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Thu 17th July 2014

First NZ Gay Marriage Fails in Less than a Year

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 9:08 am

MoMA has nothing against homosexual people and strongly supports their right to get on with their lives without discrimination or abuse. The history of horrible violence against gays (ongoing still in a number of countries) shows human irrationality and cruelty at its worst.

However, the pathetic performance of NZ’s first same-sex marriage couple highlights the degree to which the institution of marriage will be further trivialized and damaged by its redefinition for gays to use.

Homosexual marriages will be significantly shorter on average than heterosexual marriages, even after feminism eroded marriage to become an easily discarded self-indulgence. Gays generally do not have the same reasons to remain married that heterosexual couples have, i.e. the need to provide a nurturing, secure family for offspring to grow up in. So there is little reason for a gay couple to overcome inevitable relationship conflicts and unhappiness. The shorter marriages become on average, the more irrelevant marriage will become and the more callously it will be treated. Amending marriage laws to allow gays to feel they aren’t missing out on anything heterosexuals might have, was in itself a trivialization of what was left of the institution of marriage.

The trivializing attitude of these poster girls to their marriage commitment can be seen in this poem written by one of them:

Drink it down, laugh it off,
Avoid the drama, take chances,
And never have regrets
Because at one point everything you did
Was exactly what you wanted.

That attitude is not much different from what we see in many feminist-thinking women. “Oh that’s what I wanted yesterday but today I want something different so you dear can be discarded (except for your ongoing money) and I will decide how much if at all you can still be involved in bringing up MY children”. But that attitude will be more easily maintained in most gay marriages where there will not be the same complications.

The early failure of the first gay marriage should also sound a warning bell against insufficient caution in allowing a gay couple to adopt children. MoMA does not suggest that gay couples should be prevented from adopting children. There will be situations in which a gay couple will be the best choice from those available. For example, it may be better for a child to be adopted by a gay couple connected to the child’s family than by unrelated strangers, even with the realistic risk that the gay partnership will not be as stable. However, MoMA’s concern is that the likes of the Labiar Party are likely to legislate in such a way as to disallow consideration of the sexuality of those seeking to adopt (i.e. banning adoption authorities from discriminating on the basis of a couples’ gender composition). MoMA believes that the likelihood of earlier separation by same-sex couples should be taken into account in adoption decisions. When heterosexual and homosexual couples compete to adopt the same child and there is no other advantage evident for either couple (e.g. they are both related to the child’s family, the child gets on equally well with them, they provide comparable financial security) then the decision should be able to be based on predicted future stability of the two couples’ partnerships.

20 Responses to “First NZ Gay Marriage Fails in Less than a Year”

  1. Epic fail, nice one. um who gets the kids ? do they both get legal aid ? will the first one to make up lies get the protection order ? will the court be able to make a unbiased decision ? that would be interesting to see the outcome ?

  2. andrew says:

    I feel for this couple however their success or failure in their partnership is really none of our business. What is our business is the offspring of either partner and how, if they exist, the children can get on and grow up in a reasonable way. In a case that I have heard of there was an attempt made to have the biological father removed from the upbringing of the children when a couple of females decided to form a partnership. I understand that the attempt failed in the family court.

  3. Daniel says:

    I’m not sure how this is relevant to men out there, live and let live I say.
    It won’t be long before the first gay male couple gets divorced – will that be any different?

  4. Downunder says:

    @Daniel – It depends on your view of marriage; whether you consider marriage to be sexually based or based on reproduction.

    Marriage was a defined contract – men and women knew where they stood but now it is a legally managed contract with undefined boundaries, in which men generally come off second best, women get what they want, and children often lose out.

  5. Daniel says:

    Or a culturally endorsed agreement between two people.
    Are you saying it was a defined contract but now it isn’t? As far as I know even cultures without a formal legal system have always had some form of marriage, in our age the state has decided to step in and regulate to suit itself and the state’s definition of marriage isn’t static though the principle hasn’t changed that much.
    I still can’t see how this is relevant to me, women will use the law to get what they want and keep pushing the boundaries to get more power regardless of whether same sex marriage is allowed or not. Objecting to gay marriage on ‘moral’ grounds is even more irrelevant.

  6. MurrayBacon says:

    Everyone seems in a serious mood, so to lighten up a little bit?
    YouTube The unstoppable future of love, respect and tolerance: Conchita Wurst at TEDxAmRing

    Claims to equality are fine, in issues between adults. However, children’s right to a stable, loving, developing and happy childhood may not be served by simple marriage equality?

    I suggest that the only way to protect children, is by licensing adults before they care for children, for all gender agendas.

  7. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Shifts in attitudes towards marriage and changes to the laws around marriage are of great importance to men. Changes to marriage over recent decades have contributed hugely to many of the problems men experience and discuss here. Those changes have markedly increased the exploitation of men and probably contributed to increased suicide rates. Our argument, which anyone is welcome to refute, is that opening up marriage to gays was another step towards reducing the gravity and meaning our society attaches to marriage.

    However, Daniel (#3 and #5), you seem to be opposing arguments that nobody here has made. Nobody has mounted any anti-gay moral arguments, and nobody has suggested that the female gender of this failed marriage is of significance. It just so happens that the views poetically expressed by one of those women are consistent with the views of many feminist-thinking women. This also is of great relevance to men.

    We would be surprised if one of the gay male marriages hasn’t already failed but that wouldn’t hit the news so we wouldn’t know about it. This female marital separation was in the news only because the couple were celebrated publicly as the first gay couple who used the newly redefined law to tie their knot of life-long commitment. Such knots have become very loosely tied over the last 50 years, but the homosexual marital knots are clearly even looser.

    Although no moral objection to gay marriage per se has been argued, there are moral positions underlying our concern for the welfare of children, and our concerns about a trivialization of the role, importance and rules of marriage.

  8. JohnPotter says:

    MOMA, do you have any evidence for your statement below?

    Homosexual marriages will be significantly shorter on average than heterosexual marriages

    It’s true that the duration of many gay male relationships can be measured in mere minutes, but these guys are not likely to be the ones choosing to get married.

    I personally know several male couples who have maintained loving relationships for decades, and it seems to me that their prospects would be at least as good as for heterosexual couples. Gays might even be able to avoid some of the societal pressures which work to undermine traditional male-female marriages.

    This is a potentially important issue if the adoption of children is being considered, and I would like to think that the men’s movement avoids promoting factoids on the basis of their truthiness.

    If you have any data on this, please share it with us.

  9. The man in Absentia says:

    We will distort the debate and our position if we argue about issues such as this.
    You can be Homophobic if you like, but it’s a sideshow, it taints our desires for equality.
    Surely in a political sense we need all the help we can get. Gay men vote. Gay women vote. What version of bias would you like to impose on them. Don’t vote because your gay?
    I am a little bit homophobic. But I see that when my Gay brothers boyfriend hugs my child, my child’s emotional responses tells no lies.
    She does not judge by heterosexuality, or Gayness, but character.
    Maybe their relationships don’t last as long.
    Maybe there is more violence.
    Maybe child development is less than perfect.
    Maybe the social stigmas we as society impose on them is the actual problem, not there Gayness.
    The argument trends to the irrational and we should avoid it.
    There is far more important things to focus our efforts on.

  10. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Man in Absentia (#9): Accusing someone of being ‘homophobic’ just because you disagree with them or think the issue is not as important as other issues, is manipulative. We are most certainly not homophobic. And our arguments were not irrational at all; please explain how you think they were.

    Yes, there will be many issues of greater importance, but this one is not unimportant.

  11. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    The Stability of Same-Sex Cohabitation, Different-Sex Cohabitation, and Marriage by Charles Q Strohm for the California Center for Population Research, University of California. Abstract as follows:

    This study contributes to the emerging demographic literature on same-sex couples by comparing the level and correlates of union stability among four types of couples: male same-sex cohabitation, female same-sex cohabitation, different-sex cohabitation, and different-sex marriage. I analyze data from two British birth cohort studies, the National Child Development Study (N = 11,469) and the 1970 British Cohort Study (N = 11,924). These data contain retrospective histories of same-sex and different-sex unions throughout young adulthood (age 16-34) from 1974-2004. Event history analyses show that same-sex cohabitations have higher rates of dissolution than do different-sex cohabiting and marital unions. Among same-sex couples, male couples had slightly higher dissolution rates than did female couples. In addition, same-sex couples from the 1958 and 1970 birth cohorts had similar levels of union stability. The demographic correlates of union stability are generally similar for same-sex and different-sex unions.

  12. The man in Absentia says:

    I’ve seen the research that shows very negative resultants in regards to children being brought up in same sex relationships. I don’t disagree that there are issues. I just think that it is a battle we should avoid.
    I apologise if my comment or implications in using the word homophobic, if it offended.
    I believe that the battle for a more just society is reliant on examining causes, not effects.
    If their performance is bad, why?
    How can we make the effects better for the children?
    We must also accept that they will undertake actions to sate their desires to be parents whether we want them to or not.
    This is a site for men? are gay men not men?
    My brother is openly gay, and yes I love him to bits, I have empathy for his position/plight in society.

  13. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    JohnPotter (#8): We agree, and we have also known homosexual couples in long-lasting partnerships albeit placing less importance on sexual exclusivity than hetero partnerships tend to.

    It’s a complicated issue to research given that homosexual marriage has not been around for long even in the countries that pioneered it, and the much lower rates of marriage among homosexuals than heterosexuals. The Dutch AIDS related study is often quoted by religious and conservative zealots but its findings are not representative of gay marriages. However, both anecdotal knowledge and demographic research about the promiscuity of homosexuals would suggest that their marriages won’t be as stable. Our poster-girls have lasted less than a year, and that’s anecdotally significant especially because only a small proportion of gay couples marry or enter civil unions so those that do presumably are the most committed among the population of gay relationships.

    Other Dutch research suggests that divorce rates among the total group of heterosexual marriages is actually higher (0.099) than that among the total group of homosexual marriages (0.073). However, only 8% of homosexuals chose to marry while around 80% of heterosexuals did. Although it hasn’t been researched (and may be impossible to do so reliably), the most-committed 8% proportion of hetero partnerships will probably have much lower divorce rates. Also, the rate for heterosexual couples covers marriages over a much longer time span than the ten years during which homosexual marriages there had been possible at the time those statistics were gathered. So the rate for homosexual divorce within 10 years was almost as high as that for heterosexual divorce within, say, 50 years. The rate of heterosexual divorce within 10 years of marriage is likely to be much lower than the rate already seen in homosexual marriages, which presumably represent the most committed group on average among homosexual partnerships.

    It will be some years before reliable statistics accumulate allowing direct comparisons between heterosexual and homosexual marriages. But from the research we know of already, it’s a safe bet that the homosexual marriages won’t last as long on average. That is not intended to be a criticism of homosexuals (it’s up to them how they do their relationships) but it does have implications for how marriage comes to be treated and viewed, and for the welfare of children.

  14. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Man In Absentia (#12): Thank you for retracting and apologizing regarding your allegation of homophobia. For all you know we might be homosexual.

    I just think that it is a battle we should avoid.

    You are welcome to avoid controversial issues but we won’t. A battle only happens when two or more parties fight. Expressing opinions and seeking truth aren’t necessarily participating in battle. We would love to be refuted if this can be done through rational argument that actually addresses our points. In that case we will acknowledge our error and change our opinion.

  15. OMG! you're f%^^&*($@#! says:

    To state that gay marriages fail at a greater rate than heterosexual marriages is a bit emotive and misleading.
    Especially young-marriages (16,17,18,19yo’s) may fail more readily than ‘waiting a few years’.
    First marriages may fail more readily than second marriages.
    Forced marriages may fail more readily than free-choice marriages.
    Mangere marriages may fail more readily than Remuera marriages.
    DV-filled marriages ;
    Cross-religion;
    Cross-culture;
    Marriages with one party an alcoholic;
    Marriages with one party a workaholic;
    Civil unions may fail more readily than ‘traditional’ marriages.
    Simply living together may fail more readily any of the above.

    I think you get the idea. [and I'm not stating any of the above to be 'fact'; I am merely being suggestive]

    It is a valid question to ask sociological questions as to why any of these holds true – if only to help one or both partners to the marriage. However if the overall question is only asked in regard to one scenario – e.g. that of homosexuality – then then the person or organisation asking the question leaves itself open to the ‘charge’ of homophobia. To focus on only one area – e.g. homosexuality – for the purpose of one specific debate, research, statistic etc is also not in itself necessarily homophobic – unless it becomes a recurring and predominant theme, as some pseudo political groups may have done in the past.

  16. JohnPotter says:

    Thanks for the info MOMA.

    My first thought when I read your statement was that there couldn’t be much data on gay marriage, at least long term. Studies that compare same-sex cohabitation with mixed-sex marriage are comparing apples and oranges in my opinion.

    From the limited information available on the outcomes of committed (civil union, marriage, etc) homosexual relationships, I agree that the risk of relationship failure does seem to be somewhat higher than for heteros.

    It also looks like most gay parenting is done by lesbians.

    In answer to The man in Absentia (#12) – yes, this site is supportive of gay men.

  17. Downunder says:

    Which argument you chose to have depends very much on the state of a society.

    In a developing or insecure population the focus of any laws or convention will be on reproduction, but in a developed or secure society, or perceived to be secure, the focus shifts to attachment or pleasure.

    For example with the decimation of the Maori population (some, not all) Maori mothers would ensure that their daughters were pregnant as soon as they were fertile. There was a determined effort to regenerate numbers.

    In the latter days of the Roman Empire a law was enacted requiring slave owners who allowed slaves to marry to sell them as a couple and not separate them, recognising the attachment.

    At the same time the aristocracy became very much concerned with pleasure and stopped producing children – a decree was issued to breed – but that didn’t fix the situation. The Romans had developed basic contraception and could make choices about the numbers of children they had.

    We have reached that point in a social context where in our perceived secure society our focus shifts from reproduction to pleasure and attachment – we also produce less children, not just us in New Zealand – this is now a recognised phenomenon occurring in many parts of the Western World

    Our law is now firmly focused on recognising the individual rather than recognising the family unit as it did 40 years ago, marriage has been redefined, away from reproduction towards pleasure and attachment as is the case with gay marriage.

    The argument is not a homophobic one – you don’t need a law to cohabitate.

    A law is passed to have an effect.

    If we need marriage laws, then what exactly are they for?

    Should they recognise biological relationships or individual rights?

  18. MurrayBacon says:

    I realise that the familycaught$ flourishes under the concept of working blind and in defiance of evidence – the without-evidence principle reigns supreme in weighing facts. Decisions are made based on other irrelevant cases, misunderstood factoids and public pressures, whether well founded or not. Whether in fact this will increase or decrease the hazard to the children will never be evaluated. By prioritising wealth extraction and transfer to legal workers, in fact hazards to children will usually be greatly increased.

    Where there is competence for the issues at hand, decisionmakers of integrity work in accordance with evidence based principles, for example in education, medicine and engineering. Such professionals make decisions on the basis of the facts relating to the case at hand.

    So I acknowledge that fundamental evidence about parents and parenting is only of academic interest, when decisions will actually be made in familycaught$, without competence rearing its ugly head.

    __________________________________________________________________

    How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study
    Mark Regnerus
    Social Science Research 41 (2012) 752–770
    Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-0118, United States

    a b s t r a c t
    The New Family Structures Study (NFSS) is a social-science data-collection project that
    fielded a survey to a large, random sample of American young adults (ages 18–39) who
    were raised in different types of family arrangements. In this debut article of the NFSS, I
    compare how the young-adult children of a parent who has had a same-sex romantic relationship
    fare on 40 different social, emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared
    with six other family-of-origin types. The results reveal numerous, consistent
    differences, especially between the children of women who have had a lesbian relationship
    and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents. The results are typically
    robust in multivariate contexts as well, suggesting far greater diversity in lesbian-parent
    household experiences than convenience-sample studies of lesbian families have revealed.
    The NFSS proves to be an illuminating, versatile dataset that can assist family scholars in
    understanding the long reach of family structure and transitions.

    …………………………
    1. Introduction
    The well-being of children has long been in the center of public policy debates about marriage and family matters in the
    United States. That trend continues as state legislatures, voters, and the judiciary considers the legal boundaries of marriage.
    Social science data remains one of the few sources of information useful in legal debates surrounding marriage and adoption
    rights, and has been valued both by same-sex marriage supporters and opponents. Underneath the politics about marriage
    and child development are concerns about family structures’ possible effects on children: the number of parents present and
    active in children’s lives, their genetic relationship to the children, parents’ marital status, their gender distinctions or similarities,
    and the number of transitions in household composition. In this introduction to the New Family Structures Study
    (NFSS), I compare how young adults from a variety of different family backgrounds fare on 40 different social, emotional,
    and relational outcomes. In particular, I focus on how respondents who said their mother had a same-sex relationship with
    another woman—or their father did so with another man—compare with still-intact, two-parent heterosexual married families
    using nationally-representative data collected from a large probability sample of American young adults.
    Social scientists of family transitions have until recently commonly noted the elevated stability and social benefits of the
    two-parent (heterosexual) married household, when contrasted to single mothers, cohabiting couples, adoptive parents, and
    ex-spouses sharing custody (Brown, 2004; Manning et al., 2004; McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994). In 2002, Child Trends—a
    well-regarded nonpartisan research organization—detailed the importance for children’s development of growing up in ‘‘the
    presence of two biological parents’’ (their emphasis; Moore et al., 2002, p. 2). Unmarried motherhood, divorce, cohabitation,
    and step-parenting were widely perceived to fall short in significant developmental domains (like education, behavior problems,
    and emotional well-being), due in no small part to the comparative fragility and instability of such relationships.

    In their 2001 American Sociological Review article reviewing findings on sexual orientation and parenting, however, sociologists
    Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz began noting that while there are some differences in outcomes between children in
    same-sex and heterosexual unions, there were not as many as family sociologists might expect, and differences need not
    necessarily be perceived as deficits. Since that time the conventional wisdom emerging from comparative studies of
    same-sex parenting is that there are very few differences of note in the child outcomes of gay and lesbian parents (Tasker,
    2005; Wainright and Patterson, 2006; Rosenfeld, 2010). Moreover, a variety of possible advantages of having a lesbian couple
    as parents have emerged in recent studies (Crowl et al., 2008; Biblarz and Stacey, 2010; Gartrell and Bos, 2010; MacCallum
    and Golombok, 2004). The scholarly discourse concerning gay and lesbian parenting, then, has increasingly posed a challenge
    to previous assumptions about the supposed benefits of being raised in biologically-intact, two-parent heterosexual
    households.
    1.1. Sampling concerns in previous surveys
    Concern has arisen, however, about the methodological quality of many studies focusing on same-sex parents. In particular,
    most are based on non-random, non-representative data often employing small samples that do not allow for generalization
    to the larger population of gay and lesbian families (Nock, 2001; Perrin and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects
    of Child and Family Health, 2002; Redding, 2008). For instance, many published studies on the children of same-sex parents
    collect data from ‘‘snowball’’ or convenience samples (e.g., Bos et al., 2007; Brewaeys et al., 1997; Fulcher et al., 2008; Sirota,
    2009; Vanfraussen et al., 2003). One notable example of this is the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, analyses of
    which were prominently featured in the media in 2011 (e.g., Huffington Post, 2011). The NLLFS employs a convenience sample,
    recruited entirely by self-selection from announcements posted ‘‘at lesbian events, in women’s bookstores, and in lesbian
    newspapers’’ in Boston, Washington, and San Francisco. While I do not wish to downplay the significance of such a
    longitudinal study—it is itself quite a feat—this sampling approach is a problem when the goal (or in this case, the practical
    result and conventional use of its findings) is to generalize to a population. All such samples are biased, often in unknown
    ways. As a formal sampling method, ‘‘snowball sampling is known to have some serious problems,’’ one expert asserts (Snijders,
    1992, p. 59). Indeed, such samples are likely biased toward ‘‘inclusion of those who have many interrelationships with,
    or are coupled to, a large number of other individuals’’ (Berg, 1988, p. 531). But apart from the knowledge of individuals’
    inclusion probability, unbiased estimation is not possible.
    Further, as Nock (2001) entreated, consider the convenience sample recruited from within organizations devoted to
    seeking rights for gays and lesbians, like the NLLFS sampling strategy. Suppose, for example, that the respondents have
    higher levels of education than comparable lesbians who do not frequent such events or bookstores, or who live elsewhere.
    If such a sample is used for research purposes, then anything that is correlated with educational attainment—like
    better health, more deliberative parenting, and greater access to social capital and educational opportunities for children—
    will be biased. Any claims about a population based on a group that does not represent it will be distorted, since its sample
    of lesbian parents is less diverse (given what is known about it) than a representative sample would reveal (Baumle
    et al., 2009).
    To compound the problem, results from nonprobability samples—from which meaningful statistics cannot be generated—
    are regularly compared with population-level samples of heterosexual parents, which no doubt are comprised of a blend of
    higher and lower quality parents. For example, Gartrell et al. (2011a,b) inquired about the sexual orientation and behavior of
    adolescents by comparing data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) with those in the snowball sample of
    youth in the NLLFS. Comparing a population-based sample (the NSFG) to a select sample of youth from same-sex parents
    does not provide the statistical confidence demanded of good social science. Until now, this has been a primary way in which
    scholars have collected and evaluated data on same-sex parents. This is not to suggest that snowball samples are inherently
    problematic as data-collection techniques, only that they are not adequate for making useful comparisons with samples that
    are entirely different with regard to selection characteristics. Snowball and various other types of convenience sampling are
    simply not widely generalizable or comparable to the population of interest as a whole. While researchers themselves commonly
    note this important limitation, it is often entirely lost in the translation and transmission of findings by the media to
    the public.
    1.2. Are there notable differences?
    The ‘‘no differences’’ paradigm suggests that children from same-sex families display no notable disadvantages when
    compared to children from other family forms. This suggestion has increasingly come to include even comparisons with
    intact biological, two-parent families, the form most associated with stability and developmental benefits for children
    (McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994; Moore et al., 2002).
    Answering questions about notable between-group differences has nevertheless typically depended on with whom comparisons
    are being made, what outcomes the researchers explored, and whether the outcomes evaluated are considered substantial
    or superficial, or portents of future risk. Some outcomes—like sexual behavior, gender roles, and democratic
    parenting, for example—have come to be valued differently in American society over time.
    For the sake of brevity—and to give ample space here to describing the NFSS—I will avoid spending too much time
    describing previous studies, many of whose methodological challenges are addressed by the NFSS. Several review articles,

    and at least one book, have sought to provide a more thorough assessment of the literature (Anderssen et al., 2002; Biblarz
    and Stacey, 2010; Goldberg, 2010; Patterson, 2000; Stacey and Biblarz, 2001a). Suffice it to say that versions of the phrase
    ‘‘no differences’’ have been employed in a wide variety of studies, reports, depositions, books, and articles since 2000 (e.g.,
    Crowl et al., 2008; Movement Advancement Project, 2011; Rosenfeld, 2010; Tasker, 2005; Stacey and Biblarz, 2001a,b;
    Veldorale-Brogan and Cooley, 2011; Wainright et al., 2004).
    Much early research on gay parents typically compared the child development outcomes of divorced lesbian mothers
    with those of divorced heterosexual mothers (Patterson, 1997). This was also the strategy employed by psychologist Fiona
    Tasker (2005), who compared lesbian mothers with single, divorced heterosexual mothers and found ‘‘no systematic differences
    between the quality of family relationships’’ therein. Wainright et al. (2004), using 44 cases in the nationally-representative
    Add Health data, reported that teenagers living with female same-sex parents displayed comparable selfesteem,
    psychological adjustment, academic achievement, delinquency, substance use, and family relationship quality to
    44 demographically ‘‘matched’’ cases of adolescents with opposite-sex parents, suggesting that here too the comparisons
    were not likely made with respondents from stable, biologically-intact, married families.
    However, small sample sizes can contribute to ‘‘no differences’’ conclusions. It is not surprising that statistically-significant
    differences would not emerge in studies employing as few as 18 or 33 or 44 cases of respondents with same-sex parents,
    respectively (Fulcher et al., 2008; Golombok et al., 2003; Wainright and Patterson, 2006). Even analyzing matched samples,
    as a variety of studies have done, fails to mitigate the challenge of locating statistically-significant differences when the sample
    size is small. This is a concern in all of social science, but one that is doubly important when there may be motivation to
    confirm the null hypothesis (that is, that there are in fact no statistically-significant differences between groups). Therefore,
    one important issue in such studies is the simple matter of if there is enough statistical power to detect meaningful differences
    should they exist. Rosenfeld (2010) is the first scholar to employ a large, random sample of the population in order to
    compare outcomes among children of same-sex parents with those of heterosexual married parents. He concluded—after
    controlling for parents’ education and income and electing to limit the sample to households exhibiting at least 5 years of
    co-residential stability—that there were no statistically-significant differences between the two groups in a pair of measures
    assessing children’s progress through primary school.
    Sex-related outcomes have more consistently revealed distinctions, although the tone of concern about them has diminished
    over time. For example, while the daughters of lesbian mothers are now widely understood to be more apt to explore
    same-sex sexual identity and behavior, concern about this finding has faded as scholars and the general public have become
    more accepting of GLB identities (Goldberg, 2010). Tasker and Golombok (1997) noted that girls raised by lesbian mothers
    reported a higher number of sexual partners in young adulthood than daughters of heterosexual mothers. Boys with lesbian
    mothers, on the other hand, appear to display the opposite trend—fewer partners than the sons of heterosexual mothers.
    More recently, however, the tone about ‘‘no differences’’ has shifted some toward the assertion of differences, and that
    same-sex parents appear to be more competent than heterosexual parents (Biblarz and Stacey, 2010; Crowl et al., 2008).
    Even their romantic relationships may be better: a comparative study of Vermont gay civil unions and heterosexual marriages
    revealed that same-sex couples report higher relationship quality, compatibility, and intimacy, and less conflict than
    did married heterosexual couples (Balsam et al., 2008). Biblarz and Stacey’s (2010) review article on gender and parenting
    asserts that,
    based strictly on the published science, one could argue that two women parent better on average than a woman and a
    man, or at least than a woman and man with a traditional division of labor. Lesbian coparents seem to outperform comparable
    married heterosexual, biological parents on several measures, even while being denied the substantial privileges
    of marriage (p. 17).
    Even here, however, the authors note that lesbian parents face a ‘‘somewhat greater risk of splitting up,’’ due, they suggest,
    to their ‘‘asymmetrical biological and legal statuses and their high standards of equality’’ (2010, p. 17).
    Another meta-analysis asserts that non-heterosexual parents, on average, enjoy significantly better relationships with
    their children than do heterosexual parents, together with no differences in the domains of cognitive development, psychological
    adjustment, gender identity, and sexual partner preference (Crowl et al., 2008).
    However, the meta-analysis reinforces the profound importance of who is doing the reporting—nearly always volunteers
    for small studies on a group whose claims about documentable parenting successes are very relevant in recent legislative
    and judicial debates over rights and legal statuses. Tasker (2010, p. 36) suggests caution:
    Parental self-report, of course, may be biased. It is plausible to argue that, in a prejudiced social climate, lesbian and gay
    parents may have more at stake in presenting a positive picture. . ..Future studies need to consider using additional
    sophisticated measures to rule out potential biases. . .
    Suffice it to say that the pace at which the overall academic discourse surrounding gay and lesbian parents’ comparative
    competence has shifted—from slightly-less adept to virtually identical to more adept—is notable, and rapid. By comparison,
    studies of adoption—a common method by which many same-sex couples (but more heterosexual ones) become parents—
    have repeatedly and consistently revealed important and wide-ranging differences, on average, between adopted children
    and biological ones. In fact, these differences have been so pervasive and consistent that adoption experts now emphasize
    that ‘‘acknowledgement of difference’’ is critical for both parents and clinicians when working with adopted children and and at least one book, have sought to provide a more thorough assessment of the literature (Anderssen et al., 2002; Biblarz
    and Stacey, 2010; Goldberg, 2010; Patterson, 2000; Stacey and Biblarz, 2001a). Suffice it to say that versions of the phrase
    ‘‘no differences’’ have been employed in a wide variety of studies, reports, depositions, books, and articles since 2000 (e.g.,
    Crowl et al., 2008; Movement Advancement Project, 2011; Rosenfeld, 2010; Tasker, 2005; Stacey and Biblarz, 2001a,b;
    Veldorale-Brogan and Cooley, 2011; Wainright et al., 2004).
    Much early research on gay parents typically compared the child development outcomes of divorced lesbian mothers
    with those of divorced heterosexual mothers (Patterson, 1997). This was also the strategy employed by psychologist Fiona
    Tasker (2005), who compared lesbian mothers with single, divorced heterosexual mothers and found ‘‘no systematic differences
    between the quality of family relationships’’ therein. Wainright et al. (2004), using 44 cases in the nationally-representative
    Add Health data, reported that teenagers living with female same-sex parents displayed comparable selfesteem,
    psychological adjustment, academic achievement, delinquency, substance use, and family relationship quality to
    44 demographically ‘‘matched’’ cases of adolescents with opposite-sex parents, suggesting that here too the comparisons
    were not likely made with respondents from stable, biologically-intact, married families.
    However, small sample sizes can contribute to ‘‘no differences’’ conclusions. It is not surprising that statistically-significant
    differences would not emerge in studies employing as few as 18 or 33 or 44 cases of respondents with same-sex parents,
    respectively (Fulcher et al., 2008; Golombok et al., 2003; Wainright and Patterson, 2006). Even analyzing matched samples,
    as a variety of studies have done, fails to mitigate the challenge of locating statistically-significant differences when the sample
    size is small. This is a concern in all of social science, but one that is doubly important when there may be motivation to
    confirm the null hypothesis (that is, that there are in fact no statistically-significant differences between groups). Therefore,
    one important issue in such studies is the simple matter of if there is enough statistical power to detect meaningful differences
    should they exist. Rosenfeld (2010) is the first scholar to employ a large, random sample of the population in order to
    compare outcomes among children of same-sex parents with those of heterosexual married parents. He concluded—after
    controlling for parents’ education and income and electing to limit the sample to households exhibiting at least 5 years of
    co-residential stability—that there were no statistically-significant differences between the two groups in a pair of measures
    assessing children’s progress through primary school.
    Sex-related outcomes have more consistently revealed distinctions, although the tone of concern about them has diminished
    over time. For example, while the daughters of lesbian mothers are now widely understood to be more apt to explore
    same-sex sexual identity and behavior, concern about this finding has faded as scholars and the general public have become
    more accepting of GLB identities (Goldberg, 2010). Tasker and Golombok (1997) noted that girls raised by lesbian mothers
    reported a higher number of sexual partners in young adulthood than daughters of heterosexual mothers. Boys with lesbian
    mothers, on the other hand, appear to display the opposite trend—fewer partners than the sons of heterosexual mothers.
    More recently, however, the tone about ‘‘no differences’’ has shifted some toward the assertion of differences, and that
    same-sex parents appear to be more competent than heterosexual parents (Biblarz and Stacey, 2010; Crowl et al., 2008).
    Even their romantic relationships may be better: a comparative study of Vermont gay civil unions and heterosexual marriages
    revealed that same-sex couples report higher relationship quality, compatibility, and intimacy, and less conflict than
    did married heterosexual couples (Balsam et al., 2008). Biblarz and Stacey’s (2010) review article on gender and parenting
    asserts that,
    based strictly on the published science, one could argue that two women parent better on average than a woman and a
    man, or at least than a woman and man with a traditional division of labor. Lesbian coparents seem to outperform comparable
    married heterosexual, biological parents on several measures, even while being denied the substantial privileges
    of marriage (p. 17).
    Even here, however, the authors note that lesbian parents face a ‘‘somewhat greater risk of splitting up,’’ due, they suggest,
    to their ‘‘asymmetrical biological and legal statuses and their high standards of equality’’ (2010, p. 17).
    Another meta-analysis asserts that non-heterosexual parents, on average, enjoy significantly better relationships with
    their children than do heterosexual parents, together with no differences in the domains of cognitive development, psychological
    adjustment, gender identity, and sexual partner preference (Crowl et al., 2008).
    However, the meta-analysis reinforces the profound importance of who is doing the reporting—nearly always volunteers
    for small studies on a group whose claims about documentable parenting successes are very relevant in recent legislative
    and judicial debates over rights and legal statuses. Tasker (2010, p. 36) suggests caution:
    Parental self-report, of course, may be biased. It is plausible to argue that, in a prejudiced social climate, lesbian and gay
    parents may have more at stake in presenting a positive picture. . ..Future studies need to consider using additional
    sophisticated measures to rule out potential biases. . .
    Suffice it to say that the pace at which the overall academic discourse surrounding gay and lesbian parents’ comparative
    competence has shifted—from slightly-less adept to virtually identical to more adept—is notable, and rapid. By comparison,
    studies of adoption—a common method by which many same-sex couples (but more heterosexual ones) become parents—
    have repeatedly and consistently revealed important and wide-ranging differences, on average, between adopted children
    and biological ones. In fact, these differences have been so pervasive and consistent that adoption experts now emphasize
    that ‘‘acknowledgement of difference’’ is critical for both parents and clinicians when working with adopted children and teens (Miller et al., 2000). This ought to give social scientists studying gay parenting outcomes pause, especially in light of
    concerns noted above about small sample sizes and the absence of a comparable recent, documented improvement in outcomes
    from youth in adopted families and stepfamilies.
    Far more, too, is known about the children of lesbian mothers than about those of gay fathers (Biblarz and Stacey, 2010;
    Patterson, 2006; Veldorale-Brogan and Cooley, 2011). Biblarz and Stacey (2010, p. 17) note that while gay-male families remain
    understudied, ‘‘their daunting routes to parenthood seem likely to select more for strengths than limitations.’’ Others
    are not so optimistic. One veteran of a study of the daughters of gay fathers warns scholars to avoid overlooking the family
    dynamics of ‘‘emergent’’ gay parents, who likely outnumber planned ones: ‘‘Children born into heterosexually organized
    marriages where fathers come out as gay or bisexual also face having to deal with maternal bitterness, marital conflict, possible
    divorce, custody issues, and father’s absence’’ (Sirota, 2009, p. 291).
    Regardless of sampling strategy, scholars also know much less about the lives of young-adult children of gay and lesbian
    parents, or how their experiences and accomplishments as adults compare with others who experienced different sorts of
    household arrangements during their youth. Most contemporary studies of gay parenting processes have focused on the
    present—what is going on inside the household when children are still under parental care (Tasker, 2005; Bos and Sandfort,
    2010; Brewaeys et al., 1997). Moreover, such research tends to emphasize parent-reported outcomes like parental divisions of
    labor, parent–child closeness, daily interaction patterns, gender roles, and disciplinary habits. While such information is
    important to learn, it means we know far more about the current experience of parents in households with children than
    we do about young adults who have already moved through their childhood and now speak for themselves. Studies on family
    structure, however, serve scholars and family practitioners best when they span into adulthood. Do the children of gay and
    lesbian parents look comparable to those of their heterosexual counterparts? The NFSS is poised to address this question
    about the lives of young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, but not about children or adolescents. While the NFSS is
    not the answer to all of this domain’s methodological challenges, it is a notable contribution in important ways.
    1.3. The New Family Structures Study
    Besides being brand-new data, several other aspects about the NFSS are novel and noteworthy. First, it is a study of young
    adults rather than children or adolescents, with particular attention paid to reaching ample numbers of respondents who
    were raised by parents that had a same-sex relationship. Second, it is a much larger study than nearly all of its peers. The
    NFSS interviewed just under 3000 respondents, including 175 who reported their mother having had a same-sex romantic
    relationship and 73 who said the same about their father. Third, it is a weighted probability sample, from which meaningful
    statistical inferences and interpretations can be drawn. While the 2000 (and presumably, the 2010) US Census Integrated
    Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) offers the largest nationally-representative sample-based information about youth in
    same-sex households, the Census collects much less outcome information of interest. The NFSS, however, asked numerous
    questions about respondents’ social behaviors, health behaviors, and relationships. This manuscript provides the first
    glimpse into those outcomes by offering statistical comparisons of them among eight different family structures/experiences
    of origin. Accordingly, there is much that the NFSS offers, and not just about the particular research questions of this study.
    There are several things the NFSS is not. The NFSS is not a longitudinal study, and therefore cannot attempt to broach
    questions of causation. It is a cross-sectional study, and collected data from respondents at only one point in time, when they
    were between the ages of 18 and 39. It does not evaluate the offspring of gay marriages, since the vast majority of its respondents
    came of age prior to the legalization of gay marriage in several states. This study cannot answer political questions
    about same-sex relationships and their legal legitimacy. Nevertheless, social science is a resource that offers insight to political
    and legal decision-makers, and there have been enough competing claims about ‘‘what the data says’’ about the children
    of same-sex parents—including legal depositions of social scientists in important cases—that a study with the methodological
    strengths of this one deserves scholarly attention and scrutiny.

    ………………………………………
    5. Conclusion
    As scholars of same-sex parenting aptly note, same-sex couples have and will continue to raise children. American courts
    are finding arguments against gay marriage decreasingly persuasive (Rosenfeld, 2007). This study is intended to neither
    undermine nor affirm any legal rights concerning such. The tenor of the last 10 years of academic discourse about gay
    and lesbian parents suggests that there is little to nothing about them that might be negatively associated with child development,
    and a variety of things that might be uniquely positive. The results of analyzing a rare large probability sample reported
    herein, however, document numerous, consistent differences among young adults who reported maternal lesbian
    behavior (and to a lesser extent, paternal gay behavior) prior to age 18. While previous studies suggest that children in
    planned GLB families seem to fare comparatively well, their actual representativeness among all GLB families in the US
    may be more modest than research based on convenience samples has presumed.
    Although the findings reported herein may be explicable in part by a variety of forces uniquely problematic for child
    development in lesbian and gay families—including a lack of social support for parents, stress exposure resulting from persistent
    stigma, and modest or absent legal security for their parental and romantic relationship statuses—the empirical claim
    that no notable differences exist must go. While it is certainly accurate to affirm that sexual orientation or parental sexual
    behavior need have nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent, the data evaluated herein using populationbased
    estimates drawn from a large, nationally-representative sample of young Americans suggest that it may affect the reality
    of family experiences among a significant number.
    Do children need a married mother and father to turn out well as adults? No, if we observe the many anecdotal accounts
    with which all Americans are familiar. Moreover, there are many cases in the NFSS where respondents have proven resilient
    and prevailed as adults in spite of numerous transitions, be they death, divorce, additional or diverse romantic partners, or
    remarriage. But the NFSS also clearly reveals that children appear most apt to succeed well as adults—on multiple counts and
    across a variety of domains—when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially
    when the parents remain married to the present day. Insofar as the share of intact, biological mother/father families continues
    to shrink in the United States, as it has, this portends growing challenges within families, but also heightened dependence
    on public health organizations, federal and state public assistance, psychotherapeutic resources, substance use
    programs, and the criminal justice system.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Later Reply to Criticisms:
    Parental same-sex relationships, family instability, and subsequent life outcomes for adult children: Answering critics of the new family structures study with additional analyses
    Mark Regnerus
    Social Science Research 41 (2012) 1367–1377
    Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-0118, United States

    a b s t r a c t
    The July 2012 publication of my study on the outcomes of young adults who report parental
    same-sex relationship behavior raised a variety of questions about the New Family
    Structures Study and my analyses and interpretations of it. This follow-up article seeks
    to address a variety of the more common criticisms that have been raised, to offer new
    commentary and analyses, and to pose questions for future analysts of the NFSS and other
    datasets that are poised to consider how household dynamics are associated with youth
    and young-adult outcomes. The new analyses I present here still reveal numerous differences
    between adult children who report maternal same-sex behavior (and residence with
    her partner) and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents. Far fewer differences
    appear between the former and several other groups, most notably never-married
    single mothers.
    ………
    4. Conclusion
    This follow-up study has sought to address six common criticisms that have arisen following the July 2012 publication in
    this journal of the original study entitled, ‘‘How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?’’
    One in particular, about comparing stable heterosexual couples to stable same-sex couples, is particularly challenging
    to accomplish with all but the very largest datasets (which, in turn, tend to have fewer interesting outcome measures). It
    also raises important conceptual and analytic questions about how to navigate persistent instability in the NFSS’s MLR and
    FGR cases. This is complicated by contemporary evidence in the US and Scandinavia suggesting that lesbian relationships in
    particular—including legally married couples—continue to exhibit instability in excess of heterosexual relationships and
    even gay male relationships.
    Perhaps in social reality there really are two ‘‘gold standards’’ of family stability and context for children’s flourishing—a
    heterosexual stably-coupled household and the same among gay/lesbian households—but no population-based sample analyses
    is yet able to consistently confirm wide evidence of the latter. Moreover, a stronger burden of proof than has been employed
    to date ought to characterize studies which conclude ‘‘no differences’’, especially in light of longstanding reliance
    on nonrandom samples of unknown bias and the high risk of making Type II errors in small-sample studies (Marks,
    2012; Nock, 2001). In other words, the science here remains young. Until much larger random samples can be drawn and
    evaluated, the probability-based evidence that exists—including additional NFSS analyses herein—suggests that the biologically-
    intact two-parent household remains an optimal setting for the long-term flourishing of children.
    Of course the flourishing of children involves many other factors besides parental relationship structure and decisionmaking,
    as analyses of the NFSS and numerous other datasets confirm. Indeed, most young-adult respondents in the NFSS
    report ample success and largely avoid problematic physical and emotional difficulties, regardless of their parents’ experiences,
    decisions, and actions.
    ………………
    In summary, the most important issue is that decisions should be made on the basis of the facts of the particular case at hand.
    Statistical studies of actual outcomes, across large numbers of people, are useful in informing decisions about policies, but should not control decisions being made about individual cases, for example in familycaught$.

    Worst of all, religious people’s lack of sexual enjoyment and fulfilment and jealousy in the face of other peoples more obvious intense enjoyment, is also a poor basis for policy decisions.

  19. jefhrm says:

    Check out what is happening in the USA re DV/false accusations http://www.Petition2Congress, exactly the same situations and scenerios as in NZ,;Most comments posted within the last 15-20 days; We are not alone in our concerns of a court system ,biased towards,callous{lying Victims]

  20. […] a recent post first NZ gay marriage fails questions were asked whether this site was anti gay-men and whether that particular debate was […]

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