Final Paper Fall 07

Final Paper Fall 07 - Gay Parenting i Is Gay Parenting...

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Gay Parenting i Is Gay Parenting Detrimental to a Child’s Development? Laurent King First Year Seminar 100, Section 40A
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Gay Parenting 2 Ms. Sy 6 December, 2007 For many years, society has struggled with cultivating socially acceptable family values of the true definition of family so that it can determine which family structures best fit into this definition of family. Society is organised according to the heterosexual value of the contemporary, nuclear and predominantly patriarchal family. The issue of gay parenting has been the cause of many debates in child custody cases, to determine if that style of parenting is beneficial to a child’s healthy development and wellbeing. As a result of society’s adherence to the norm of opposite-sex parenting, it asserts the belief that heterosexual parenting guarantees good and healthy parenting. Gay parenting continues to provoke strong anxieties within contemporary, heteronormative society; it is seen as an impediment to the developmental progress of children because it deviates from society’s heterosexual norm. The heterosexual, nuclear family is the basis by which all alternative family structures are judged and measured, and because of this society assumes that gays are incapable and unfit of being good parents because they deny children the essential values that they would receive in opposite-sex families. However, “No precise rule or formula exists for determining which household or family arrangement operates in the child’s best interests.” (Sullivan 6). Although the two
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Gay Parenting 3 families possess certain intrinsic differences, it does not mean that one is deficient in comparison to the other. Rather it is because of society’s heteronormalcy that the belief that gay parenting is detrimental exists. Contrary to popular belief, homosexual parenting is in no way detrimental to a child’s psychological development and well-being, and is equally efficient as heterosexual parenting. What really matters in Parenting? “Theories of psychological development have traditionally emphasised distinctive contributions of both mothers and fathers to the healthy personal and social development of their children” (Patterson, 1992, 1028). In a study by Nungesser, 1980, it was found that many theories predict negative outcomes for children who are raised in environments that do not provide these two kinds of inputs (Patterson, 1992, 1028). However, according to Golombok, “family structure, in itself, makes little difference to children’s psychological development. Instead, what really matters is the quality of family life” (Golombok 99). This statement shows that because the parents’ in a family are gay, it does not have an effect in how the child develops psychologically. In gay and lesbian families, the parents can play an active role in their child’s life, regardless of their sexual orientation. Lesbian
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Gay Parenting 4 mothers and gay fathers are very similar to other parents, but as with all things
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Final Paper Fall 07 - Gay Parenting i Is Gay Parenting...

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