The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Time Ponders Marriage, Sociologists, Feminists Weigh In

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By Nathan A. Cherry

I came across this story recently by Caitlin Flanagan, “Is There Hope for the American Marriage,” and highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read it. Ms. Flanagan did an outstanding job of showing the vital merits marriage contains for families, and especially children.

 The article ends by pondering what children will grow up to be like in a world where they observe adults jump in and out of casual flings one right after the other, or just never take the time to get married and live together for years and years while periodically taking part in their kids life. What hope of character development is there for kids who see little to no character in the adult influences in their lives?

 And yet it is these principal adults in the lives of children that make all the difference in the world. The article states that,

 “On every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households. Longevity, drug abuse, school performance and dropout rates, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior and incarceration — if you can measure it, a sociologist has; and in all cases, the kids living with both parents drastically outperform the others.”

 Yes you did read that correctly. Sociology has repeatedly concluded that children from two-parent, intact homes outperform children from other home structures. You would think that if science continually concludes a particular outcome, and if society bears the proof of that outcome, that people, especially lawmakers, would get a clue and start backing the evidence.

 But let’s not stop there; let’s move on a little farther in the article to a section that will surely anger feminists and homosexuals alike. Sociologist and author, and most notably feminist, Mariah Kefalas responded to the need for having a father at home:

 “As a feminist, I didn’t want to believe it. Women always tell me, ‘I can be a mother and a father to a child,’ but it’s not true. Growing up without a father has a deep psychological effect on a child. The mom may not need that man but her children still do.”

 Just a bit later in the article is a fact that a traditionalist such as myself is keenly aware of, but that others are not convinced of. A Princeton sociologist and single mother, Sara McLanahan, concluded her study of the long-tem effects a single parent home has on children by saying:

 “Children who grow up in a household with only one biological parent are worse off, on average, than children who grow up in a household with both of their biological parents, regardless of the parents’ race or educational background.”

 So at what point do we say “Damn the overwhelming amount of evidence because we want to do it our way regardless of the consequences!”? That is exactly what a person is saying when they declare that a same-sex marriage or single parent home can provide the same things as a traditional two-parent home. The evidence absolutely does not support that outcome. No, the evidence says that families, especially kids thrive and succeed far better when mom AND dad are both present and committed to making the home what it was intended to be.

 Say what you like, but evidence is evidence. The overwhelming body of evidence that exists to support the traditional two-parent home as the best environment for children is so large that only a truly narrow-minded person would dare ignore it.

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2 Responses

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  1. A mighty piece of writing! It is unusual in the ‘blogosphere’ to find articles that actually cite research, statistical data, or anything that would support a claim made by an author.

    I actually enjoyed the entire article; moreover, I am privy to each quote and data rendered. But I felt the greatest significance in the second to last paragraph: “Damn the overwhelming amount of evidence…”

    Unfortunately this is the American mind-set. When I peruse the data vis-a-vie Sotomayor, Healthcare reform, same-sex marriages, and now ignoring everything our ‘elected officials’ find it necessary to further muddy the waters with LGBT immigration reform.

    Love what you’ve done here!



    July 21, 2009 at 11:40 pm

  2. JPS,
    Thank-you for your kind words of encouragement. I do try to make sure I can verify what I have said through the use of science, statistics, or other data; otherwise its simply “he said, she said,” or “your word against mine.” We appreciate your support.

    Nathan Cherry

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 am

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