Gay Adoption Issues
A collection of articles by Dr. Trayce Hansen impacting the issue of gay adoption with a news article on the shocking shutdown of Catholic Adoption Services in March 2006.
Love Isn’t Enough: Five Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Harm Children
By Trayce Hansen, Ph.D.
Proponents of same-sex marriage believe the only thing children really need is love. Based on that supposition, they conclude it’s just as good for children to be raised by loving parents of the same sex, as it is to be raised by loving parents of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, that basic assumption — and all that flows from it — is false. Because love isn’t enough!
All else being equal, children do best when raised by a married mother and father. It’s within this environment that children are most likely to be exposed to the emotional and psychological experiences they need in order to thrive.
Men and women bring diversity to parenting; each makes unique contributions to the rearing of children that can’t be replicated by the other. Mothers and fathers simply are not interchangeable. Two women can both be good mothers, but neither can be a good father.
So here are five reasons why it’s in the best interest of children to be raised by both a mother and a father:
First, mother-love and father-love — though equally important — are qualitatively different and produce distinct parent-child attachments. Specifically, it’s the combination of the unconditional-leaning love of a mother and the conditional-leaning love of a father that’s essential to a child’s development. Either of these forms of love without the other can be problematic. Because what a child needs is the complementary balance the two types of parental love and attachment provide.
Only heterosexual parents offer children the opportunity to develop relationships with a parent of the same, as well as the opposite sex. Relationships with both sexes early in life make it easier for a child to relate to both sexes later in life. For a girl, that means she’ll better understand and appropriately interact with the world of men and be more comfortable in the world of women. And for a boy, the converse will hold true. Having a relationship with “the other” — an opposite sexed parent — also increases the likelihood that a child will be more empathetic and less narcissistic.
Secondly, children progress through predictable and necessary developmental stages. Some stages require more from a mother, while others require more from a father. For example, during infancy, babies of both sexes tend to do better in the care of their mother. Mothers are more attuned to the subtle needs of their infants and thus are more appropriately responsive. However, at some point, if a young boy is to become a competent man, he must detach from his mother and instead identify with his father. A fatherless boy doesn’t have a man with whom to identify and is more likely to have trouble forming a healthy masculine identity.
A father teaches a boy how to properly channel his aggressive and sexual drives. A mother can’t show a son how to control his impulses because she’s not a man and doesn’t have the same urges as one. A father also commands a form of respect from a boy that a mother doesn’t––a respect more likely to keep the boy in line. And those are the two primary reasons why boys without fathers are more likely to become delinquent and end up incarcerated.
Father-need is also built into the psyche of girls. There are times in a girl’s life when only a father will do. For instance, a father offers a daughter a safe, non-sexual place to experience her first male-female relationship and have her femininity affirmed. When a girl doesn’t have a father to fill that role she’s more likely to become promiscuous in a misguided attempt to satisfy her inborn hunger for male attention and validation.
Overall, fathers play a restraining role in the lives of their children. They restrain sons from acting out antisocially, and daughters from acting out sexually. When there’s no father to perform this function, dire consequences often result both for the fatherless children and for the society in which these children act out their losses.
Third, boys and girls need an opposite-sexed parent to help them moderate their own gender-linked inclinations. As example, boys generally embrace reason over emotion, rules over relationships, risk-taking over caution, and standards over compassion, while girls generally embrace the reverse. An opposite-sexed parent helps a child keep his or her own natural proclivities in check by teaching — verbally and nonverbally — the worth of the opposing tendencies. That teaching not only facilitates moderation, but it also expands the child’s world — helping the child see beyond his or her own limited vantage point.
Fourth, same-sex marriage will increase sexual confusion and sexual experimentation by young people. The implicit and explicit message of same-sex marriage is that all choices are equally acceptable and desirable. So, even children from traditional homes — influenced by the all-sexual-options-are-equal message — will grow up thinking it doesn’t matter whom one relates to sexually or marries. Holding such a belief will lead some — if not many — impressionable young people to consider sexual and marital arrangements they never would have contemplated previously. And children from homosexual families, who are already more likely to experiment sexually, would do so to an even greater extent, because not only was non-traditional sexuality role-modeled by their parents, it was also approved by their society.
There is no question that human sexuality is pliant. Think of ancient Greece or Rome — among many other early civilizations — where male homosexuality and bisexuality were nearly ubiquitous. This was not so because most of those men were born with a “gay gene,” rather it was because homosexuality was condoned by those societies. That which a society sanctions, it gets more of.
And fifth, if society permits same-sex marriage, it also will have to allow other types of marriage. The legal logic is simple: If prohibiting same-sex marriage is discriminatory, then disallowing polygamous marriage, polyamorous marriage, or any other marital grouping will also be deemed discriminatory. The emotional and psychological ramifications of these assorted arrangements on the developing psyches and sexuality of children would be disastrous. And what happens to the children of these alternative marriages if the union dissolves and each parent then “remarries”? Those children could end up with four fathers, or two fathers and four mothers, or, you fill in the blank.
Certainly homosexual couples can be just as loving as heterosexual couples, but children require more than love. They need the distinctive qualities and the complementary natures of a male and female parent.
The accumulated wisdom of over 5,000 years has concluded that the ideal marital and parental configuration is composed of one man and one woman. Arrogantly disregarding such time-tested wisdom, and using children as guinea pigs in a radical experiment, is risky at best, and cataclysmic at worst.
Same-sex marriage definitely isn’t in the best interest of children. And although we empathize with those homosexuals who long to be married and parent children, we mustn’t allow our compassion for them to trump our compassion for children. In a contest between the desires of some homosexuals and the needs of all children, we can’t allow the children to lose.
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Will Increase Prevalence of Homosexuality:Research Provides Significant Evidence
By Trayce Hansen, Ph.D.
An accumulation of research from around the world finds that societies which endorse homosexual behavior increase the prevalence of homosexuality in those societies. The legalization of same-sex marriage — which is being considered by voters in several U.S. states — is the ultimate in societal endorsement and will result in more individuals living a homosexual lifestyle.
Extensive research from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the United States reveals that homosexuality is primarily environmentally induced. Specifically, social and/or family factors, as well as permissive environments which affirm homosexuality, play major environmental roles in the development of homosexual behavior.
A closer look at the research:
Twin study investigations of homosexuality were recently conducted in both Sweden and Finland. Such twin studies compare rates of homosexual behavior between different sibling groups who share varying degrees of genetic similarity (i.e., identical twins versus non-identical twins). By comparing such rates, twin studies help sort out the extent to which homosexual behavior is genetic and/or environmental. For instance, if homosexuality is genetic, then in cases where one identical twin is homosexual the co-twin should be homosexual nearly 100% of the time because identical twins share 100% of their genes.
But that is not what these two large-scale Scandinavian studies found. Both studies revealed that when one identical twin was homosexual the other twin was homosexual only 10% or 11% of the time. Such findings indicate that homosexuality is not genetically determined.
Instead of genetic factors, these Scandinavian studies concluded that unique environmental factors play the largest role in the development of homosexual behavior. The question as to which specific environmental factors contribute to homosexuality was not answered by these studies although some conclusions are offered by Danish and American research data to be discussed later in this article.
But first, it should be noted that although the Swedish and Finnish twin studies are among the best to date, they still have wide margins of error. In fact, the margins of error are so wide it remains entirely possible that genetic factors play no role in the development of homosexuality. That remains to be determined, but what has been resolved is that the primary factor in the development of homosexuality is environmental.
A Danish research investigation studied two million adults living in Denmark, a country where same-sex marriage has been legal since 1989. This study uncovered a number of specific environmental factors that increase the probability an individual will seek a same-sex rather than an opposite-sex partner for marriage.
For Danish men, the environmental factors associated with higher rates of homosexual marriage include an urban birthplace and an absent or unknown father. Significantly, there was a linear relationship between degree of urbanization of birthplace and whether a man chose homosexual or heterosexual marriage as an adult. In other words, the more urban a man’s birthplace, the more likely he was to marry a man, while the more rural a man’s birthplace, the more likely he was to marry a woman.
For Danish women, the environmental factors related to increased likelihood of homosexual marriage include an urban birthplace, maternal death during adolescence, and mother-absence.
Interestingly, this Danish research finds that urban birthplace and separation from the same-sex parent both were associated with same-sex marriage for men as well as women. (The latter finding supports psychological theories that have long asserted homosexuality is related to childhood problems — real or perceived — with the same-sex parent). In summary, this study finds that environmental factors that contribute to the development of homosexuality can be social and/or familial.
Finally, an American research study — the most comprehensive and representative survey of sexual behavior in America — reported its findings concerning homosexuality. The results of this study also support an environmental theory of homosexuality, not a genetic one. In particular, this survey identified specific types of environments that increase the likelihood of homosexual behavior. The authors describe these environments as “congenial” to the development of homosexuality.
For American men, the environmental factor most related to homosexual behavior was the degree of urbanization during the teenage years. Specifically, boys who lived in large urban centers between the ages of 14 and 16 were three to six times more likely to engage in homosexual behavior than were boys who lived in rural communities during those same ages. The authors offer the following possibility: “an environment that provides increased opportunities for and fewer negative sanctions against same-gender sexuality may both allow and even elicit expression of same-gender interest and sexual behavior (p.308).” Note the word “elicit.” These researchers believe that growing up in a more pro-homosexual region may evoke or draw out homosexual behavior in young men. The implication is that some homosexual men who were reared in urban centers would not have become homosexual if reared in non-urban centers. The authors explain, “the environment in which people grow up affects their sexuality in very basic ways (p.309).”
For American women, the environmental factor most associated with a homosexual or bisexual identity was a higher level of education. And though that was also true for men, the pattern for women was more dramatic. For instance, a woman with a college degree was nine times more likely to identify herself as non-heterosexual than a woman with only a high school diploma. The specific elements that create this marked difference are unclear, but the researchers don’t believe it’s simply due to higher reporting of non-heterosexuality by more educated individuals. They believe one explanation is the fact that with more acceptance, even encouragement, of homosexuality at universities, more university women embrace a non-heterosexual lifestyle. For an example of how that might develop, see Dennis Prager’s article entitled, “College Taught Her Not To Be a Heterosexual.”
Based on the findings of this American research study, environments that sanction and/or promote homosexuality induce more individuals to engage in homosexual behavior.
All of the aforementioned research studies from four different countries, each utilizing large, countrywide samples, reveal that homosexual behavior is not genetically determined. Rather, the data find that human sexuality is malleable, and environmental experiences and influences can and do shape its expression. Moreover, these findings are supported by decades of anthropological and sociological evidence that reveal that rates of homosexual behavior fluctuate — sometimes greatly — with changes in the social, cultural, and legal climate. The more an environment affirms or encourages same-sex sexuality — whether an urban center or a university campus — the more homosexuality there will be in that setting.
Social and cultural norms, as well as legal regulations, influence human behavior including sexual behavior. So not surprisingly, as the United States and other Western Countries have become increasingly pro-homosexual — socially, politically, and legally — they have experienced an upward trend in the number of individuals engaging in homosexual behavior. That trend will continue if we move beyond mere tolerance of homosexual behavior (which is appropriate) to formally honoring it by legalizing same-sex marriage.
Butler, A.C. (2005). Gender differences in same-sex sexual partnering, 1988-2002. Social Forces, 84, 421-449.
Frisch, M. & Hviid, A. (2006). Childhood family correlates of heterosexual and homosexual marriages: A national cohort study of two million Danes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 533-547.
Langstrom, N., Rahman, Q., Carlstrom, E., & Lichtenstein, P. (2008). Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior: A population study of twins in Sweden. Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9386-1.
Lauman, E.O., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Prager, D. (2005). “College Taught Her Not To Be a Heterosexual.” Available on the web at: http://dennisprager.townhall.com.
Santtila, P., Sandnabba, N.K., Harlaar, N., Varjonen, M., Alanko, K., von der Pahlen, B. (2008). Potential for homosexual response is prevalent and genetic. Biological Psychology, 77, 102-105.
Pro-Homosexual Researchers Conceal Findings: Children Raised by Openly Homosexual Parents More Likely to Engage in Homosexuality
By Trayce Hansen, Ph.D.
Research by social scientists, although not definitive, suggests that children reared by openly homosexual parents are far more likely to engage in homosexual behavior than children raised by others. Studies thus far find between 8% and 21% of homosexually parented children ultimately identify as non-heterosexual. For comparison purposes, approximately 2% of the general population are non-heterosexual. Therefore, if these percentages continue to hold true, children of homosexuals have a 4 to 10 times greater likelihood of developing a non-heterosexual preference than other children.
Some researchers who uncovered sexual preference differences between homosexually and heterosexually parented children, nonetheless declared in their research summaries that no differences were found. Many believe they concealed their findings so as not to harm their own pro-homosexual, sociopolitical agendas.
All social scientists who conduct research in this emotionally-charged area have personal biases. That’s a given. But if the authors of these studies want to be regarded as scientists, and not activists, they must set aside their biases and straightforwardly present their findings.
Regardless, no one should be surprised that homosexual parents are more likely to raise homosexual children. As one of the few forthright pro-homosexual advocates proclaimed, “Of course our children are going to be different.”
In fact, many believe the percentages of non-heterosexual children in these studies would be even greater if more of the children had been raised from birth by openly homosexual parents. But most weren’t. A majority of these children actually were born into and raised by mother-father couples before one of their parents “came-out” and the parents divorced.
Findings from the best and most recent twin studies have found that homosexuality, unlike eye color, is not genetically-caused. But there are a number of non-genetic mechanisms through which homosexuality could be transmitted from one generation to the next. Those mechanisms include role-modeling, social learning and differential reinforcement, as well as outright encouragement of non-heterosexuality by parents or others.
No one knows for sure by what complex mechanisms homosexual parents disproportionately rear homosexual children. But regardless of how, it appears they do. The public needs to be made aware of the findings of these studies so that when courts adjudicate and citizens vote on issues related to homosexuality, they’re fully informed as to the possible consequences of those decisions on children.
For a review of the research studies alluded to above, as well as additional analysis and references, see article entitled, “A Review and Analysis of Studies Which Assessed Sexual Preference of Children Raised by Homosexuals.”
Boston Archdiocese Drops Adoption Services
Boston, Mar. 10, 2006 (CWNews.com) -
Boston Catholic Charities has decided to pull out of adoption services, rather than comply with Massachusetts law that requires adoption agencies not to discriminate against homosexual couples.
The surprise move by Boston Church officials, announced on March 10, avoids a political showdown in Massachusetts. The state’s bishops had said last week that they would seek an exemption from the law that mandates equal treatment for same-sex couples.
The Boston office of Catholic Charities has been caught up in a controversy since last November, when it came to light that the agency had placed several children in homosexual households. Church teachings say that adoption by same-sex couples is a form of violence against children.
In December, Boston’s Archbishop Sean O’Malley reportedly received a direct instruction from the Vatican saying that a Catholic agency cannot be involved in adoptions by gay couples. (The San Francisco archdiocese has recently acknowledged a similar message from Rome, responding to same-sex adoptions arranged by the office of Catholic Charities there.)
On February 28, the four diocesan bishops of Massachusetts joined in a public statements indicating that they would seek an exemption from the government’s non-discrimination policy. Today’s announcement indicates that the bishops have abandoned their effort.
“We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve,” said Father J. Bryan Hehir and Jeffrey Kaneb, the president and chairman, respectively, of Boston Catholic Charities. Their joint statement concluded that they could not find a way to “reconcile the teaching of the Church which guides our work and the statutes and regulations of the commonwealth.”
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had said that he did not have the authority to grant an exemption for Catholic Charities from the state’s anti-discrimination laws, but he indicated that he would be sympathetic to legislation advancing that goal. However, leaders of the state legislature warned that a Church bid for an exemption would be unsuccessful, leaving the bishops no other option but a court battle.
Another option open to the Massachusetts bishops was to challenge the state’s non-discrimination policy in court, citing it as a violation of religious freedom. Church leaders chose not to pursue that option.
C. J. Doyle, the president of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, called today’s announcement “unfortunate.” Church leaders might have prevailed in a lawsuit, he argued. The decision to drop adoption services without a fight, he said, was “a loss for religious freedom and a loss for the Catholic Church.” The long-term effects of today’s announcements are unclear. The controversy had already taken a toll on the Boston office of Catholic Charities, with 8 board members resigning in protest against the bishops’ call for an exemption from state policy. In December the board had voted overwhelmingly to continue placing adoptive children with same-sex couples.
Boston Catholic Charities has arranged about 30-40 adoptions annually in recent years. Those services represent only a small part of the adoption business in Massachusetts, where several hundred children are waiting for placement.
Boston Catholic Charities has an annual budget of over $40 million, with most of the money coming from government programs.