Part 1– Alternative families are on the rise- and it’s not going well…
Part 2- Kids need more than just two committed parents, gender is relevant.
Part 3– Dad and Mom are needed to develop a healthy gender identity.
Part 4– Biology Matters.
Conclusion– Opposite-sex parenting is ideal.
I do not need the bible to make a case for traditional marriage. That Christianity endorses one man/one woman marriage, and it is a statistical reality that the traditional family structure is ideal for childrearing, simply reinforces my confidence in the Christian worldview.
At the core, so much of this gay-marriage discussion comes down to gender. Are there real differences in gender? What role does gender play in our development? How do fathers and mothers distinctly nurture and interact with their children and how valuable is that difference? There are numerous studies that point to how men and women parent differently in their communication, play, demeanor, and discipline. The following quote makes a succinct summary of those differences.
There seem to be good reasons that children need both biological parents. The sexes are different. Because gender is a real phenomenon, it should come as no surprise that men and women parent differently. Men and women bring different, complementary skills to childrearing. Men are more likely to play expansively with their children than to do mundane care taking; women tend to be more practical. Mothers tend to be more responsive to their child’s immediate needs, while fathers tend to be more firm, more oriented to abstract standards of justice (right and wrong). Kids need both. Mothers tend to emphasize the emotional security of their children, while fathers tend to stress competition and risk taking. Mothers tend to seek the immediate well-being of the child, while fathers tend to foster long-term autonomy and independence. Children need both parents, because they learn different lessons from each. Neither fathers nor mothers are expendable. The presence of a father is critical to a male child’s learning self-control and appropriate male behavior, especially learning to respect women. Similarly, the presence of a father is vital for a female child’s self-respect and eventual development of a healthy adult sexuality. Children need mothers just as much. The presence of both parents seems to be necessary for ideally balanced emotional and mental development. http://www.catholic.com/documents/gay-marriage
Men and women are different socially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Evidence suggests that women tend to be more inclusive, relational and others-oriented. Men tend to be more independent, production-oriented, and driven. Children need both of these essential attributes modeled and lived out for them at all stages of their social and emotional development.
Maybe you don’t buy it. Maybe you think that gender doesn’t matter that much. Glenn T. Stanton gives this illustration in his book Secure Daughters, Confident Sons. When a reporter calls to interview him on issues of gender identity and the family he responds with “I hear your busy newsroom in the background. Say it was staffed exclusively by men. How different do you think the environment and your publication would be if that were the case? Doesn’t a great publication like your simply need smart and talented journalists, regardless of sex differences?” The answer is no. The presence of women, their unique perspective and methods of communicating aid greatly in a sharp, balanced and high-performing organization. He concludes, “In most human situations, it’s silly to believe that gender makes no meaningful difference.” If this is true for a news organization, child educators, office environments, the military, etc., how much more important are both male and female gifting and perspective in the staging ground for human development? I would argue that they are of foundational importance.