by Glenn Stanton
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued what appears to be a politically motivated statement suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents do just fine. In fact, the AAP goes so far as to suggest that children are more affected by the health of the relationship between the people raising them than by whether they are being raised by their own mother and father.
Sadly, the report is not rooted in social science but instead in a spirit of radical social activism, causing the authors to come to a fantastical and wishful conclusion.
Regarding this issue, we must consider two important things that we do know.
1) The current research on how children fare developmentally in lesbian homes (there is virtually no research on male-headed families) has so many serious methodological limitations and problems that it cannot be counted on to draw any kind of reliable conclusion. The AAP’s own journal Pediatrics published a study (see p. 3 of study) in 2010 on this topic which makes this very clear to anyone who examines the methodology employed in reaching the study’s findings. This study’s weaknesses are also clearly displayed in the published explanation (see p. 274-275) of the study’s purpose and methodology. The research base they are employing is a house of cards.
2) There is an absolute wealth of very strong, consistent and diverse research demonstrating that when children are raised in a home other than with the child’s own married mother and father, that child is significantly more likely to experience a host of serious physical, psychological, educational, and behavioral disadvantages. And no data exists that this is not also true of same-sex homes. It should be noted that this body of data is so convincing that it compelled both the Clinton and Bush administrations to launch dynamic and sweeping initiatives to promote and increase greater fatherhood involvement in the lives of their children. Fathers matter greatly in the daily lives of their children.
The AAP been openly advocating for homosexual parenting since 2001. But such advocacy comes from a small group within the AAP who focus primarily on gay and lesbian issues.
At the start of this advocacy, the leader of these efforts reported in an email to select members that the Academy “received more messages — almost of all them CRITICAL — from the members about the recent Policy Statement on [same-sex parent adoption] than it has EVER received on any other topic. (emphasis in original). She reported significant withdrawals and threats of withdrawals of membership.
She then explained that “this is a serious problem, as it means it will become harder to continue the work we have been doing to use the AAP as vehicle for positive change.” (emphasis added)
To be clear, this recent announcement is not science, but propaganda rooted in social activism regarding the family, which is the foundational unit of humanity. That such a credentialed and well-known organization would play politics with this issue should grieve all of those who are committed to the integrity of science when it comes to the future of our children. Their well-being and health is far too important an issue to play politics with, especially of such a radical nature.
The AAP would be well-advised to stick to what the reliable and time-tested body of research tells us about what kinds of families promote the robust array of child-health: a family where children are raised by their mother and father who are in the midst of a healthy marriage.
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