The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
50 Points
The Contender
MouthWash
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

Homosexual couples can raise children just as well as heterosexual couples.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 19,554 times Debate No: 25137
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (121)
Votes (14)

 

Danielle

Pro

This debate is based on my opponent's assertion that homosexual couples cannot raise children as well as heterosexual couples. He's agreed to debate me on this topic before; however, due to my work schedule I was unable to participate and had to forfeit. Apparently he has a lot of credible sources to back up his point of view. While I don't care about the automatic loss, I'd like the opportunity for my opponent to defend his beliefs. I'm planning on taking Thursday off, so hopefully that plus the weekend will give me enough time to come on DDO for a few minutes and post my rounds.

There should be no semantics used in this discussion. I think it's obvious which position each of us will be defending. My opponent can begin his argument now, or use the first round for acceptance only and wait for me to open the debate in Round 2. Thank you in advance to MouthWash and I wish him the best of luck in this debate...
MouthWash

Con

Go ahead, Danielle. I'm very curious to hear this after all of this time.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

According to the 2000 U. S. Census, 1/3 of lesbian couples and 1/5 of gay male couples have at least one child under the age of 18 living in the home [1]. Many children are being raised by single parents or non-biological parents, including gay couples. Con will have the burden of proving that this is significantly detrimental to these children. We cannot rely on the fallacy of appeal to tradition, considering sociological trends are shifting what that tradition will become. I also think it's significant to note that these figures are 12 years old. We have good reason to believe that the numbers are even higher today.

Some points to start...

1. Being gay is not a mental disorder [2]. Like most heterosexuals, most gay people are fully functioning members of society. A good parent is responsible, competent, loving, trustworthy, etc. None of these qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess.

2. It seems to be that a parent's sexual endeavors have little to no impact on their ability to raise a child; instead what's important is the attention and care that child receives. Most children do not know details about their parents sex lives. It is irrelevant to their relationship. If Molly's parents practice S&M, and Jim's parents haven't had sex for 15 years, those factors in themselves are probably not going to affect how well each child turns out.

3. There have been numerous studies indicating that children raised by 2 parents have more success and less emotional or behavioral problems than their single-parent counterparts. We can think of several reasons for why this is probably the case: shared division of responsibility, more resources, more emotional support, etc. Of course these same benefits can be provided by 2 parents of the same sex. A UC Berkeley study finds that data indicates there is a visible benefit to having a two-parent family, regardless of whether the couple is married, heterosexual, or same-sex [3].

4. On that note, much like adopted parents, gay parents typically have to go out of their way to have kids (i.e. in vitro fertilization). Meanwhile 50% of heterosexual babies are unplanned. Psychologist Abbie Clark explains, "That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement" [4].

4. Jessey Levey, a Republican activist, has two gay moms and says "I am a well-adjusted heterosexual whose upbringing proves that love, not gender, makes a family... My family had strong family values. I was raised in a loving, caring household that let me be a free thinker... I'm tired of hearing that my family isn't legitimate." And while I don't want this debate to turn into a he said/ she said quote war of personal testimonials, Jeff DeGroot, a man with two lesbian moms, notes "My parents can throw a baseball and take me hiking just as well as any man could. I've always had a plethora of male role models. I never felt that I was missing anything by not having that dad for me" [5]. Kids with gay parents aren't missing out on these things.

There are plenty of people raised by gay parents who have had great experiences and turned out very well adjusted. Zach Wahl's speech about family (he also has two lesbian moms) went viral on YouTube, and I encourage my opponent to look it up. He is a very successful and admirable young man. However, I mentioned that I don't want this to turn into a debate over anecdotal evidence. We need to consider not individual cases, but how much sexuality in general influences parenthood.

5. As I've said, kids with gay parents can turn out perfectly fine, just as kids with heterosexual parents can turn out perfectly fine... or not. It could go either way. A parent only has so much influence in their child's life. "Evidence indicates that parents have little or no long term effect on their children's personality, intelligence, or mental health. The environment definitely has an effect on how children turn out, but it's not the home environment. It's not the nurture they do or don't get from their parents" [6]. Now, while no one can deny the impact parenting has on a child's emotional and behavioral development, the amount of attention and care a child receives is most important. Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior.

6. I expect my opponent to make the argument that kids with gay parents might get teased more. There are two fundamental arguments against this premise. First, kids get teased for a plethora of reasons. Kids with parents who are fat, ugly, dumb or heck even "normal" for all intents and purposes get teased just because that's what kids do. However fat people or people with red hair (Gingers) aren't considered inherently inferior parents just because their kids might get made fun of due to qualities their parents have. Second, the reason that kids might get teased is because gay parents are still the minority. However, history shows us that through exposure, cultural norms and expectations shift. After awhile what is once obscure becomes familiar. That is why in bigger cities like New York and L.A., kids with gay parents are barely given a second thought, whereas that might not be the case in culturally stunted places like Arkansas. Exposure and acceptance is the only way to change attitudes so that this no longer becomes taboo.

7. Rather than rely on anecdotal testimonials, let's explore what science and psychology say. Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston reveals "The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way. In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures." Researchers looked at information gleaned from 15 different studies on more than 500 children, evaluating possible stigma, teasing and social isolation, adjustment and self-esteem, opposite gender role models, sexual orientation, and strengths.

Studies from 1981 to 1994, including 260 children reared by either heterosexual mothers or same-sex mothers after divorce, found no differences in intelligence, type or prevalence of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, well-being, peer relationships, couple relationships, or parental stress. Two other large studies involving more than 100 couples found that same-sex parents also had contact with extended family, had social support, and had a more equitable division of labor in the home [1].

In a 2010 review of virtually EVERY study on gay parenting, New York University sociologist Judith Stacey and University of Southern California sociologist Tim Biblarz found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents. While research indicates that kids of gay parents show few differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures, research shows these kids may have the advantage of open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships [4].

Out of characters for now ~ I'll send it to Con.

[1] http://www.webmd.com...
[2] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu...
[3] http://turnstylenews.com...
[4] http://www.livescience.com...
[5] http://www.cnn.com...
[6] Wierson, M., & R. Forehand. (1994). Parent behavioral training for child noncompliance: Rationale, concepts, and effectiveness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 5, pp 146-150. -- Referenced in "You Are Being Lied To" interview with Judith Rich
MouthWash

Con

First, I will establish that sexual orientation is not hereditary and is subject to a large number of psychological variables. This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct. I point three facts that seem to contradict modern conception of attractiveness:

1. Apes tend to be attracted to older females due to their having more experience raising young and surviving. In modern society we observe th opposite.

2. People used to find overweight or heavier females attractive, the logic being that such women were better fed and had a larger chance of surviving. This is still prevalent in some societies.

3. In Elizabethian England pale skin (possibly signalling health because a clear and pale face probably didn’t have smallpox) and a large forehead was considered attractive (the hair was plucked to make the forehead appear bigger).

Second, there is a large body of evidence that supports an "exotic-becomes-erotic" theory (which states that whatever sex is seen as "exotic" or different later becomes erotic, thus gender-nonconformity during childhood causes sexual attraction to the same-sex later in life). In a 1987 study, 75% of gender-nonconforming boys became bisexual or homosexual in later years compared with only 4% of gender-conforming boys. Homosexuals overwhelmingly report sex-atypical activities and had opposite-sex friends growing up. [1. http://dbem.ws...]

Peer rejection, a distant or belittling father and an emotionally smothering or needy mother (for boys), low self-esteem, and sexual abuse are major causes of homosexuality. Often a child will be unable to connect to others of the same sex, resulting in unstable and unhealthy sexual relationships. It is well established that gays have much higher rates of suicide or mental illness than straights; to dispute this my opponent will need to prove that these are directly caused by social stigmas or discrimination.

"Like most heterosexuals, most gay people are fully functioning members of society. A good parent is responsible, competent, loving, trustworthy, etc. None of these qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess."

I sincerely hope you aren't playing semantics with me. Technically they can, but I am saying that this is generally not the case. If you are saying that it is "possible" that gays can raise well adjusted children, I point out that it is also possible that beating kids is a good method for discipline (seeing as there must be at least a few success stories in the world). Wasn't this mentioned in the comments?

Furthermore, whether or not children have mother and a father is not irrelevant. "Rough-and tumble" play with their fathers influences a child's social development and teaches them how to be physical without being inappropriate or hurting people. [2. http://www.psychologytoday.com...]

A study in the U.S. and New Zealand found that the presence of the natural father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls. [3. Bruce J. Ellis, Child Development May/June 2003, 74:3, pp. 801–21] Children who are have good relationships with their mothers have higher self-esteem, and from better social connections with others.


In a another study, 77 18-month old-children were exposed to stimuli (such as a robot clown or a puppet show). Cortisol levels for the (frightened) children varied depending on their bonds with their mothers. Children who had secure attachments showed no increase while children with insecure attachments showed an increase.
[4. http://www.thelizlibrary.org...]

Fathers and mothers are not interchangable. Children of same-sex couples are forced to seek male or female role-models elsewhere. The reason why they show little difference in "social isolation, adjustment and self-esteem, opposite gender role models, sexual orientation, and strengths" is because the traditional model of the family is being destroyed.

Children today are not raised by their parents; they are raised at school or other environments away from their families. Mothers or fathers are not the biggest influence in the children's lives; rather, they hardly seem to have one at all. Parents, who are supposed to be role models and form close connections with their kids only spend a fraction of the time they used to with them, with unfortunate results. The rate of increase of depression among children is now 23%. [5.http://www.upliftprogram.com...] I wish I could elaborate on this right now, but I have only fifteen minutes left.

"There have been numerous studies indicating that children raised by 2 parents have more success and less emotional or behavioral problems than their single-parent counterparts."

Of course having a two-parent family is better than one. The economic benefits alone help children. Irrelevant.


"I expect my opponent to make the argument that kids with gay parents might get teased more."

Are you serious? Please give me a little more credit than that.


"On that note, much like adopted parents, gay parents typically have to go out of their way to have kids (i.e. in vitro fertilization). Meanwhile 50% of heterosexual babies are unplanned. Psychologist Abbie Clark explains, "That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement" [4]."

My opponent here says that gays can make better parents by avoiding a flaw in straight relationships (that many pregnancies are accidental). This is ridiculous; simply because it is a problem does not mean it is inherent in that entire style of relationship, nor does it mean that such a flaw will never be fixed or that unplanned pregnancies will never be stopped. By this logic the argument about kids getting teased is perfectly legitimate.


"There are plenty of people raised by gay parents who have had great experiences and turned out very well adjusted. Zach Wahl's speech about family (he also has two lesbian moms) went viral on YouTube, and I encourage my opponent to look it up. He is a very successful and admirable young man. However, I mentioned that I don't want this to turn into a debate over anecdotal evidence. We need to consider not individual cases, but how much sexuality in general influences parenthood."

Anecdotal evidence only shows the limits of what is or can be possible. Pro concedes this later on and I'm baffled as to why she brought it up in the first place.


"In a 2010 review of virtually EVERY study on gay parenting, New York University sociologist Judith Stacey and University of Southern California sociologist Tim Biblarz found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents."

Copy-pasted from source.

I look forward to my opponent's reply.

Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Con begins his round by trying to establish that sexual orientation is not hereditary and subject to a large number of variables. While I do think that biology plays a part in sexual orientation, I definitely agree that nature AND nurture play a role. The study Con presented (Exotic Becomes Erotic) explains the same thing, with the author noting that children's temperment is influenced by biological variables such as genetic factors that contribute to their childhood gender identity. Regardless, this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. What causes homosexuality is not up for question; whether or not gay people can be good parents is. As such, I don't need to respond to any of this unless Con explains why it's relevant.

Con tries to divert attention away from the resolution and focus on other anti-gay sentiments, such as suggesting that gay people have a higher suicide rate than others, and then demanding I prove that social stigmas aren't to blame. Let me be clear: If Con really wants to debate why the suicide rate for LGBT people is higher - in other words, if he thinks discrimination and social stigmas aren't to blame - I would love the opportunity to inundate him with fact after fact from innumerable sources explaining why he'd be embarrasingly wrong. Let's debate that next. However again, this has nothing to do with the current resolution unless Con's point is to suggest that gay parents are likely (not more likely) to kill themselves. In that case, I welcome him to find cases where gay parents committed suicide, and include them as sources in his next round. I will address them then. Otherwise, this has been a complete waste of time and character space.

Now let's move on to my contentions and I'll highlight my opponent's rebuttals.

1. PRO: Gay people are functioning members of society... None of the qualities associated with good parents are exclusive to heterosexuals.

CON: That is generally not the case...

--> If Con thinks that there are qualities or attributes that a straight person can posess that make them a good parent that gay people can NOT possess, he needs to include what those specific traits are. Otherwise this point is in favor of Pro.

2. PRO: A parent's sexual endeavors have little to no impact on their ability to raise a child.

--> Con dropped this, so the point goes to Pro.

3. PRO: Two parents are better than one - it doesn't matter if the parents are gay (study confirms).

CON: "Of course having a two-parent family is better than one. The economic benefits alone help children. Irrelevant."

--> No, it's relevant because two gay parents can raise children just as well as two staight parents. I've included a psychological study that confirmed this. Con seems to agree. The point goes to Pro.

4. PRO: Gay parents tend to exude greater commitment and more involvement considering 50% of heterosexual's pregnancy's are unplanned.

CON: "This is ridiculous; simply because it is a problem does not mean it is inherent in that entire style of relationship..."

--> Basically Con just negated the entire idea that gays would make subpar parents due to potential depression (as he insinuated at the beginning of the debate). If Con doesn't think we should consider this fact, then Con cannot take anecdotal instances of depression or any negative factor and apply it to gay parenting as a whole. Instead, we must look at how one's sexuality in general affects the ability to parent. I will agree to drop this contention on the basis that Con's response to it has negated several of his own arguments anyhow. Also, I messed up with numbering in previous rounds, so let's drop this and move on to the other #4...


4. PRO: There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life.

CON: "Anecdotal evidence doesn't matter." Fathers and mothers are not interchangable...

--> The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits. Con mentioned that "rough and tumble" play with their fathers provides children with a variable resource. In looking at the source from Con, there is absolutely nothing in there that explains why a child's biological father is necessary or even more valuable than having simply a male figure and role model around. For instance if one's biological father was a drug addict, they wouldn't be preferable male role models.

Con also notes that "presence of the natural father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls." However other studies note that compared to the daughters of heterosexual mothers, the daughters of lesbians more frequently dress, play and behave in ways that do not conform to sex-typed cultural norms. They also have higher self-esteem and confidence, and tend to break rules less, indicating that teen pregnancy is likely not in the cards [7].

This debate is about one's sexual orientation affecting their ability to parent - not whether or not you can have the same biological ties to someone who is not related to you (obviously not). As such, I haven't seen any evidence that fathers and mothers aren't interchangeable insofar as being positive male/ female role models.

5. PRO: Environment in general plays a role in a child's upbringing; it's not limited specifically to the parents. Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior.

--> Con dropped this. The point goes to Pro.

6. PRO: Potentially teasing the kids is a terrible and irrelevant contention...

--> Con dropped this, so he must agree.

7. PRO: "The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way. In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures..." I included multiple sources noting that just about every study on gay parenting found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents.

CON: "Copied and pasted from source."

--> My opponent pointed out that I copied and pasted a sentence from a source. Considering I sourced the sentence, that isn't remotely problematic. On the other hand, it's really sad that Con dropped every single study and every single fact backing up my case for no apparent reason. As we can see, these studies are the meat and potatoes of the debate. My opponent cannot compete with the fact that science and psychology are on my side.

[ CONCLUSION ]

Con hasn't denied that the vast consensus of ALL studies show that there is NO inherent harm in same-sex parenting. He hasn't denied that homosexuals can possess any quality a heterosexual can in terms of attributes that contribute to good parenting. He hasn't remotely contested the legitimacy of the studies, considering there are dozens that take into account hundreds of cases of kids with gay parents. Ergo, Con acknowledges that research indicates that kids of gay parents show no differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures. Meanwhile, the research also incidcates that there are BENEFITS to same-sex parenting.

Con's only rebuttal included the notion that fathers are important for rough and tumble play and to decrease the chances of teen pregnancy. I pointed out that you can have the benefits of male and female role models without having them be parents. It takes a village to raise a child, as indicated by my study that parents aren't the be-all and end-all in terms of development.

The resolution has been affirmed.

[7] http://www.care2.com...





MouthWash

Con

Please excuse the many grammar errors/ lack of spaces in this rebuttal. I was forced to go over the 8000 character limit and I couldn't edit anything after pasting it, so a lot of things got messed up.

"However again, this has nothing to do with the current resolution unless Con's point is to suggest that gay parents are likely (not more likely) to kill themselves."

I concede this due to the difficulty of finding specific statistics.

"The study Con presented (Exotic Becomes Erotic) explains the same thing, with the author noting that children's temperment is influenced by biological variables such as genetic factors that contribute to their childhood gender identity. Regardless, this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. What causes homosexuality is not up for question; whether or not gay people can be good parents is."
I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities. Again, I must quote: "This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct."Your argument was literally "homosexuality is not a disorder" so I'm not really seeing anything pointless about it.

"If Con thinks that there are qualities or attributes that a straight person can posess that make them a good parent that gay people can NOT possess, he needs to include what those specific traits are. Otherwise this point is in favor of Pro."

This debate is about whether or not same-sex couples are generally insufficient parents. Pro now seems to just be exploiting the wording of the debate. Mirza brought this up in the comments: "The wording of the resolution favors Pro. She only has to prove that homosexual couples *can* raise children well. This is obvious, since there are a few cases where homosexual couples have been on par with quality heterosexual parents."

What's incredible to me is how you attacked him for pointing that out and then proceeded to exploit the same exact semantical loophole in your opening argument. Some of the more observant readers might notice thatI directly addressed this in the last round; you have not only ignored them but simply restated your argument. I am offended that you insist on exploiting basic semantics when you specifically said that they wouldn't even be an issue in this debate and despite the fact the you were warned about it in the comments and in the previous round.

"2. PRO: Aparent's sexual endeavors have little to no impact on their ability to raise a child.

-->Con dropped this, so the point goes to Pro."

I can't understand why you think you've won anything here. My case has been about homosexual relationships (not necessarily who they have sex with)and the impact of not having a mother or a father. Irrelevant because I never even brought it up.

"No, it's relevant because two gay parents can raise children just as well as two staight parents. I've included a psychological study that confirmed this. Con seems to agree. The point goes to Pro."

I haveNEVER conceded that; I said that the economic benefits brought by a two parent marriage helped children. Not only is it irrelevant, but it seems to invoke the arguments SSM supporters make about how legalizing SSM would allow more children to be adopted. As the more observant readers may notice,thishas absolutely nothing to do with how effectively homosexual couples can parent. Pro seems to not even be debating the resolution here but rather reciting an unrelated argument supporting gay marriage.

"4. PRO: Gay parents tend to exudegreater commitment and more involvement considering 50% of heterosexual's pregnancy's are unplanned.

CON: "This is ridiculous; simply because it is a problem does not mean it is inherent in that entire style of relationship..."

I don't understand my opponent's response here at all.Unintended pregnancy is linked to numerous maternal and child health problems, and it is certainly not an unavoidable risk in all heterosexual relationships. I am arguing that homosexual relationships cannot provide a child with a mother and a father. Both are inherent problems in that entire style of relationship. I don't know why Pro seems to think this is self-contradictory.

"4. PRO: There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life."

Here my opponent uses the same basic fallacy that she has been repeatedly warned about in the comments and in previous rounds. Let's break down her reply:

1."The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits."

Again, just because someone *can* turn out well adjusted, it does not follow that most will. You havereached a generalizationbased on insufficient evidence.

2."In looking at the source from Con, there is absolutely nothing in there that explains why a child's biological father is necessary or even more valuable than having simply a male figure and role model around."

Simply the fact that fathers are more dedicated to their children much more than anybody else would beby their own naturesas fathers(again, please do not use anecdotal evidence to argue this point).

3."For instance if one's biological father was a drug addict, they wouldn't be preferable male role models."

This sentencedoes not follow from your previous one. Not only is it yet another fallacy of relying on anecdotal evidence; you were talking about how traditional parents were unecessary and now, out of the blue, you invented a scenario in which one of them randomly happened to be a drug addict. I don't understand how this helps your case.

Moving on, your only response to my source about the effects of a natural father is one of your own sources. I grant that my source was obscure and undetailed, but I have demonstrated why your sources are unreliable, and thus my case still stands. I further point out thatmothers and fathers relate to their children differently:

"Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them. Fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation than mothers.As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction."[1.http://www.civitas.org.uk...]

Recent evidence alsoshowsthat fathers differentially impact brain development. Without the father's spontaneous and energetic playing, the child's left hemisphere develops improperly [2. Schore & McIntosh, 2011].

"5. PRO: Environment in general plays a role in a child's upbringing; it's not limited specifically to the parents.Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior.

-->Con dropped this. The point goes to Pro."

Again, you've avoided any real debate by strawmanning me. I have stated, very clearly, that it was an unhealthy relationship and the lack of a father or a mother that affected children. Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it. Please stop this; I am on here to have a serious debate and your own resolution is being undermined by the fact that you cannot keep your arguments relevant.

"My opponent pointed out that I copied and pasted a sentence from a source. Considering I sourced the sentence, that isn't remotely problematic."

I may have overreacted here. However, I believe that directly copied phrases should at least have quotations around them. It's a slippery slope.

"Con hasn't denied that the vast consensus ofALLstudies show that there is NO inherent harm in same-sex parenting. He hasn't denied that homosexuals can possess any quality a heterosexual can in terms of attributes that contribute to good parenting."

Actually, there is quite a bit of evidence against the same-sex parenting studies. A 2012 study found that the conclusions reached by most studies on the subject did not take into account [3.http://www.sciencedirect.com...]These objections have been made clear already, so I'll just repeat them here.

(1) homogeneous sampling

(2) absence of comparison groups

(3) comparison group characteristics

(4) contradictory data

(5) the limited scope of children's outcomes studied

(6) paucity of long-term outcome data
Let's take a look at the studies in theAmerican Psychological Association"Summary of Research Findings on Lesbian and Gay Parenting:" [4.http://www.debate.org...]

I urge my opponent to take note of the Sarantakos (1996)study. It compares 58 children of heterosexual married parents, 58 children of heterosexual cohabiting couples, and 58 children living with homosexual couples that were all "matched according to socially significant criteria (e.g., age, number of children, education, occupation, and socio-economic status)." The combined sample size 174, which is the seventh-largest sample size in the research findings above. What's interesting is that all of the larger studies were all adult self-report studies, which means that the Sarantakos is the largest study that investigated the development of children.

The results:[5.http://www.debate.org...]

Here are some other results from a 2012 study thatdemonstrate that children of homosexual couple are significantly disadvantaged and why other studies fail to show it: [6.http://www.debate.org...]

"Con's only rebuttal included the notion that fathers are important for rough and tumble play and to decrease the chances of teen pregnancy. I pointed out that you can have the benefits of male and female role models without having them be parents. It takes a village to raise a child, as indicated by my study that parents aren't the be-all and end-all in terms of development."

My opponent makes a critical mistake in equating parental relationshipsand other social relationships and overlooks some basic fundamentals in developmental psychology. Rather than simply list twenty sources demonstrating the opposite, I challenge my opponent to even list one reliable source that supports her view of arbitrary role models taking the place of parents. I doubt that's what she really meant to say, she is committing yet another fallacy in assuming that since parental relationships by themselves are insufficient for proper development that parents must therefore not be critical to it.

Conclusion

My opponent has responded with numerous fallacies, strawmen, and has done little more to back up her point of view than cite a few mainstream sources. I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of her response. Anyway, let's see what she has to say.
Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

Note: Con can not make any new arguments considering I can't respond. It's too late for him to reply to dropped arguments.

My opponent begins, “I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities… Homosexuality is not ‘natural’ in the sense that it is unavoidable..."

Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species [8]. They did not make the conscious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities. Con’s own source admits that sexuality is a byproduct of biology. There is nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality, and Con never proved that there is (he rightfully dropped the point about suicide).

Now onto my points…

1. There are no parenting traits a heterosexual can possess that a gay person can not. Con wasted space saying I was exploiting the word “can” in the resolution (based on Mirza’s comments). My point is that any quality or trait you associate with good parenting - i.e., responsible, caring, loving, etc. - can be possessed by gay people. Ergo, good parenting qualities or techniques are not limited to heterosexual parents. Con never negated this idea; he dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant.

2. Whether a parent has sex with a man or woman doesn't affect their parental judgment. Con dropped this in R2, and in R3 responded that it's “irrelevant.” Clearly it isn’t – it proves that one's sexuality doesn’t impact their ability to parent effectively.

3. While 2 parents are better than one (Con agrees), it doesn’t matter if those parents are same-sex (Con disagrees). I included a study validating that 2 same-sex parents provide the same benefits to parenting that 2 heterosexual parents do: double the resources, emotional support, etc. Con said this too was irrelevant, but it proves that what parents provide and not their sexuality is what matters.

4A. I dropped the point that statistically, gay people tend to make better parents given the fact that they choose to become parents and therefore don't have an unwanted or unexpected responsibility imposed upon them like many heterosexual couples.

4B. I explained that kids with gay parents can turn out perfectly well-adjusted and why. Let’s break down Con’s rebuttal…

a) Just because someone CAN turn out well adjusted doesn't mean that most will. You have reached a generalization based on insufficient evidence.

--> The exact same comment can be applied to kids with heterosexual parents. They CAN turn out fine, but there are no guarantees. I included a plethora of evidence indicating that the vast majority of kids with gay parents turn out just fine.

b) Fathers are more dedicated to their children much more than anybody else…

--> Con never mentioned this before, let alone proved it. We have no reason to accept it as a legitimate fact.

c) You can’t rely on anecdotal evidence like drug addict fathers…

--> I never said that a single example should dictate the norm, so Con is wrong to suggest that I used fallacious reasoning. There was nothing in Con’s source that explained why a child's biological father is necessary or more valuable than having a positive male figure around. For instance, if one's biological father was a drug addict, they wouldn't be a preferable role model just because they shared DNA (this is an example - NOT a generalization). Having a positive figure in general is far more important than biological ties to the child.

5. Pro: Environment in general plays a role in a child's upbringing; it's not limited to parents (indicating the importance of role models).

Con’s reply: You've avoided any real debate by straw manning me. I have stated that it was an unhealthy relationship and the lack of a father or a mother that affected children. Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it.

First, because Con didn't respond to several arguments when I typed my last round (notably 2, 5, 6 and 7), I assumed he wasn’t going to challenge them due to agreeing with me rather than exhibiting poor conduct by ignoring them. That's why I suggested he agreed - I wasn't straw manning. Con hasn't proven these reasons as remotely being legitimate causes of homosexuality, and neither have his sources. Also, it seems that by saying “Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it,” that Con has basically conceded the entire debate.

But back to Con’s reply… Nowhere did he establish that biological ties to parents were significantly important. He presented a study that demonstrated the quality of care infants receive affecting their development. This source never said that the care had to come from biological parents. The same thing applies to Con’s other sources-- the study indicating the benefits of rough and tumble play never mentioned the importance of the father figure’s DNA. Instead it noted the benefits of the interaction, but did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads.

6. Just because the child may get teased has nothing to do with a homosexual's ability to parent. Con dropped this contention twice, therefore the point stands.

7. Innumerable studies confirm that kids with gay parents show no differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures of success. Research also indicates that there are benefits to same-sex parenting which Con never challenged or denied. Con brings up several objections my studies; however, never specifies which study he is referring to that is allegedly flawed. He mentions the absence of comparison groups and their statistics as a problem, but clearly that is not true of all studies - ones I've brought up already and others [9 - 16].

These criticisms come directly lifted from Science Journal’s critique of studies from the American Psychological Association. However, my sources included studies other than the ones utilized by the APA. I never used any of the sources listed as problematic on the chart. As such, none of Con’s proposed faults apply and the results of my presented studies must be acknowledged by the audience. Con didn't present any studies indicating harms attributed to gay parenting, which is good because I could have easily discounted those based on bias, faulty sampling and other mistakes. But all we've seen in this debate are studies affirming the resolution.

Sources: http://www.debate.org...

--------

CONCLUSION

1. Gay people are not any less likely to exhibit good parenting traits.

2. What parents do in the bedroom doesn't affect their ability to parent.

3. The care the child receives is important – not the sex or sexuality of the caretaker. None of Con's sources proved that biological ties are necessary in order to be positive role models, or that kids of gay parents are missing those role models.

4. The majority of every study done on gay parenting indicates no negative discrepancies in parenting styles or ability. I've included many sources; Con hasn't (and can not) discredit them all.

5. At best, research indicates that intact families are superior for raising children. Non-intact families are inferior regardless of the sexual preferences of the parents. Again, sexual preference is irrelevant to good parenting.

Arguments: PRO

Sources: Some of Con's sources were irrelevant. Others helped establish my case. He cited the same source 3x in the last round, and failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond.

S/G: Con had inferior s/g by his own admission, and a hard to read/understand format that didn't align correctly with my arguments.

Conduct: Wrongly accusing me of using fallacious reasoning multiple times resulted in my opponent's own red herrings. Further, completely unnecessary comments like "I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response" is rude and borderline ad hominem - insulting me in general as opposed to dissecting the arguments.
MouthWash

Con

"Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species. They did not make the conscious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities. Con's own source admits that sexuality is a byproduct of biology. There is nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality, and Con never proved that there is (he rightfully dropped the point about suicide)."

Here Pro tries to divert attention away from my actual argument. I never said anything about a conscious choice. She has brought it up for no reason other than that it is a common anti-gay sentiment. Again, classic strawman.

While different species may have blurry gender roles (male starfish become pregnant), there is no evidence to suggest that it was beneficial to humans. Pro makes a bizarre claim that my own source proves that homosexuality is a "byproduct of biology" and thus cannot be harmful. I don't understand what this means at all. By this logic depression is not harmful because it is merely a byproduct of biology (it did evolve for a specific purpose.

Evolution simply implanted the imprinting process itself into the species rather than the specific content of what needs to be imprinted. Since human nature ensures that boys and girls will see each other as exotic, it would be sufficient for evolution to implant exotic-becomes-erotic processes into our species rather than genetically determined "orientations."

You also linked to a source talking about Evelyn Hooker's study in 1957. However, it isn't a random sample; she found the homosexuals in the study through a homosexual organization called the Mattachine Society [1], meaning it is very likely that the selection was biased.

While I did intend to press the issue by citing statistics on homosexuals in very gay-friendly cities or countries, I thought of the idea too late and was forced to let it go. Unfortunately, I cannot do it now because it is the last round (although I urge readers to do the research themselves).

"1. Con never negated [the fact the gays can possess the same attributes as straights]; he dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant."

We were discussing if homosexuality was harmful and whether children needed a mother and a father. Simply because homosexuals CAN possess those attributes does not mean that they necessarily will, and it completely ignores the fact that the capability of having those attributes does not mean that a proportionate number of them WILL have those attributes. Notice how she dismisses Mirza's criticism but never even explains why it is irrelevant. I've explained this before and I'm tired of it.

"2. Clearly it isn't – it proves that one's sexuality doesn't impact their ability to parent effectively."

I called it irrelevant, but unecessary might have been a better word. Homosexuality does not equal a same-sex relationship or raising children in a SS household.

"3. I included a study validating that 2 same-sex parents provide the same benefits to parenting that 2 heterosexual parents do: double the resources, emotional support, etc. Con said this too was irrelevant, but it proves that what parents provide and not their sexuality is what matters."

Let's look at the source: "The Cowan's data suggests that there is a visible benefit to having a two-parent family, regardless of whether the couple is married, heterosexual, or same-sex." It was made very clear that the study compared two-parent vs one-parent families. It does not equate SS families with tradtional ones, and I think it's pretty obvious that a SS family would have more resources than a single-parent one. I repeat myself: Pro is not directly showing that what SS families provide is equivalent to what traditional ones provide. And if she isn't doing that, then she isn't arguing the resolution. As you may remember, I provided evidence that mothers and father differed in their behaviors towards their children. Pro has not contested this whatsoever.

"4A. I dropped the point"

You did because you said it invalidated my own arguments. I responded to you but it seems you've decided to ignore me.

4B. "a) I included a plethora of evidence indicating that the vast majority of kids with gay parents turn out just fine."

The study you cited (nllfs) is flawed. [7]

"b) Con never mentioned [that fathers are dedicated more than another role model] before, let alone proved it. We have no reason to accept it as a legitimate fact."

You take this out of context. I was responding to your argument that any arbitrary male role model could take the place of a father in a two-mother family. Same for two-father families.

"c) For instance, if one's biological father was a drug addict, they wouldn't be a preferable role model just because they shared DNA (this is an example - NOT a generalization). Having a positive figure in general is far more important than biological ties to the child."

Your *conclusion* was a generalization. You said that IF someone's father was not a good role model the it would be better to have them raised in a SS family. This irrelevant to whether SS families are as good as traditional ones in general. Furthermore, the biological ties part is simply another strawman. I am arguing for a mother and father family structure, and I don't recall saying that they needed to be the biological parents anywhere in my previous rounds.

"5. Con didn't respond to several arguments when I typed my last round (notably 2, 5, 6 and 7.)"

My previous submission lacked formal structure but I have indeed addressed all of them. All readers, please go over the claims she makes in those arguments and then my submission for Round 3. I have not neglected or ignored anything.

"by saying "Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it," Con basically has conceded the entire debate."

I'm getting sick of this. I was establishing that there was a difference between being gay and having a gay relationship or raising kids in a SS home. I was avoiding semantics, and I was wise to do it, because you literally said "Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior."

"Nowhere did he establish that biological ties to parents were significantly important."

This has nothing to do with "biological ties," but rather SS families vs traditional ones. This is the last time I will repeat myself.

"[Con's source] noted the benefits of the interaction, but did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads."

The source specifically establishes that there are differences between a mother's and a father's method of parenting. I don't think Pro even clicked on on the link.

"6. Just because the child may get teased has nothing to do with a homosexual's ability to parent. Con dropped this contention twice, therefore the point stands."

Of course it stands. It's a complete strawman. I never brought it up; you did in the first round and pretended that it was essential to my case.

"Con mentions the absence of comparison groups and their statistics as a problem, but clearly that is not true of all studies - ones I've brought up already and others [9 - 16]."

I have given links of my own (2-7) that contradict your sources (not including the downloads). I also ask all readers to compare them to each other when voting on sources.

"I never used any of the sources listed as problematic on the chart."

Yes, but it proves that there are problems with these studies and more importantly, it proves that the APA distorted the facts. Furthermore, I have pointed out flaws some of the studies you cited previously.

"Con didn't present any studies indicating harms attributed to gay parenting, which is good because I could have easily discounted those based on bias, faulty sampling and other mistakes."

This is an outright lie. I pointed out the Sarantakos study, which found considerable disadvantages in children from SS families and I provided a graph that showed worse outcomes from those children. I mean, I literally provided the entire study, with fourteen different categories (it even differentiated between two-mother and two-father families) with all of the statistics that were significantly different bolded for convenience.

"He cited the same source 3x in the last round, and failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond."

I posted three links to my three graphs, which happened to be on the same page and could be confused with each other. I posted the along with the corresponding numbers for each graph (4, 5, 6) so that readers would know what I wanted to cite. What's really sad is why anyone would consider that grounds for a point loss. It seems YOU got confused, because you apparently didn't bother to scroll down and see the different studies.

"Con had inferior s/g by his own admission, and a hard to read/understand format that didn't align correctly with my arguments."

I was forced to surpass the 8000 character limit. I told you so right at the beginning. You type it out in rich text, then switch to regular text and send it. You can't use B/I/U and it messes up your spacing. You cannot edit it without it detecting the character limit.

"unnecessary comments like "I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response" is rude and borderline ad hominem."

I do go over the line sometimes (such as in my debate with WSA on Islam) but he never even called me out on it. You are demanding the conduct point because I made a general statement about your response. Are you serious? This is a debate. I'm not reviewing a research paper.

Conclusion

Pro has simply justified her semantic tactics and given no legitimate reason as to why her own sources were free from the mistakes I pointed out. She completely ignored my graphs, took phrases out of context, and topped it off with a bizarre attempt to discredit my conduct, sources, and spelling. Unlike my opponent, I will not ask you to vote on vague claims and lawyering, but rather on the graphs, evidence, and sources I provided.

Sources: [http://www.debate.org...]

The resolution is negated. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
121 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Good debate except for the dishonest tactics by pro
Posted by darksky.kristine26 3 years ago
darksky.kristine26
"culturally stunted places like Arkansas"

You are soooooooo right about that......it's not even funny how right you are........and I should know.....
Posted by babyy 4 years ago
babyy
Hello dear, my name is Ester, i came across your profile now.So I decided to stop by an let you know that I really want to have a good friendship with you. Beside i have something special i want to discuses with you, but I find it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site. I will be very happy, If you can get back to me, through my e-mail iD(esteredmond(at )ymail.c o m)
Posted by mylittlebrony 4 years ago
mylittlebrony
I guess
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
@wrichcirw, you are an idiot. We weren't talking about whether homosexuals could raise children properly, we were talking about whether she used dishonest tactics. That's it. End of story.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
No they can't.

For the simple reason a child who belongs to homosexual parents, will always be lacking a role model by either a male or female parent.

So by all means, it is not the same to have just parents of the same sex, than it is to have parents of both sexes.

Can parents of the same sex offer both male and female quality's. I don't think so. it is not authentically the same.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
1) CON: "I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities."

Try harder. In fact, stop trying and start doing. Arguments that begin like this are synonymous with a concession, which you did numerous times in round #3.

Never mind. I got through half of CON's round #3 and stopped. Too much butt hurt complaining by CON.

To me, this was a close debate up to this point. Both PRO and CON brought out contestable assertions, but CON dropped the ball in this round, essentially crying foul and not realizing that there's no referee to stop the action.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Ask Danielle personally; I doubt she checks the comments still.
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
Before I posted this: "From what I know about evolutionary psychology, there should be a reasonable case to be made for the Con side (but I don't know if it actually translates into empirical evidence in the real world). Parents have evolved with an inbuilt emotional attachment to children who carry their genes. A homosexual couple will contain at least one parent who is unrelated to the child and shouldn't treat them as well as they would a child who is"

I'd like to hear Danielle's response now that the debate is over.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
NOTE: " tried to consider MouthWash's admittedly ludicrous attempt to use the glitch"

This refers to the thread MW made, not to the actual use in the debate. My apologies for being unclear. :(
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by famer 4 years ago
famer
DanielleMouthWashTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Very nice arguments by both sides, but I felt Pro had stronger arguments.
Vote Placed by Mathaelthedestroyer 4 years ago
Mathaelthedestroyer
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Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate on both sides.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments (when I figure out how I want to word it.)
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: I am far too biased to allow myself a vote.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Royal's source points until she justifies her reasoning behind dismissing Con's studies.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
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Reasons for voting decision: See RFD in comments. As Wnope stated, it is an one-sided debate, which grew tiresome to read as it devolved into Con's constant references to his actions, assumptions that Pro was strawmanning him, refusing to consider his case in a general framework, and, I should note, also extended his arguments above the character limit. That alone is a deduction of conduct...Update: Page-->http://www.debate.org/debates/Homosexual-couples-can-raise-children-just-as-well-as-heterosexual-couples./1/comments/3/
Vote Placed by Cody_Franklin 4 years ago
Cody_Franklin
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD provided in comments. I justified giving six points to Pro. Read before you shout "votebomb!"
Vote Placed by GenesisCreation 4 years ago
GenesisCreation
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments....
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.