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Gay Parenting

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,069 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,486 Views

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Gay Parenting

The conception that lesbians and gay men may be parents is frequently perceived in today's society as impossible or immoral. Gay men and lesbians are often viewed as excluded from having children because sexual reproduction is related to men and women only. My approach to this uniquely controversial topic of gay parenting will be that of attempting to analyze the Pro side first. Gays and lesbians are human too and who is to say that they don't deserve equal rights in society. Society has to realize that the modern family has developed into many different forms in recent years in that the "nuclear family" is not necessarily the most common form anymore.

Then I will attempt to analyze the Con side which expresses the fact that two people of the same sex should not be raising and rearing children together. Many believe that if the couple is unable to produce children together, then they shouldn't be raising them as parents. Children need a balance in their lives and different sexed parents can provide that balance efficiently. Each parent (mom or dad) socializes the child differently and the child needs to be introduced to both worlds.

I will then proceed to critique both sides on strengths and weaknesses, based on facts, studies, and my own opinion, and then draw some of my own conclusions on this controversial topic of Gay Parenting.

Pro Position

There is no valid reason for refusing to call lesbian and gay headed household families. They fall under every conceivable criterion for identifying families and the concept of a Family. "They are groups of coresident kin providing jointly through income-pooling for eachothers need of food and shelter. They socialize children, engage in emotional and physical support, and make up part of a larger kin network". (O' Brien and Weir, 128).

There are also many homophobic ( the irrational fear or hatred of homosexuality or gay people, Biery 88) individuals in today's society who are the main cause of negative stereotypes against lesbians and gay parents. These negative stereotypes all prove to be untrue and irrational, revealing that gay and lesbian parents could be equally as fit to straight parents.

The accusation that majority of gay men are child molesters has been rejected in that the overwhelming majority of child sexual abusers area heterosexual men, who abuse both boys and girls. The fear that children of lesbian and gay parents will become lesbian or gay is irrational in that studies show that the sexual orientation of the parents has no effect whatsoever on sexual orientation of youths. The concern that the children of gay and lesbian headed families will not develop so called appropriate gender identity or gender behaviour has been introduced. This was proved incorrect in that when comparing children of gay parents to children of straight parents, there was no significant

difference in these two areas. The last stereotype involving the fear that emotional damage will effect the child due to coping with the issue of having lesbian or gay parents. Once again this was proved to be false and the general psychological well being of children in gay and lesbian households matches that of children of heterosexual parent households. (O' Brien and Weir, 129).

These common stereotypes heard frequently in today's society have all been proved incorrect and ignorant. Therefore they illustrate that gay and lesbian parents are continually stereotyped against unfairly and unjustly. Lesbians and gay men are popularly and commonly thought of by society to have a negative influence on children. This places an enormous strain and great pressure on lesbian and gay headed families, which is totally unnecessary.

"When we assume male-headed nuclear families to be central units of kinship, and all alternative patterns to be extensions or exceptions, we accept as aspect of cultural hegemony instead of studying it. In the process, we miss the contested domain in which symbolic innovation may occur. Even continuity may be the result of innovation". (Weston, 145). This is a very powerful statement in that it reinforces the argument that lesbian and gay families are overlooked in society as even being a family unit .

Society must come to realize that every family, not just gay headed families, experience problems in their homes. An article which depicts some of the major problems that some single mothers experience is: Manhunts' and Bingo Blabs': Single mothers speak out-M. Little, p. 164-181. This article will assist one in realizing that some individuals will face some dilemmas and issues in life, but it is those issues and how a family deals with them effectively that will make them stronger as a family unit. Everyone deals with pressures of everyday life and it is those who learn by them that are prosperous.

With specific reference to child rearing, parents were told that problems arise in all homes, with all children, and at all ages, the interesting fact being that the problems do or do not arise but what method should be employed in dealing with them when they arise (Dickinson, 392). Problems in the home are inevitable, in all forms of families, and those who believe that one form of family will have more problems and issues than others will need to reassess their outlook to a more rational perception.

Society has to realize that it is not ones' sexual preference that allows a family to grow and flourish, it is the efforts of the people who make up that family unit. A family is based on trust and love, and if that is what these gay and lesbians parents are providing for their children, then why not let them live as they want.

Con Position

Many will argue that children of lesbian and gay parents do not grow up the "same" as children of heterosexual parents.

Concern usually revolves around the issue that the children will also grow up to become lesbian or gay themselves (Baker, 105).

In most cultures, children are raised to take on specific roles associated with their biological sex very early in life. Therefore, in most cases people maintain an identity of themselves in terms of gender (Blumenfeld and Raymond, 45). (This statement is expanded on in the Chapter of Socialization and gender roles in Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life).

Many also believe that children need parents of the opposite sex to find balance in their lives. Each heterosexual parent socializes their children differently and



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