Bsh1, in his debate with Zarroette, Failed to Refute her Parenting Argument
Debate Rounds (3)
This debate is in reference to this debate [http://www.debate.org...]. I challenge Guidestone to defend his RFD on that debate, particularly the part related to parenting.
I request that Guidestone either accept this debate or remove his vote.
Bsh1, in his debate with Zarroette, Failed to Refute her "A2: Homosexuals make for poor parents" argument.
1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or semantics
6. Pro has the full BOP
7. Pro must go first
8. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss
R1. Pro's Case
R2. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case
R3. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro waives
...to Guidestone; I hope he feels confident enough in his ballot to defend it.
I gladly accept this debate, and I think it can be reasonably shown that the argument was not refuted. I thank bsh1 to make sure the integrity of the votes on this site, and is will to challenge any possible wrong doing.
First, I will say bsh1 did partially refute the argument; however, it was not a full refutation.
1. Biological Parents argument was not refuted.
In Zarroette's arguments she said "Part of the problem with homosexuals raising children is that they are not the biological parents" . This argument implies that biological parents raise children better than non-biological ones. She did provide some pictures in her second point that reinforced this point too that compared multiple family structures with intact families. These pictures all showed how intact families did better than any other structure. Bsh1 does seem to understand the argument presented and correctly pointed out "Pro's [Zarroette's] argument is an argument against non-biological parents in general, not specifically against gay parents" . Bsh1 does not try to refute the argument, and in fact is the only time mentioned the general argument. So, concluding the argument still stands and was not contested.
2. The Biological Parents arguments had to be refuted.
However, this argument is dependent on the idea that marriage has something to do with children. If marriage has nothing to with children then the argument would not need refutation. However, Zarroette did make the claim that "Marriage is intrinsically related to procreation" . This means there is something natural about an opposite sex couple and procreation. Bsh1 does not refute this either, but rather gave examples where marriage does not turn into extrinsic value, procreating, such as infertile couples. However, this tiny minority does not break the rational intrinsic link of marriage and procreation. Most infertile couples can have a biological child via a surrogate which is totally different than reproductive donations of same-sex couples. Concluding, opposite-sex marriage does have an intrinsic link with procreation that would demand a response to the biological parents argument.
Thanks to Guidestone for accepting this debate. Before I launch into rebutting his arguments, I think it is important to give the readers some more context into the parenting argument Zarroette made. I will then give my rebuttals.
Zarroettes arguments were broken down into two sections, one relating to biological parents, one relating to gay parents specifically.
In her first argument, she wrote: "Part of the problem with homosexuals raising children is that they are not the biological parents. This relates to a serious problem commonly known as the "Cinderella effect". This is a by-product of evolution, wherein a lot of resources are spent on raising children, so the parents that took best care of their own children were the ones that continued their lineage."  In support of this claim, Zarroette offered some evidence by Daly and Wilson (as well as other, less important studies) that related to how stepparents were more likely to abuse there children; this is called the "Cinderella effect."
In her second argument, she argued that gay parents specifically were worse parents, citing a study by Regnerus in support of the claim, and noting that he concluded that, "Homosexual parents were more likely to raise criminals, and children raised by lesbian parents were the second highest involving risk of crime...[H]omosexual parents were found to more likely abuse their children. Children raised by gay men were 3 times more likely to incur an STI in their lifetimes, twice as likely for children of lesbian"s. People raised by homosexual men had an increased likelihood of having suicidal thoughts."  She also cited some other authors who claimed that all or almost all evidence in favor of gay parenting was biased. Pro never disagrees that I rebutted this portion of what Zarroette said.
I can now proceed to address Guidestone's (Pro) points.
1. Refuting the Biological Parents Argument
Pro writes that, "his argument implies that biological parents raise children better than non-biological ones...Bsh1 does not try to refute the argument, and in fact is the only time mentioned the general argument. So, concluding the argument still stands and was not contested."
Firstly, Pro lifts the argument from its necessary context. Zarroette's claim was not simply that biological parents are better, her claim was that because biological parents are better, gay parents (who are by necessity nonbiological) are not as good as heterosexual parents. It was this claim that I refuted.
Zarroette's argument relied on her evidence that stepparents are more apt to abuse or maltreat children. I responded to this claim by arguing that what is true of heterosexual stepparents is not true of homosexual parents because the two groups differ in a significant way. Here is what I wrote:
"First, let me point out that all of [Zarroette's] evidence had to deal with stepparents, not gay people. So, Pro has no evidence that proves that gay people's subconscious tendencies towards neglecting no biological children will outweigh their conscious tendencies to care for them. Remember, 'gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed, and more thoughtful parents than heterosexual couples. That's because they usually have to work very hard, and plan very far in advance, to become parents, and so rarely do so by accident.'" 
In other words, I explained that while stepparents may be more likely to abuse their children, because gay people have to go through so many hoops (IVF, adoption, etc.) to get kids, they are actually more motivated and thus are unlikely to abuse their children. So, firstly, it is not true that all types of nonbiological parents are likely to abuse their children, and, secondly, I showed that there was a significant disjunction between Pro's evidence, and the impacts she was trying to make with it (i.e., I showed that her evidence about stepparents couldn't be applied to gay people, and so it couldn't be used to argue against gay parenting or gay marriage.)
I also rebutted this argument by critiquing the Daly and Wilson study as having a key methodological flaw in that it could have misinterpreted absentmindedness as abuse.
Furthermore, I argued against Zarroette's point by offering an alternative hypothesis to what caused the CIinderella Effect, called resource theory. This theory argues that it is actually resource-based issues that causes the violence, and not the lack of a biological connection. This argument undermined Zarroette's claim that biological parents where inherently (due to evolutionary psychology), more likely to abuse children.
Finally--and very importantly--I rebutted Zarroette's entire argument with my overview. I wrote: "Gay parenting will happen in either world, so this point is non-unique, meaning that these harms will occur whether or not gay marriage is permitted."
For Zarroette to successfully show that gay parenting was relevant in a debate on gay marriage, she needed to show that gay people would only parent or parent noticeably more frequently if given marriage rights. She failed to offer any argumentation or analysis along those lines. Given that, judges must assume that gay parents will parent roughly equally whether or not marriage equality occurs. Therefore, supposing the gay parenting is a bad thing, no matter whether gay marriage is allowed or not, the same amount of gay parents will exist. So, if Zarroette cannot eliminate or reduce the bad thing, she is garnering absolutely ZERO impacts in the round.
2. Marriage is about Children
Next, Pro claims that I failed to rebut that marriage was about children. That's not really topical to this particular debate, since that was Zarroette's A1, not her A2, but I will still address this claim. I did, as a matter of fact, rebut that marriage is about intrinsic procreation in four main ways.
Firstly, I argued that, historically speaking, marriage was not about procreation, but rather that it was about promoting societal cohesion. I also offered quite a bit of evidence (in round 4) that Zarroette later totally dropped that talked about the benefits of marriage in regards to promoting societal cohesion and the personal wellness of the married couple. I also observed that the current benefits governments give married couples often don't have any connection to procreation or child-rearing. I impacted this in two ways: (1) that the purpose of marriage always has been, and appears to stll involve, something other than procreation, and (2) that the government has a reason to incentivize marriage and to permit marriage that is not procreation.
Secondly, I pointed out contradictions in her advocacy. I wrote, for instance: "Firstly, how does an infertile, heterosexual relationship have an 'intrinsic link' to procreation. The intrinsic link argument asserts that heterosexual marriage is moral because it is ordered towards procreation; but surely, if procreation is so special, would we not exclude infertile couples to even further order the institution toward that goal? Pro never sufficiently explains why infertile couples should be allowed to marry while gay couples should not, and that is the fatal flaw in her argument here. Secondly, why must the link be intrinsic vice extrinsic? If procreation is our goal, as Pro clearly believes, it is not sufficient that a union can procreate, but that they actually procreate. That means that extrinsic procreation, i.e. 'giving birth in reality,' is also key." 
Thirdly, I argued that even if marriage were mainly about children, it couldn't just be about procreation, as Zarroette claimed. Her arguments only said that marriage was special because of its intrinsic procreative ability, not because of its capacity to rear the children produced. I wrote: "Pro focuses so much on procreation she seems to forget what follows. As I stated last round: 'procreation alone is not sufficient if a couple refuses or is unable to raise a child.' Why should the purpose of marriage just be procreation, and not child-rearing? Surely, parents should do more than just produce bodies; they should make productive members of society. Even if gay couples don't have a intrinsic link to procreation, they can definitely raise and adopt children, which is an important part of the equation, and perhaps more important than procreation alone." 
Fourthly and finally, I argued that even if marriage were about intrinsic procreative ability, that legalizing gay marriage would do nothing to stop straight couples from procreating, and that it would have psychological and social benefits for gay people. That is a net benefit--there is no loss but a clear gain. So, there seemed to be no reason to prevent gay couples from marrying when looked at from this point of view.
I believe the resolution here has been resoundingly negated.
I thank my opponent for his response.
It is true that there were two sections of the parenting argument. I do think the second part was refuted, which is why I did say he did partially refute the parenting argument. Dealing with the first subpoint, it is important to mention that the Cinderella effect relates to supporting it regardless of the cause behind it, but does not fully encompasses point of biological parents.
1. Biological Parents argument was not refuted.
Firstly, this argument was totally in context unlike how my opponent falsely claims. In fact it was a whole subpoint dedicated to this argument in general. Even my opponent realizes this "Pro's [Zarroette's] argument is an argument against non-biological parents in general, not specifically against gay parents" . The main point of the parenting argument had two supports, which both needed to be refuted to say that the parenting argument has been refuted. I noted that the second support was refuted, but never refuted the first subpoint which can fully carry the argument. Most of the debate under the first subpoint was about the cause of the Cinderella effect. That is important because they both agreed that the effect exist, this is why my opponent did offer an alternative theory of the cause which you would not do if you didn't think the effect was real. However, because both think the effect is real then this does support Zarroette's parenting argument that biological parents do better than non-biological parents. In fact the claim that biological parents do better than non-biological parents was never refuted at all, and in fact my opponent implicitly acknowledge this.
"Finally--and very importantly--I rebutted Zarroette's entire argument with my overview. I wrote: "Gay parenting will happen in either world, so this point is non-unique, meaning that these harms will occur whether or not gay marriage is permitted."
This does not refute the argument since the argument was about the promotion of the best environment for raising children, not about banning gay parenting. This is why Zarroette opening line was "Part of the problem with homosexuals raising children is that they are not the biological parents." Like my opponent recognized it not against gay parents specifically, but non-biological parents.
"For Zarroette to successfully show that gay parenting was relevant in a debate on gay marriage, she needed to show that gay people would only parent or parent noticeably more frequently if given marriage rights."
Actually, all she need to show is that biological parents do better than non-biological, which same-sex parents would be non-biological. Like I said it about the promotion of the best environment for raising children which non-biological parents are not.
Concluding, the argument that biological parents raise children better was not refuted, but actually affirmed by my opponent.
2. Marriage is about children argument was not refuted.
This is not needed for me to win the debate, but in general this is about defending my RFD of the debate, and this is relevant to that. First, my opponent said he refuted it by showing marriage was not always about children, but it matter what it is today not what it was. So, to show historically it has not always been that way has no weight on that argument that marriage currently about children. If someone looks at the restrictions on marriage they all relate to procreation. Only two people can have a child. Only and man and women can have a child. Two people of close genetic relationship have a higher chance of birth defect. Marriage today is about children.
Second, my opponent claims he refute the argument by showing the other benefits of marriage. First, his argument compares married to unmarried, but not those that government recognize and those that government does not. In fact he failed to show that government recognition of the marriage did anything about physical health, or social and economic stability. For that argument to have any impact on this they must have compared life-long unions that government recognizes to that of non-recognized, which none of that evidence does, so it should not count.
Third, my opponent claims to have refuted by mentioning infertile couples. Just to point out she does not have to defend the current law that allows that. Her Job was just to negate the resolution like she said."I am not defending 'the status quo' (i.e. divorce and re-marriage). I am defending the idea that homosexual marriage ought not to be permitted (i.e. the resolution)" . However, to test for fertility before marriage or mandate procreation would be a gross unconstitutional invasion of privacy to even enforce such a law. Also, most infertiles can procreate with a surrogate to have biological children. They are totally different than a same-sex couple. That is why you can have procreation be an extrinsic than intrinsic. Also, also said "Pro focuses so much on procreation she seems to forget what follows. As I stated last round: 'procreation alone is not sufficient if a couple refuses or is unable to raise a child.' Why should the purpose of marriage just be procreation, and not child-rearing? Surely, parents should do more than just produce bodies; they should make productive members of society." Zarroette does realize that child-rearing is very important which is why she made the argument that biological parents raise children the best. The inclusion of infertile couples would not break any intrinsic link of marriage, and is not comparable to same-sex couples.
Fourth, my opponent argued that allowing same-sex marriage would not prevent opposite-sex marriage from procreating. While this is true, it does break the intrinsic link between marriage and procreation. That is why my opponent correctly asked "why must the state become involved with this?" because now there is no link to children, because we are people to marry that have no means of a biological child, as Zarroette mentioned in round 4, no promotion of the best environment for raising children, and "In allowing anyone to marry on such fondles grounds [happiness], marriage will eventually degenerate into meaninglessness, thereby destroying itself" . While Zarroette does not give the strongest example of what could happen to marriage the point is still stands because my opponent only attacked the absurdity of the examples and not the point itself. There could have been better examples such as plural, and affinity marriages. It also important to point out both side of that debate used a slippery slope. My opponent used it when he mentioned that infertile couples can't procreate, and should not be able to marry then under Zarroette's thinking. The inclusion of same-sex marriage would fundamentally change what marriage means.
Thanks to Guidestone for accepting! I may quote him at certain points during the debate, in which case his remarks will appear in italics.
1. Refuting the Biological Parents Argument
Pro does remove it from the context, because he never discusses the impact Zarroette was attempting to make with it. Zarroettes argument was not only that non-biological parents were bad, it was also that because non-biological parents were bad, gay parents (who are non-biological) must also be bad.
If I showed that what is true of heterosexual, non-biological parents is not true of homosexual, non-biological parents, then Zarroette's argument had no impact in the round. In other words, I would've refuted her argument.
[B]ecause both think the [Cinderella] effect is real then this does support Zarroette's parenting argument that biological parents do better than non-biological parents."
This statement disregards the nature of Zarroette's claim. Zarroette's specific claim was that non-biological parents were inherently worse due to considerations of evolutionary psychology. She wrote: "[The Cinderella effect] is a by-product of evolution." She also wrote: "Similarly, via the same evolutionary psychology, there will be tendencies towards neglecting or harming non-biological children." By contesting the argument that non-biological parents were not inherently worse, I did rebut her argument; resource theory also challenged her assumption that the observed abuse had to do with biology and not other factors.
"In fact the claim that biological parents do better than non-biological parents was never refuted at all, and in fact my opponent implicitly acknowledge this."
This is also a significant misrepresentation of my position. Resource theory did context that claim, and even if it didn't, I only ever conceded that heterosexual, non-biological parents didn't do as well. I always maintained that homosexual, non-biological parents did just as well, if not better. Remember what I wrote: "Gay Parents are highly motivated. Unlike stepparents, who may fall in love with their partner, but not their partner's children, gay parents seek out the child, whereas the stepparent does not necessarily do this. In fact, 'gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed, and more thoughtful parents than heterosexual couples. That's because they usually have to work very hard, and plan very far in advance, to become parents, and so rarely do so by accident'...So, what may be true of stepparents is not necessarily true of gay parents."
Pro seems to think that there is no relevant distinction between heterosexual and homosexual non-biological parents. He seems to think that if I conceded for one group, I conceded for both. But that is just not the case. Even if heterosexual, non-biological parents aren't as good, that is not necessarily the case for homosexual, non-biological parents, because there are significant differences between the two groups. Essentially, SOME TYPES of non-biological parents might not be good, but not ALL TYPES are not good. Zarroette never showed that homosexual parents were bad, because she never was able to successfully show that what was true of heterosexual stepparents was true of homosexuals.
"[bsh1's overview] does not refute the argument since the argument was about the promotion of the best environment for raising children, not about banning gay parenting."
But this is EXACTLY my point. The debate was never about gay parenting, and Zarroette never showed that she was promoting the best environment for raising kids because she still allowed gay parenting to occur. If she allows gay parenting to occur at all, she cannot claim to be ensuring the best child-rearing environments for children, and so she incurs the very same harms she accuses me of. It's hypocritical of her.
Pro DROPS the following points I made last round:
1. That I rebutted the Daly and Wilson study by noting a methodological flaw
2. That I illustrated in the debate that gay couples would likely be more motivated parents
2. Marriage is about Children
"f someone looks at the restrictions on marriage they all relate to procreation. Only two people can have a child. Only and man and women can have a child. Two people of close genetic relationship have a higher chance of birth defect. Marriage today is about children."
These were not arguments Zarroette made in the debate. Pro is basically saying that he voted for the side he believes in because he is using his own opinion instead of Zarroette's words to justify his RFD.
More to the point, I noted in the debate that there were important benefits of marriage that had NOTHING to do with child-rearing, particularly spousal privilege. This goes to show that society recognizes the utility of marriage towards societal cohesion as well. And, if marriage placed such a huge emphasis on the ability to "have a child" why were infertile couples included?
"[H]is argument compares married to unmarried, but not those that government recognize and those that government does not."
Not only is Pro's argument here totally incomprehensible (if a couple is married, then that union is recognized by government), but it is another instance of Pro voting based on his own opinion rather than what occurred in the debate. Zarroette NEVER made those arguments. In fact, she completely FAILED to rebut them in any fashion whatsoever. My evidence clearly showed that there were tangible, concrete benefits to the health and welfare of the married couple as well as benefits to societal cohesion, thereby providing an alternative justification for marriage besides procreation.
"Third, my opponent claims to have refuted by mentioning infertile couples. Just to point out she does not have to defend the current law that allows that."
Even if she didn't, she chose to do so, and once she did that, she had to resolve that problem/conflict in her advocacy for her points to remain logically consistent.
"[T]o test for fertility before marriage or mandate procreation would be a gross unconstitutional invasion of privacy to even enforce such a law. Also, most infertiles can procreate with a surrogate to have biological children. They are totally different than a same-sex couple."
Again, Pro is inserting his own opinion into his RFD rather than voting based on the arguments that were presented in the ext of the debate. Zarroette never mentioned constitutionality, which was probably wise since this resolution was about any "just society," not the United States in particular. She also never mentioned that most infertile couples can use a surrogate, and in fact, if they are infertile it strongly implies that they could not have a biological child together. There is a difference between infertility and inability to conceive on their own. And, more importantly, if infertile couples have to resort to surrogacy, they are not producing "intrinsically" according to Zarroette, and so they should not be allowed to marry in the first place.
Finally, regarding child-rearing, my argument was that rearing a child mattered more than simply having a child. So, even if gay couples couldn't procreate, they could still link into the more important good of parenthood. All I needed to do then was to rebut the idea that gay people couldn't parent well, which I did, and I won this point.
"[T]he point is still stands because my opponent only attacked the absurdity of the examples and not the point itself. There could have been better examples such as plural, and affinity marriages."
Zarroette cited the possibility that were gay marriage allowed, people could marry spiders and the like. Clearly, that is an extreme example. If Zarroette had said plural marriages instead, she would've needed to explain why those were bad, since those can still be intrinsically procreative in nature. Regardless, this is not an argument Zarroette made, and I pointed out that allowing gay marriage would never cause marriage to fall that far. That was sufficient to rebut the claim Zarroette made.
Pro never disputes that I rebutted the intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy when I said: ""Firstly, how does an infertile, heterosexual relationship have an 'intrinsic link' to procreation. The intrinsic link argument asserts that heterosexual marriage is moral because it is ordered towards procreation; but surely, if procreation is so special, would we not exclude infertile couples to even further order the institution toward that goal?...Secondly, why must the link be intrinsic vice extrinsic? If procreation is our goal...it is not sufficient that a union can procreate, but that they actually procreate. That means that extrinsic procreation...is also key."
Pro either misunderstands my points or inserts his own biases into the debate rather than voting off of what was actually presented in the ext of the debate. Thus, the resolution is clearly negated. Vote Con!
Source: (see prior links)
Guidestone forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
|Who won the debate:||-|
Reasons for voting decision: A staggering CON win. PRO's case was more or less the culmination of his misunderstanding, as it walked down the isle with his own bias. PRO ignores the context of Zar.'s bio-parent argument and is tragically unaware of what impact (or lack thereof) it had. PRO misrepresents the nature of Zar.'s claim, and the warrant for it. CON shows that he addressed both. The distinction between heterosexual and homosexual biological parents bsh1 made went over PRO's head, as surely as the fact that CON, in the debate giving rise to this debate, rebutted the various studies that Zar. cited in multiple ways. PRO misrepresents Zar.'s arguments on balance, and misunderstands both the arguments that bsh1 has made in both. His failure is staggering, and his bias is clear. As CON puts it, "Not only is Pro's argument here totally incomprehensible....but it is another instance of Pro voting based on his own opinion rather than what occurred in the debate."
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