Non-Traditional Families Reaction Paper

Pages: 4 (1473 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

Non-Traditional Families

The two scholarly articles critiqued in this paper bring very different perspectives into view. They offer very different conclusions. And yet they are linked in the sense that they investigate and evaluate family success vs. family failure vis-a-vis the raising of children. Essentially, the Wu / Martinson piece goes into great detail, using empirical strategies to investigate how children's domestic upbringing in certain family situations works out in terms of whether or not girls grow up to have babies prior to marriage. The Stacey / Biblarz piece, on the other hand, looks into the bias in various research articles regarding whether or not children raised by gay / lesbian parents have normal social lives as opposed to children raised in heterosexual families with a father and a mother at home.

The Sexual Orientation of Parents -- Does it Matter?

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The Stacey / Biblarz article is eleven and a half years old, and much has happened since then in the same-sex marriage debate in America, and several states have legalized same sex marriage subsequent to this article being published. However, the points the authors raise in this piece, especially regarding the ideological bias shown in some of the so-called objective research projects, are profound and honest. The "passionate divisions" between researchers that have an anti-gay bias and researchers that are more open-minded or flat out supportive of same sex marriages are enormous. The research that existed eleven years ago reflects those prejudices and biases, and the authors insist that the "consequences" of research -- driven more by ideology than objective science -- are "…by no means 'academic' but bear on marriage and family policies…" that are at the heart of the society's discussion of sexuality, gender, and parenting (Stacey, et al., 2001, p. 160).

TOPIC: Reaction Paper on Non-Traditional Families Assignment

One body of the "youthful" research available for this article -- that was conducted by psychologists -- "almost uniformly" reports discovering "no notable differences between children reared by heterosexual parents and those reared by lesbian and gay parents" (Stacey, 160). This body of research, Stacey continues, presents the idea that lesbian and gay parents are as "competent and effective as heterosexual parents" (160). The strategy of using research conducted by qualified psychologists in court to argue for the rights of gay / lesbian parents to adopt, or to "defeat preemptive referenda against such rights" has achieved "considerable success," Stacey explains (160).

However, there are "researchers" and political campaigns that arrive at distinctly different results, including the research by a law professor at Brigham Young University, Lynn Wardle. Stacey notes that Wardle has been harshly critical of the research on the children of lesbians and gays, and Wardle has written brutally anti-gay and anti-same-sex marriage reports. Stacey explains that Wardle has presented a "harshly critical assessment of the research and argued for a presumptive judicial standard in favor of awarding child custody to hetero-sexual married couples" (160).

What Stacey does not bring forward about Wardle (perhaps because Stacey's article is from 2001 and the writer didn't know that much about Wardle at the time or Wardle's more nefarious right wing advocacies have only been in public view in the last few years) is that he is deeply connected to the Mormon Church (outspokenly anti-gay on the marriage issue), and that he is involved in a right wing group called "National Organization for Marriage" (NOM). Hence, it is the viewpoint of this paper that Wardle is in no position to pass judgment on the objectivity of psychological studies that show children raised by gay and lesbian parents are quite normal and healthy and in most cases happy. In fact he appears to be an intellectual homophobe, smart enough to be a lawyer and write scholarly papers, but bigoted enough to embrace Neanderthal ideas that spring from the keyboards and mouths of people like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Of course anyone alert to ideological passion put forward by homophobes cannot be surprised to find out that Wardle actually believes some of the smears and hateful rhetoric vis-a-vis the right wing. According to Stacey, Wardle believes the myth that gays and lesbians are "more sexually promiscuous than heterosexual parents and are more likely to molest their own children"; moreover, Wardle buys into the smear that the children of gay and lesbian parents are more likely to get AIDS, to become drug addicts, to suffer from depression and become suicidal (Stacey, 161).

While Stacey gently admits… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Non-Traditional Families" Reaction Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Non-Traditional Families.  (2011, December 7).  Retrieved August 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Non-Traditional Families."  7 December 2011.  Web.  1 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Non-Traditional Families."  December 7, 2011.  Accessed August 1, 2021.