Here are some quotes:
The reason for these appeals to lasting unions is simple: on every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households. Longevity, drug abuse, school performance and dropout rates, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior and incarceration--if you can measure it, a sociologist has; and in all cases, the kids living with both parents drastically outperform the others.
Few things hamper a child as much as not having a father at home. Sociologist, Maria Kefalas, a feminist, says, 'The mom may not need that man, but her children still do.' Growing up without a father has a deep psychological effect on a child."
"children from divorced middle-class parents do less well in school and at college compared with underprivileged kids from two-parent households."
The article grants, however, that divorce, unwed and single parenting, are harder on the poor than on the rich.
So how will lesbian marriage provide that father? And how do gay couples provide the necessary mother? Not only does the article say fathers are important (and they will find that mothers are just as important,) it says that shacking up to raise children is unstable in its results. As soon as the man feels demands of parenting, he more readily exits, than if he had a legally binding ring and the prospect of divorce. However, nowhere does she imply that two men or two women married to each other will be good --since she says both biological parents IN THE HOME are optimal for children.
She says we are "increasingly less willing to put in the hard work and personal sacrifice" to have a lasting, loving marriage. She quoted Leonard Michaels who wrote, "Adultery is not about sex or romance. Ultimately, it is about how little we mean to one another."
She lambastes Sanford, Edwards, and Gosselin for wanting their personal fun and happiness at the expense of wife and children. I couldn't have said it as well (which is why she's writing for Time and I have a little blog.)
Their actions were so willful and blatantly self-centered that the two of them could have credibly fashioned themselves as rebels, possibly even as heroes, if they could have just stopped crying. They weren't a couple of tools [did she mean "fools?"] stuck in sexless marriages and making up for it with internet porn. These guys had embarked on dangerously erotic rampages with real-life, unencumbered women, women who decidedly weren't ...[their wives.] The long-suffering wives, Fun Busters in Chief.
In favor of marriage, she writes:
a lasting covenant between a man and a woman can be a vehicle for the nurture and protection of each other, the one reliable shelter in an uncaring world--or it can be a matchless tool for the infliction of suffering on the people you supposedly love above all others, most of all on your children."
In favor of bio-parents being married and staying married, she quoted Sara McLanahan, a Princeton sociologist and single mother herself, who found that
"Children who grow up in a household with only one biological parent are worse off, on average, than children who grow up in a household with both of their biological parents, regardless of the parents' race or education background."
It was intriguing that she mentioned Bill Clinton as supporting marriage policies (probably with his Republican Congress) and never mentioned HIM as adulterer or the Democrats' beloved JFK. She praised Obama for remarks made about fathering. He did author (or it was ghost-authored) a recent Father's Day article for Parade.
I do think it's high time that we returned shame to adultery --instead of letting a president stay in office for highly immoral behavior.
sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin in a landmark new book called, "The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today. ...what is significant about contemporary american families, compared with those of other nations, is their combination of 'frequent marriage, frequent divorce: and the high number of "short-term co-habiting relationships."' Taken together, these forces 'create a great turbulence in American family life, a family flux, a coming and going of partners on a scale seen nowhere else. There are more partners in the personal lives of Americans than in the lives of people of any other Western country.'
(I do find that hard to believe, compared to Europe. I think there could be less divorce --if, in fact, there is less marriage --and we know their birth rate is lower than ours.)
But I bet we do have the highest rate of births to unwed women.
A final excerpt:
An increasingly fragile construct depending less and less on notions of sacrifice and obligation than on the ephemera of romance and happiness as defined by and for its adult principlals; the intact, two-parent family remains our cultural ideal, but it exists under constant assault. It is buffeted by affairs and ennui, subject to the eternal American hope for greater happiness, for changing the hand you dealt yourself. Getting married for life, having children and raising them with your partner--this is still the way most Americans are conducting adult life, but the numbers who are moving in a different direction continue to rise. Most notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported in May that births to unmarried women have reached an astonishing 39.7%
Finally, Flanagan asks,
is marriage an institution that still hews to its old intention and function--to raise the next generation, to protect and teach it, to instill in the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation's own safe passage into adulthood? Think of it this way: the current generation of children, the one watching commitments between adults snap like dry twigs and observing parents who simply can't be bothered to marry each other and who hence drift in and out of their children's lives--that's the generation who will be taking care of us [ed: or likely not] when we are old.
This article is support for NOT redefining marriage to include any two people who think they love each other--regardless of their sex or orientation--though it doesn't mention the issue per se.
Before you all bring it up, of course, there are exceptions to sociologists' findings. The Jackson family, while monetarily successful, while having two bio-parents raise them, has produced some strange children--who appear to have all had their noses altered I noticed at the funeral today. Just having intact parents isn't EVERYTHING to mental and economic health and personal happiness; some parents are dysfunctional and abusive as MJ said his father was--and some kids turn out mixed up regardless of how good their parents are. But the sociologists are saying that OVERALL, children raised by both bio-parents in the home are better off in every way.
So let's not re-define marriage --and let's not permit gay adoption on a par with heterosexual adoption. Keep the bio-parents as close to all children as we can --except when those parents are proveably dangerous. And let's all get back to cherishing and sacrificing personal whims, tolerating the imperfect in our mates, rejecting temptation on the internet and everywhere else, for that ideal of lifetime marriage to raise children in a home with both Mom and Dad.
That would ALSO be good for American economy, with fewer people needing Uncle Sam to be their Daddy.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible