Same-sex couples fight against public prejudices to have the right to adopt or conceive children, since they cannot reproduce or able to conceive a child on their own. While, some in society have accepted the idea of gay parenting there are others who still live it be wrong and have prohibited it. Challengers of same-sex parenting believe that since marriage should remain traditional, parenting should remain between a man and a woman. Supporters however, believe that DNA does not make a parent. The main question at hand is whether same-sex parenting can be just as effective as orthodox parenting throughout families.
To date there has been no evidence to suggest that children raised by lesbian or gay parents have more problems, are less intelligent, disadvantaged or have lower self-esteem compared to children raised by heterosexual parents. With ongoing legality of same-sex marriages, it is important to not only consider the well-being of children in these family types but to also consider how the central role of biological fathers and mothers play in a child’s development towards a healthy adulthood. Studies conducted have shown children raised by same-sex parents, are not impacted negatively by their parents’ sexual behavior or orientation.
Those who support gay parenting as being as effective as heterosexual parenting, and argue the benefits of same- sex parenting, believe that a child with two moms or two dads can be reductive, successful and more tolerant to our society diversity. Those who oppose same-sex parenting, believe it goes against the traditional family values and are partly influenced by religious beliefs. According to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, marriage exists for three purposes: companionship, sexual intimacy, and procreation (Fischer).
Therefore, marriage is viewed as a religious ritual and is established for the purpose of procreating and being that same-sex couples cannot conceive children, they should neither be able to marry nor become parents. Professionals trust fathers contribute accessory ingredients to parenting that mothers cannot provide, and mothers contribute something to the nurture of children that fathers cannot provide (Fischer). The concept of family has changed greatly over the past decade and there no longer appears to be significance on the term “traditional” family.
A number of children are being raised in households by lesbian or gay parents. It has been estimated that the number of children being raised in same-sex households is between two to six million. Society in America and across the world has become more increasingly accepting of same-sex relationships. This approval, has allowed same-sex couples the opportunity to experience parenthood together. Although, many people continue to have biased opinions on the matter and disapprove of same-sex couples, there has been no evidence which proves that same-sex couples are less qualified parents than heterosexual parents.
Same-sex couples have proven to be able to offer children the same love and support and financial stability as heterosexual parents. In some cases, same-sex couples were able to provide a more emotional and financial stable home than heterosexual parents. This was partly due to the fact that same-sex peoples must go through a rigorous process in order to become parents, whether through adoption, foster care of surrogacy. Same-sex couples must truly want to have children; they have to financially plan and prepare themselves for the role of being parents, creating a true desire to become pa rents.
Studies have shown children raised by lesbian or gay parents were doing as well as children their same age who were being raised by heterosexual couples (PAPA and Patterson, PhD). Additionally, their research found that same-sex parents have been found to be just as capable parents as trousseaux parents, offering the child love, and affection needed to raise a healthy, happy and successful child. No notable differences were found in children who were raised by heterosexual parents than those raised by same- sex couples on the issues of mental health, social functioning, academic performance and a range of other life success measures.
Research has found that good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. Rather, it is influenced most profoundly by a parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home, an ability that is not contingent on whether a parent is gay or straight. Research to date has reached the same conclusion about same-sex parenting: the children of lesbian and gay parents grow up as successfully as children of heterosexual parents (UCLA, 1999). Evaluating the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples, requires one to consider three sociological theories.
The first being functionalism. ‘ ‘The functions of family are to provide a vehicle for procreation that will allow for the colonization, care and protection of children: to give one another emotional support and physical assistance; and to be a unit of producers and consumers” (Pissing, 201 1). A family also serves a functional purpose in society in that it offers the environment for producing, fostering, and socializing the next generation.
Though, the structures of family have changed significantly, some of the new styles of families including, single parent families, co-habiting unions and even same-sex partnerships challenge the societal norms typical in a traditional patriarchal family. Chervil (2004) describes that the ‘Weakening of social norms that define partners’ behavior” has denationalizations marriage. Family is more about the relationships and what members of families can do or each other, rather than what the unit can do for the state.
Family as a refuge, a safe place to grow, learn and achieve, is an ideal that inspires us, but family as a tool of the state to perpetuate inequity is what makes it an institution. The modern definition of family is much too different to fit the functionalists’ traditional model as an organization designed to maintain social norms in order to maintain social stability. Modern families can be seen as examples of contradictory norms and are held up as examples by conservatives as the very reason society is on the brink of chaos.
However, it s not likely that society is in fact in danger of a society that is moving into a new model where diversity is embraced. Family is still respected and supported, but not as a tradition that maintains social norms, but as a meaning that supports separate growth and security. The nature of this common group is one of love and security for all its members, and as such will remain important and as long as families, of all types are supported and sustained by society and by its members, the larger community will also benefit with the same firm society that the functionalists so steadfastly wish to preserve.
The second sociological theory will look at it from a symbolic interaction approach. It will discuss how children form their identity, and how they learn not only from their parents (regardless of sex) but other sources such as their friends, teachers and other family members about what is meaningful in the parent-child relationship. It is important to focus on whether the love and nurture given from same-sex parents has the same effect as that of heterosexual parents and whether it impacts a child’s self-identity or well- being.
The theory that without both father and mother a child will not erectly develop a sense of their identity, sexual or otherwise, because of the lack of proper heterosexual connection has not been proven. Symbolic interactions focuses more on how people interact with one another. It is important to know that symbols do not have meaning, but rather humans give them meaning. Symbolic interactions concern how individuals interact with one another. Family is a very important social institution. A third sociological theory is that of conflict theory.
A conflict theorist believes that the family can have a negative impact on society and that any hype of family can exist within the conflict theory point of view. Conflict theory has the belief that wealthier parents are able to afford and give their children a better life than the average working class. “The theory of conflict within families starts with the premise that family members undergo conflict and disharmony’ the symbolic interactions approach to families is also different. “This approach focuses on how people sense of interactions in specific situations” (Pissing, 2011).
The overall outcome of a child growing up in a same-sex household is just as positive if not better than a child growing up in a heterosexual household. Some children of same-sex couples say that their upbringing actually makes them psychologically stronger. The majority of children raised in same-sex households consider themselves to be heterosexual in roughly the same proportion as conventional families (PAPA, Patterson, PhD. Children of same-sex couples are not at a disadvantage when compared to children of heterosexual parents.
Additionally, children being raised in same-sex households do not have differences in self-esteem, gender identity, or emotional problems from children being raised in heterosexual households. Children of same-sex couples scored higher than he national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well a family gets along (Chadwick, 2013). Furthermore, children growing up in a same-sex households seem to be “more tolerant of diversity” and also tend to do just as well as children of heterosexual couples when dealing with social functioning, academics and mental health.
What determines how well a child adjusts is not the sexual orientation of the parents, it is the amount of care and nurturing the child is given. As In-vitro-fertilization and gestational surrogacy can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is obvious the child is n the hands of a couple (homosexual or heterosexual) who will spend their time teaching the child how to live and succeed in this society. Early on, lesbian and gay parents were not seen as being fit for parenting. However, such beliefs lacked empirical foundation (Taster, 2010).
There has been no difference in the sexual orientation of the children of gay or lesbian parents, so we see that the sexuality of the parents does not influence that of a child (Taster, 2010). Children raised in same-sex households have shown to grow up to be just as well balanced and emotionally stable as children raised in trousseaux households. When gay or lesbian couples decide to have children, whether through adoption or surrogacy, they provide the children with the benefit of two protective and affectionate parents. Family is the most crucial element or the development of a child.
Whether a child is raised in a home with a mother and father or with two moms or two dads, the care and love that family offers a child, is what matters most for their development (Appeal, 2008). There is a greater level of motivation and commitment among the same-sex parents when compared to the heterosexual parents. This is cause none of the gay or lesbian parents becomes so by accident. Parenthood for them comes after serious discussions and agreement. As a result, it bears on average, greater commitment and higher rates of involvement in the life of the child (Paterson, 2010).
Conclusion What determines the success of a child or how well they adjust is not the sexual orientation of their parents, it is the amount of love, care, and nurturing the child receives. A family is molded by every member who contributes and helps in any way, whether it be a mother and father, two mothers or two fathers. Stability is created through a unified family and comes the baseline for how children progress through their adolescent years into adulthood. “Lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide a supportive and healthy environment for their children” (PAPA and Patterson, Ph.
D. ). Research has shown that the development and mental health Of a child is unrelated to their parents’ sexual orientation. One’s sexual orientation has not shown to affect the fitness of an individual or couple to raise a child nor has it shown to affect a child’s sexual orientation. The only predictor of a child’s psychological and social adjustment is the laity of parenting given. “The vast majority of lesbian and gay adults were raised by heterosexual parents and the majority of children raised by lesbian and gay parents eventually grow up to be heterosexual” (PAPA).