area. And some of the studies actually make admissions that the pro-homosexual side does not want too widely publicised. For example, “many studies actually indicate significant differences between homosexual and heterosexual parenting outcomes for children, particularly the likelihood that children of homosexuals may become involved in homosexual behaviour themselves.”

Also, we know that family behaviour tends to be intergenerational. Thus children of divorce or single motherhood are proportionally far more likely to repeat cycles of divorce and non-marriage than those born to married couples who stay in intact families. Says Morgan, all this “seems even more likely to be the case with homosexual parents and their children”.

Moreover, surveys of post-adolescent offspring of same-sex parents show large proportions with a homosexual lifestyle. The figures range from 8 to 24 per cent, which is four or five times higher than the general population (of British males). Morgan offers the interesting insight that if “it were true that there was any generic or biological basis or predisposition for homosexuality, a greater frequency among the children of homosexuals would be expected”.

Speaking of the so-called genetic basis of homosexuality, Morgan points out some other arguments against the thesis. Studies on identical twins show that often one is and one is not homosexual, which belies any genetic basis, since identical (monozygotic) twins have the same genes. Also, we know that homosexuality is not distributed in the population either randomly or uniformly like left-handedness or intelligence.

Futhermore, research on outcomes for sexually abused young males, found that early homosexual contact with an adult was highly related to homosexual outcomes. All of which suggests that social and cultural factors are as, or more, important than biological factors.

Children at risk

If it is true that children of same-sex couples are more likely to become homosexuals themselves, some might reply, So what? The answer is, the welfare of children, not the preferences of adults, should be our major concern. And we know that the homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous, high-risk lifestyle. Homosexuals “suffer disproportionately from a range of morbid conditions compared to heterosexuals, particularly sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis A and B, anorectal warts and AIDS,” with 70 per cent of the cases of HIV in Britain due to homosexual intercourse. (The figure is around 85 per cent in Australia.) And the average lifespan of a homosexual is much shorter than that of a heterosexual.

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. “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.”

In the light of all this, Morgan asks this pointed question. If we tend to not allow children to be adopted into situations where there is obesity, smoking, old age  and other factors that may result in shorter life spans, thus leaving vulnerable children at risk of being prematurely orphaned, why do we not also consider homosexuality a similar risk factor?

Concludes Morgan, “from the perspective of the ‘best interests of the child’, if homosexual activity – like intravenous drug use – is life shortening, and morbidity attracting, then children should be placed with parents who, at very least, will not steer them towards this.”

If the evidence presented above is correct, we should not be talking so cavalierly about gay adoption rights. We should not be treating children as trophies. Indeed, we should not 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.

[1420 words]

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