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Old 03-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #61
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Originally posted by yolland

No one criticized the AAP report's "sample selection" or "lack of proper control groups"--there weren't any samples or control groups involved! It was a scientific research review, not an experimental study.
Why did more than 600 members of the AAP protest by walking out of the Academy?
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:57 AM   #62
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Because that 1% of the AAP's 60,000+ membership are opposed to gay adoption on moral grounds. Naturally, they also criticized the report itself for being based on flawed, "elitist" "advocacy" research--that's par for the course where policymaking based on social science research into political flashpoint issues is concerned. The remaining 99% of the AAP's membership did not agree that the research surveyed was terminally flawed, and its chapter council of presidents and vice-presidents from all 50 states unanimously passed the resolution resulting from the report's recommendations.

Similar firestorms had erupted over previous AAP resolutions pertaining to condom distribution and abortion. In this case (gay adoption), the most vocal 100 or so of the dissenters went on to found in response the American College of Physicians (ACP), "an organisation with Judeo-Christian, traditional values that is open to pediatric medical professionals of all religions who hold true to the group's core beliefs: that life begins at conception; and that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children," according to founder Joseph Zanga, MD.

I don't doubt that some among the 99% who didn't dissent were likewise predisposed on moral grounds to support the resolution regardless of scientific merit. And perhaps there were a few dissenters whose primary motivation was sincere reservations about the methodology, etc. of the studies cited. But I would feel pretty safe concluding that the fact that that many AAP members sided with their leadership and their chapter council is broadly indicative of widespread acceptance of the validity of this research within the pediatrics community.
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:23 AM   #63
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That's why I hate it when morality and science mix. Science is not meant to be catered to some archaic, arbitrary ideas of what is "moral," but, rather, what is true. And if morality cannot deal with the observable truth and must instead lie and defame an unpopular minority to justify its "morality," then it deserves to be discredited.

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Old 03-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #64
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Originally posted by nathan1977
So you're saying that men and women aren't different? And that those differences don't manifest themselves in parenting styles? And that those differences aren't ultimately beneficial to the child? This is problematic at a variety of levels, including your own example:



By this logic, you actually seem to contradict yourself. By inference, two fathers would teach children to be more closed-minded, emotional repressed, and alienated from their peers. Did you mean to condemn gay fatherhood?

it's dangerous to make inferences.

yes, men and women aren't different, but same-sex parenting has not been shown to have any sort of detrimental effect upon a child. perhaps a child of two fathers or two mothers might grow up to hold a different set of values, or be more or less emotionally expressive, but these differences in gender are really no different than differences you might find between children of different faiths, different socio-economic backgrounds, mixed-race parents, or different regions of the United States.

perhaps we are working from a different base assumption.

my base assumption is the following: there is no discernable moral difference or social worth between gay couples and straight couples. the differences in lifestyle between a gay couple and a straight couple are no more than the differences you might find between a straight couple from San Francisco and a straight couple from Oklahoma. there's realy no way to tell who is the "better" set of parents beyond what is actually quantifiable -- i.e., time spent with the child, time invested in the child's education, etc.

however, if you are going to assert that, yes, straight couples are by definition morally preferable to gay couples -- irregardless of any other criteria -- then your points against gay adoption start to make more sense.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:12 PM   #65
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If I were interested in moralizing, Irvine, I would have started a whole different conversation.

My base assumption, when it comes to adoption (or parenting in general, for that matter), is that both mothers and fathers are necessary and essential for parenting, and that this is the optimal situation for children; that there are other legitimate forms of parenting, but in less-optimal situations; and that when you are considering adoption, in which the "best interests of the child" are the prime consideration, it is the optimal situation that should be pursued.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:36 PM   #66
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Originally posted by nathan1977
My base assumption, when it comes to adoption (or parenting in general, for that matter), is that both mothers and fathers are necessary and essential for parenting, and that this is the optimal situation for children; that there are other legitimate forms of parenting, but in less-optimal situations; and that when you are considering adoption, in which the "best interests of the child" are the prime consideration, it is the optimal situation that should be pursued.


why is the gender difference so optimal? why is it so essential to have different-sex parents than same-sex parents? why does opposite-sex parenting trump all other positives a same-sex couple might bring to a child? why do you assume it is better and what research can you point to in order to substantiate this belief?

you haven't even begun to answer my questions -- by asserting that opposite-sex parents are simply better, you open the door to assertions that children are better off with same-race couples, same-religion couples, same-nationality couples, and so many other things.

there does seem to be ... not a moralizing, but an assumption that an oppsite sex pairing is "better" than a same sex pairing.

why?
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:36 PM   #67
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Like I said at the beginning of my posts, Irvine, this issue is the tip of an iceberg for many, which is why (while most people on this board wish to trivialize it) it is so crucial, as it cuts to the heart of perspectives on sexuality. And why it's asinine for people to say "what's the big deal?", when it so precisely IS a big deal. As your post points out.

When we find ourselves agreeing with a perspective that says "men and women aren't different" (your quote, which flies in the face of both sociology and biology), using that to trivialize (or, in the case of motherhood, completely devalue) the very aspects of sexuality that make us unique, marginalizing or trivializing certain experts we claim to be ideologically driven (while trumpeting a no less ideologically-driven, highly selective and controversial review -- for the record, the 600 who walked out of the Academy in protest represented a third of those present for the reported findings), and in so doing, redefine tens of thousands of years of human development and evolution, we do so at our own peril.

Can you at least understand the stakes that we are discussing here? Family, sexuality, gender, politics, etc. As I say, the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:54 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
Like I said at the beginning of my posts, Irvine, this issue is the tip of an iceberg for many, which is why (while most people on this board wish to trivialize it) it is so crucial, as it cuts to the heart of perspectives on sexuality. And why it's asinine for people to say "what's the big deal?", when it so precisely IS a big deal. As your post points out.



you're being very opaque here. can you flesh this out please? i don't see why opposite genders becomes not just the optimal, but as you are arguing, the only acceptable environment for children.

[q]When we find ourselves agreeing with a perspective that says "men and women aren't different" (your quote, which flies in the face of both sociology and biology), using that to trivialize (or, in the case of motherhood, completely devalue) the very aspects of sexuality that make us unique, marginalizing or trivializing certain experts we claim to be ideologically driven (while trumpeting a no less ideologically-driven, highly selective and controversial review -- for the record, the 600 who walked out of the Academy in protest represented a third of those present for the reported findings), and in so doing, redefine tens of thousands of years of human development and evolution, we do so at our own peril.[/q]

firstly, there was a typo in my post -- i do agree that men and women are different. but the point still stands. how is gender difference greater than, say, racial differences, or ethnic differences, or religious differences, between two parents? as Yolland has pointed out, there is no evidence that the presence of opposite genders means that it is by definition a superior environment for raising children.

if you'd like to go back tens of thousands of years of human development and evolution, you'd find families where men were not fathers by any contemporary standard, where women were married at 13, and where it was not one man and one woman but one middle-aged man and many different women.

this is where essentialist arguments break down, as do any grand narrative, under close scrutiny -- what we hold up as ideals today are really historical anomalies when you take a grand view of things. this, to me, is the iceberg -- the upsetting of comforting traditionalist narratives that do little more beyond solidifying the present power structure.


Quote:
Can you at least understand the stakes that we are discussing here? Family, sexuality, gender, politics, etc. As I say, the tip of the iceberg.

the issue is complex as it does tie together family, sexuality, gender, politics, etc. but i don't see how allowing gay adoption -- of which we already do, there are just some states seeking to rescind those rights -- presents some sort of tip of an iceberg. it seems to me that the denying of such rights to be considered adoptive parents to gay people is what opens up this Pandora's Box you keep alluding too -- if you're going to say, "no, homosexual, you are not allowed to participate in this family structure," you better be well prepared to say why and how. the burden of proof is on your to prove not only why opposite sex parents are a good thing but why same sex parents are a bad thing.

you have yet to do so.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:26 PM   #69
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When you're going to upend commonly held societal structures, the burden of proof would be on you to demonstrate why they were/are in need of upending. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate A) that there is a problem in need of resolving, and B) not only that your solution resolves those issues without creating a host of new ones, and that it is in fact the optimal.

I've never said that straight families are the only solution. Just the best.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:41 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
When you're going to upend commonly held societal structures, the burden of proof would be on you to demonstrate why they were/are in need of upending. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate A) that there is a problem in need of resolving, and B) not only that your solution resolves those issues without creating a host of new ones, and that it is in fact the optimal.



they are in need of upending because it is immoral, and unconstitutional, to deny gay people full citizenship and personhood on the basis of an involuntary, immutable characteristic which causes no harm to anyone -- the only harm caused by homosexuality is the feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred that a homophobic society imbues in the mind of a gay person.

this is the problem that needs to be resolved: there is no reason why gay people should be prevented from forming families.



Quote:
I've never said that straight families are the only solution. Just the best.

but how are you arriving at this conclusion? upon what evidence do you base this other than your own ideas of what a family should look like? is this an "all things being equal give the kid to the hetero couple" argument, or are you saying, point blank, that gay people should be prevented from adopting children?
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:02 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
When you're going to upend commonly held societal structures, the burden of proof would be on you to demonstrate why they were/are in need of upending.
Good point. However, by your own logic, you've got some explaining to do. Gay individuals (and, as such, de facto gay couples) have been legally allowed to adopt children for decades. Why should we *now* make it illegal?

I also know a lot of this boils down to "perception." That is, when you think of a mother and father, you think of "Leave it to Beaver." And when you think of gay parents, I have a hunch you either think of someone like "Big Gay Al" on "South Park" or pedophiles. Am I correct here?

So, tell me, would you prefer a responsible gay couple adopting children or would you prefer a mother and father like Sharen and Michael Gravelle? Your "ideal" is just that: an ideal. And a romanticist one at that. Even Florida, which has banned gay adoption since the late 1970s, is now investigating reinstating it. If gays are considered suitable to be foster parents (and adoptive services consider them to be so, because there are, contrary to your ideal, not enough straight couples willing to do so), why are they not suitable to be adoptive parents?

So demonstrate why our current social structure needs to be upended to codify heterosexual supremacism.

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Old 03-02-2006, 06:12 PM   #72
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So demonstrate why our current social structure needs to be upended to codify heterosexual supremacism.

this seems a very succinct summation of the arguments against both gay adoption and gay marriage -- there seems to be a need, an urge, to validate the worth of heterosexual relationships through the denigration of homosexual relationships. hence, you get civil unions -- truly, separate but equal -- and a need to affirm gender differences as utterly critical to a child's development, self-esteem, and overall happiness. two loving parents isn't enough. two loving heterosexual parents is the ideal.

lines have been drawn up separating couples not on the basis of their parenting skills but by their sexual orientation.

this strikes me as the essence of discrimination.
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:19 PM   #73
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Originally posted by Irvine511

upon what evidence do you base this other than your own ideas of what a family should look like?
"My own ideas"? Or is it in fact sociological, cultural, and historical precedent, in addition to the host of studies that show that children are better off -- more emotionally balanced, more likely to succeed later in life, improved self-esteem -- with a mother and a father. (This isn't a "romanticist ideal," either, Melon -- statistically speaking, it's a reality, as somewhere around 75% of all children -- in America, at least -- have both a mother and a father.)

Quote:
is this an "all things being equal give the kid to the hetero couple" argument, or are you saying, point blank, that gay people should be prevented from adopting children?
As I've pointed out repeatedly (in citing the NCA, which states it themselves), my perspective is that a heterosexual married couple is the optimal situation in which a child should be raised. Not the only, but the optimal. And when it comes to evaluating adoptive home situations, the general rule in adoption is, "whatever home will best fit the needs of the child." I have said nothing to tear down homosexual families (I pointed out my friend and his partner, who have adopted). What I have said is that there is an optimal situation, and it would seem to do best by the child to focus on providing that.

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there seems to be a need, an urge, to validate the worth of heterosexual relationships through the denigration of homosexual relationships.
Implications or assertions have been made in this and other threads that when it comes down to it, homosexual parents are better than heterosexual ones. (Melon's example notwithstanding, I think you'd be hard pressed to find statistics showing that all, most, or even some adoptive parent situations are like the one he pulled up. This story seems to play to the worst forms of discrimination against adoptive couples.) So it seems, on this board anyway, that the denigration goes both ways.
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:31 PM   #74
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Originally posted by nathan1977
"My own ideas"? Or is it in fact sociological, cultural, and historical precedent, in addition to the host of studies that show that children are better off -- more emotionally balanced, more likely to succeed later in life, improved self-esteem -- with a mother and a father. (This isn't a "romanticist ideal," either, Melon -- statistically speaking, it's a reality, as somewhere around 75% of all children -- in America, at least -- have both a mother and a father.)
Except that 25% do not, including children abandoned by their heterosexual birth parents. Your studies (of which I will be skeptical until you cite the origin) ignore the fact that many unhappy criminal psychopaths had a mother and father and there are plenty of happy and well-adjusted children have come from homosexual parents.

Quote:
As I've pointed out repeatedly (in citing the NCA, which states it themselves), my perspective is that a heterosexual married couple is the optimal situation in which a child should be raised. Not the only, but the optimal. And when it comes to evaluating adoptive home situations, the general rule in adoption is, "whatever home will best fit the needs of the child." I have said nothing to tear down homosexual families (I pointed out my friend and his partner, who have adopted). What I have said is that there is an optimal situation, and it would seem to do best by the child to focus on providing that.
Really, all that "optimal" ideals do is inflame politics. Because when it comes to reality--which we all have to deal with, not ideals--I would say that those who work in adoptive agencies are more qualified. If children abandoned by their heterosexual parents are good enough to be foster children with gay individuals or couples, then they are good enough to be adopted by them. I would say it is more damaging to children to know that their foster parents want to keep them and then have the state force them to go somewhere else, because of some arbitrary sense of ideal. We don't live in percentages here in the real world. Everything has a case-by-case solution.

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Old 03-02-2006, 07:39 PM   #75
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Originally posted by melon

Really, all that "optimal" ideals do is inflame politics. Because when it comes to reality--which we all have to deal with, not ideals--I would say that those who work in adoptive agencies are more qualified. If children abandoned by their heterosexual parents are good enough to be foster children with gay individuals or couples, then they are good enough to be adopted by them. I would say it is more damaging to children to know that their foster parents want to keep them and then have the state force them to go somewhere else, because of some arbitrary sense of ideal. We don't live in percentages here in the real world. Everything has a case-by-case solution.
Which is what the NCA states -- that less-than-optimal situations should be examined on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, I'm skeptical when you say that you'd prefer to pay attention to the perspectives of "those who work in adoptive agencies (who) are more qualified," since you summarily disregarded the perspective of a child's advocacy group with over 25 years of experience working with adoptive children when they say something you disagree with.

When adoptive policies state that their policy is to find families that will be in the best interests of the child, we are dealing in optimals and ideals.

To say "let's move away from the optimal/ideal," comes suspiciously close to demanding the right to adopt. (Especially when such an ideal is not arbitrary, as I've repeatedly pointed out, but based in sociological, historical, and cultural contexts. While the interpretations of principles may have shifted some in thousands of years, the principle has remained the same -- a mother and a father are the best situation for a child's development.)
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