Yet another recent study confirms the conventional wisdom that gay marriage activists have been trying to deny: Children who are raised by their father and mother who are married to each other are by far less likely to experience child-abuse than single parents, cohabiting parents, other married parents, and children living with no parents at all.
The study, released by the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is called “Fourth National Incident Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4).”
Ted Olson and David Boies [who are currently suing in Federal court to overturn California’s Prop 8: Marriage Protection Act] have claimed that Science Says there is no evidence that kids need a mom and dad. That’s just the rednecks confusing the research, which only says two adults in a family are better than one. The only reason people think a mom and dad are special is, well, because they hate gay folks.
Well, stay with me a second. This new study did not just compare married parents to single parents. Instead it compared married biological parents to four other family structures: solo parents, cohabiting parents, other married parents, and children living with no parents at all.
What family form best protects children from one of the worst harms of all–child abuse? The answer is: the child’s own mom and dad united by marriage.
It wasn’t even close.
Let me quote you the hard data:
“Children living with two married biological parents had the lowest rate of overall Harm Standard maltreatment, at 6.8 per 1,000 children. This rate differs significantly from the rates for all other family structure and living arrangement circumstances.”
It wasn’t just solo parents who had problems.
Children living with one parent who had an unmarried partner in the household had the highest incidence of Harm Standard maltreatment (57.2 per 1,000). Their rate is more than 8 times greater than the rate for children living with two married biological parents.
The incidence of Harm Standard maltreatment also is significantly higher for children living with one parent and that parent’s unmarried partner than for children in three other conditions: children living with other married parents (24.4 children per 1,000), those living with two unmarried parents (23.5 children per 1,000), and those living with a single parent with no partner in the household (28.4 children per 1,000). The risk of Harm Standard maltreatment for children whose single parent has an unmarried partner is more than 2 times greater than the risk for children living in these other living arrangements.
Our president, Maggie Gallagher, wrote about this on NOM’s blog: “New Study: Married Biological Parents Best.” Maggie writes:
Here’s my question for Ted and David as they strive to prove that Science Says same-sex unions are just like opposite-sex ones, when it comes to children.
Perhaps you are right. Perhaps alone of all the family structures science has ever studied, children living with same-sex couples do just as well as children in intact married families. (Perhaps that is true even though your own expert witness admits there is no research on how well two gay men raise children, and there is no nationally representative study that follows children raised from birth to adulthood by same-sex [couples] and compares how they do to children in other family forms).
But does this study, which is one of hundreds with similar results favoring the natural family give Ted Olson and David Boies pause late at night as they assert the scientific irrationality of respect for the natural family at all I wonder? Ted and David, I’m wondering: not even a little bit?
Probably not when it comes to Ted and David, but the rest of us in the reality-based community understand that marriage really does matter because it’s the only way to connect a child to his own mom and dad.
All children are gifts from God and deserve our respect. All parents working hard to raise good kids also deserve our respect and help. But there is no call to wipe out the ideal itself, rooted in Nature and Nature’s God, and replace it with a man-made fantasy that same-sex unions are just the same as the one kind of union that best protects children.
Gay partners raising children, among other things, demands that the child be raised by a single parent. It is the greatest of arrogance to claim that two “parents” of the same gender could ever replace a mother and father, with their gender strengths and characteristics. It is critical that children have healthy gender role models to ensure healthy adjustment in society.