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This House Believes That the No Difference Theory is correct

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,283 times Debate No: 30328
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Hello, and welcome to my next debate. 16kadams, probably one of the most formidable and respected debaters on this site for conservative beliefs against myself, it certainly shall be an interesting debate.

===Opening Jokes===

'My Dad used to say 'always fight fire with fire', which is probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.'


No difference theory: The rejection of necessary difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples in the action of child-rearing.


No semantical squirelling.

The opponent for this debate is 16kadams.

The forfeit of a round counts as a conduct point to the opposite side. More than one forfeit from one side counts as a full seven-point concession.

The first round is for acceptance, meaning no arguments. The final round is for concluding remarks and rebuttals, meaning no new arguments.


I accept this debate!
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I shall look to try and prove that there is no necessary difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples when it comes to child-rearing. What does this mean, though? I will elucidate my position through this debate.

Firstly, what does it mean to be male and female? This sounds obvious – to be a man is to have a penis, and to be a woman is to have a vagina. However, how true is this really? In Balkan states, there are three genders: men women and virgins, the latter being defined as an intact hymen, for example. Moreover, where do we place transsexuals? Transvestites? Men ‘trapped in women’s bodies’? All these are massively important, as Difference Theory claims these biological differences are the substantially defining the relationships we have with our children. By contrast, No Difference Theory claims that it is institutions of culture and society that make the substantially defining influence with child-rearing.

Now, I am going define some terms here. Androgyny argues people have both male and female virtues naturally. For example, men can be caring, loving, merciful, fearful and otherwise effeminate and women can be strong, aggressive, tyrannical, influential and otherwise masculine. Being masculine or feminine, then, is just fitting in a heteronormative norms (norms where virtues fit in with a biological gender). Biology has nothing to do with it. By corollary, then, two men can raise a child just as easily as a woman and a man. There is no necessary difference between a heterosexual and homosexual couple in child-rearing, it depends wholly on their balance of virtues. Yes, having two Jason-Statham-in-Expendables as parents will probably be worse than having average parents, but the reason is having too masculine virtues in the home. Female virtues of love and care are needed to raise a child, but these virtues are not linked necessarily to biology. “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”[i] to summarise the position.

By contrast, Essentialism argues that biology has a defining factor in your virtues when it comes to raising a child. Men are necessarily having the characteristics of being aggressive, strong, powerful, and influential. Or, “men are made for screwing”, to quote feminist essentialists[ii].

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

This debate can easily get bogged down in statistics, so I wish to cover them now: they mean nothing. Statistics show a correlation between two things. The causation is analysis of the evidence. Let’s suppose (though there is of course much dispute in recent years on the evidential support of this) that there is conclusive evidence that women are better at taking care of children than men. We can take this one of two ways – one, we can take this the essentialist route and say women rear children better due to their biology, or women culturally are better at taking care of children. Women are put into a social role of child-rearing, trained and conditioned at a young age to accept this as their emancipation[iii]. This is supported by the fact that the last generations have been enforced with stereotyping abhorrent to us now[iv], telling women to be subservient to their husbands[v]. “For a mother the project of raising a boy is the most fulfilling project she can hope for.”[vi] Women have been made child-rearers by culture, not by biology. Statistics in fact would be more shocking if they were massively against women as child-rearers rather than not.

The skill of Child-rearing

Is child-rearing a skill? I’d say so. The existence of babysitters tells us that it is something you can become adept at. It is something which we can be either an idiot at, or a genius at. But how does this affect androgyny? Simple: “One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered [men child-rearing] practically impossible”[vii]. There is no reason outside of culture that men can be bad at child-rearing: the existence of a penis does not stop men from child-rearing, nor does the vagina – unless there are some techniques of babysitting that I’m not privy to – make you better at child-rearing. To sum up the point: it is your practice at the skill and virtues that makes you a good mother or father, such as love, care, kindness, and help, not your arbitrary gender, that makes a difference.

The ‘ought’ side of the equation

Of course, this debate can be taken as a normative one. As such, I am also going to argue that androgyny is the best aim for society over an acceptance of essentialism. I shall argue this further in the second round, but I shall cover the most powerful argument here first.

The true acceptance of freedom

“Freedom is fragile and must be protected”[viii] expresses the view of most of us modern thinkers. If people are restrained into roles and stereotypes and forced to fulfil them, or at least coerced and conditioned, then their freedom is of course infringed if not insulted. “All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception.”[ix] Yet “women were given the vote but denied sexual freedom. In the final analysis, women aren't really free”[x]. Only when we say that there are not any fixed roles to biology, but instead when we accept that men and women can have any role in society they are able to do that we are truly free. In other words, an acceptance of androgyny is akin to an acceptance of freedom and liberty. Saying only heterosexual couples can raise children is an enforcement of false heteronormative linking of values to gender. Saying heterosexual couples are ‘designed’ to rear children has very little difference to saying blacks are ‘designed’ to be slaves and jews are ‘designed’ to be evil. However, the major case here is this: the liberation of gender roles is needed for freedom to truly exist.

The step towards Liberalism

Androgyny is the only step towards a truly free system. By forcing only heterosexual couples to be able to rear children, or even saying that we are harming children by letting non-heterosexual couples rear them, requires a massive burgeoning government to rule our private lives. I use liberal here in the traditional sense of a small government not telling us how to live our private lives. If the government rules us on whether we are allowed to have children or not, we become part of a massive automaton system devaluing human life, and this is the only way of enforcing my opponent’s essentialist system. We must realise that essentialism, claiming biology dictates our ability to raise children, necessarily concludes that if we want children to grow up well, then we must force homosexual couples to not have children, and dictate their lives. Androgyny accepts that we can want different things, we can be different people, and biology does not rule our lives. Instead, androgyny says homosexual couples, given they are not abusive or uncaring, can raise children successfully.

To conclude, does androgyny not just seem naturally correct? That it is actually whether you are an abusive or uncaring parent that makes the difference, not whether your parents have a penis and vagina between them? Does the latter not seem somewhat arbitrary? Androgyny recognises female virtues make women better at raising children. With that, I’ll pass over to my opponent for his opening argument.

[i] De Beauvoir, The Second Sex Childhood

[ii] Valerie Solana, The S.C.U.M Manifesto

[vi] Andrea Dworkin, The Sexual Politics of Fear and Courage

[vii] De Beauvoir, Since the French Revolution: the Job and the Vote

[viii] Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch

[ix] De Beauvoir, The Second Sex Conclusion

[x] Nat Lehrman, Playboy Jan. 1972 ed. (interview with Germaine Greer)



When it comes to parenting, the effects left on their children will be environmental, not always genetic. People on both sides usually agree. But my opponent’s thesis goes as follows:

1. Culture dictates the actions of parents.

2. Men, currently, are irrelevant due to culture.

3. Culture forces societal norms.

1. Culture dictates the actions of parents.

There is one biological fact in parenthood: all children have two parents. One is male, the other is female. The identity of one’s parents is an irrevocable fact, something every person has to cope with. Even if we assume two parents are the same (for example, two lesbians can match a married couple) it ignores the fact the children are often adopted or came about through artificial insemination. The child, who often does not know the other parent, then longs to be with the parent. Evidence indicates this is a fully biological function given to the children from birth [1]. So even if we assume my opponent is correct, the effect on the child is partially biological, invalidating no-difference theory.

Now, since men and women share the same genome in parenting there [was] a default no-difference. But if both parents function the same way, this would lead to conflict and a less efficient family unit. Studies done on animals indicate after a few generations the animals evolve to create specialization. Professor Allen Moor says, “Males and females share the same genome so these differences in genetic influences between the sexes had to evolve from the default of no differences between the sexes. This occurred because of sex differences in shared genetic influences on other traits. But the evolution of this specialisation also helps reduce conflicts between the parents and form an efficient family unit, reinforcing the genetic differences between the sexes.”[2]

Some studies on mammals have obtained similar results. Female rats seem to act differently when their estrogen receptor levels are changed or suppressed. The study’s abstract notes, “Suppression of ERα[estrogen receptors] in the preoptic area almost completely abolished maternal care, significantly increasing the latency to pup retrieval and significantly reducing the time the moms spent nursing and licking the pups.”[3]

2. Fathers are irrelevant

Although my opponent didn’t necessarily mean to say it in a harsh manner, he essentially said, in the current culture, men do not seem to affect children. This belief, although the consensus in the nineties, is increasingly false.

See, if culture was dictating parenthood, then this would make complete sense. But the vast preponderance of evidence negates this position. Indeed, the research agrees with the conclusion that not all children do the same in different households, children do best with married mothers and fathers. The research can be summarized as follows[4]:

  • Lesbian mothers interact with children in different ways than heterosexual mothers.

  • The presence of a father reduces the chance that his children will use drugs or become criminals.

  • Children raised by lesbians were more sexually active, the presence of a father helps promote chaste.

  • One biological aspect: Boys need fathers to help form sexual identities, and need mothers in order to interact with the opposite sex.

  • People with the best sexual lives are raised by both genders.

  • When interacting with people in the future, the father is actually more important than the mother.

  • For boys, when going through puberty they need to begin to interact with the father. The father teaches the child how to be assertive, how to be “a man”.

It seems as though fathers are still relevant to children, and not necessarily irrelevant as my opponent claims they are.

Now, my opponent says fathers can be good parents, but mothers in current culture are more imperative. What is interesting, now, is that research actually notes fathers are more important to children [4]. The cultural norm is that the mother is more important, but since the outcomes for children are more determined by a father this is reason parenthood is not environmental or cultural. Indeed, men having a penis is one of the reasons fathers are fathers. Girls need the father as a male role model so she can interact with the opposite sex. If he was a woman, that probably would not work out. So, even if my opponent wins every other point in this debate, no difference theory is invalidated because men help their daughters interact with men. Research shows lesbians and single mothers cannot fill this role [5].

As stated, it is a biological (not a cultural) urge for children to meet both of their biological children [1]. Research shows biological parents raise the best children [4], and single parent families and homosexuals generally do worse [5]. Due to the fact research indicates the urge is biological, and when children live with the parents, presumably no urge exists, and they do better, this only means many of the children’s outcomes are determined by the parent’s biological makeup, not culture as my opponent assumes.

Overall, fathers are still extremely important, and parenting is not a [fully] cultural action.

3. It is unjust to force societal norms

If I may ask, how is this relevant to the debate? Since we are debating the outcomes for children in a scientific sense, I do not see how whether or not forcing societal norms onto parents is necessarily relevant. If this were a debate about the legality of same-sex adoption, this point would be extremely relevant. However, since we are looking at the outcomes of children, I do not see how this relates to the debate.

I have also shown many of the outcomes for children related to fathers are biological in origin. Girls need a man to teach them how to talk to men, and boys need a man to teach them how to be a man. Boys need mothers so they can talk to women, etc etc. These are fully biological functions, not cultural norms, that directly influence the outcomes of their children.

Now, this is not to say all outcomes of children are dictated by their parents biological makeup (though I have proven a lot of it is directly related the parents sex), but the fact mothers act the way they do due to genetic differences [3], and a fathers sexuality directly influences his children [4], it is impossible to say most child rearing is dictated by cultural norms.

To reiterate: this point is mostly irrelevant. Norms being unjust =/= no difference theory is valid/invalid.


I did not feel I needed a case because a lot of my evidence was put in the rebuttals. Although the sex of a parent seems arbitrary, love simply isn’t enough. Psychologist Trayce Hansen argues “mother-love and father-love—though equally important—are qualitatively different and produce distinct parent-child attachments. Specifically, it’s the combination of the unconditional-leaning love of a mother and the conditional-leaning love of a father that’s essential to a child’s development. Either of these forms of love without the other can be problematic. Because what a child needs is the complementary balance the two types of parental love and attachment provide. … Having a relationship with “the other”—an opposite sexed parent—also increases the likelihood that a child will be more empathetic and less narcissistic.”[7]

Although it seems as though the sex of one’s parents is arbitrary, the effect on the child is large and very important. The sex of someone’s parents hugely affects children [8].

1. Jennifer Roback Morse. “Love & Economics: It takes a family to raise a villiage” 2009.



4. A. Dean Byrd. “Dual Gender Parenting for Optimal Child Development” Journal of Human Sexuality (2010).

5. Walter R. Schumm, “Child Outcomes Associated with Lesbian Parenting: Comments on Biblarz and Stacey’s 2010 Report” Journal of Human Sexuality (2011).

6. Paul Cameron and Kirk Cameron, “Homosexual Parents” Adolescence, 1996.


Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his quick response to my case. However, he seems to have misunderstood my case. My argument is not men are irrelevent when it comes to raising children: it’s male virtues such as aggressiveness and brute power are not as relevant when raising children.

The Biological Link

My opponent makes a case for children to want to be with their biological parents. Of course, this is a massive issue, yet his evidence comes from a no-quote citation from Morse, who has been repeatedly shown to be slanderous, claiming from SSM-advocates destroy everything “to get their way”[i], to claiming homosexuals are “Nazis”[ii], failing to understand (if not read) the studies she cites[iii], and comically claiming she is part of a “ragtag ranks of refugees…from the great social civil war of our time”[iv]. She is a slave of cognitive dissonance; her testimony thus has no weight. However, we have good reason to believe “children fare as well in nuclear families as they do in [other] families[v]. There is no evidence saying biology is important to children’s development intrinsically. A culture saying “blood is thicker than water” is the cause, not biology.


The specialisation is due to virtues, not biology, and as such gender is irrelevant.

Are fathers relevant?

My opponent distorts my case here. I claim is that male virtues are not as important, while female virtues are. Firstly with the evidence we must realise half of what said like “Lesbian mothers interact with children in different ways than heterosexual mothers” isn’t mentioned in the source[vi]. For another, the source itself, NARTH’s ex-president Byrd, has with the organisation promoted views from the sadistic: “On the contrary, don’t interfere [with children dressing homosexually], and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world.”[vii], as well as simply worryingly false: “[slaves] brought to Europe… [were] better off than they had been in Africa”[viii] and some just funny: “encourag[ing] male clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as “dude”.” And finally, the article in question has been specifically addressed (among other similar claims) and rebutted by actual peer-reviewed published works.[ix] To make this clear, the journal … is not accredited, nor is the article. By contrast, credited works soundly rebuff these ideas: “there is sufficient evidence to support the null hypothesis: there are no differences--on a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive measures--between children raised by homosexual and heterosexual parents”[x]

Though accredited sources point out “Children raised by same-sex and heterosexual parents were found to not differ significantly in terms of their cognitive development, gender role behavior, gender identity, psychological adjustment, or sexual preference”[xi], again, the thing to keep in mind is that this is simply due to culture values. My opponent has committed the same fallacy of the cited NARTH-article: it “assumed that children needed mothers and fathers for healthy well-rounded development”[xii] which accredited peer-reviewed publications agree is false.

However, my opponent’s major arguments all claim this as their source. As such, they are simply claims that other like-minded ideologues espouse, not backed up with argument or reason. The truth of the matter is gender roles dictated by culture cause these issues, which complements findings. Male virtues are relevant, yes, but there is no reason why this is at all relevant to the case.

The ought side of the question

Is it relevant?

If we were debating “Utopianism is correct”, would we be debating whether we live in a utopia, or whether utopianism is the aim? Obviously, the latter. The same is true for this resolution: if we are to believe that essentialism, or the claim that there are factors creating a necessarily substantial difference of child-rearing by one-man-one-woman. To fit this into a syllogism:

P1 – If heterosexual couples substantially raise children better or worse than homosexual couples, then there is a necessary difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples in the action of child-rearing.

P2 – Heterosexual couples, by nature of being heterosexuals, raise children substantially better/worse than homosexual couples.

C1 – Therefore, there is a necessary difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples in the action of child-rearing.

The debate is of course usually centred around the first premise. However, neglecting the second premise is a horrific assumption. I mean, if heterosexual couples raise children who are 5% more likely to win a fencing match at the age of eight, we wouldn’t conclude androgyny is now wrong. We have to make clear what is substantial. But what is a substantial difference? Substantial is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “of considerable importance”[xiii]. And what is important has been outside the realm of the “scientific sense” for centuries. We have to understand what we count as important and make it clear. And if there is a prima facie argument saying that there is no significant difference between individuals, evident by liberalism, or the fact that human virtues are malleable and anyone can fill any role, evident by the fact humans are truly free, then we have good reason to believe there is no substantial difference between men and women. And if actually addressing all sides of the issue means temporarily departing from science into the humanities, then au revoir.

The Libertarian Case for androgyny

Libertarianism has two meanings: the political meaning is not the part of this case. The second meaning more prevalent in academia is of true free will, the: “ability to make choices without any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition”[xiv]. Examples of libertarianism are in the Bible, where: “by refusing to be baptized by [John], the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves”[xv]. If we have free will, then essentialist claims (such as “us[ing] drugs or becom[ing] criminals” is a result of any upbringing) is simply coincidence. There are many reasons to believe in free will. For example, I experience something within myself that I understand as making choices, and that those choices are not determined by anything other than myself. This is the brute fact argument, which simply points to the indubitable nature of my actions being my own, not something else’s. One other favourite case of mine is Sartre’s from imagination: Jean-Paul Sartre came up with an interesting free will argument. He said that we can ignore something real and we can pretend something unreal. For example, I could imagine that there is no danish before me -- something I often need to do in the service of dieting. We contain inherently the ability to act against the real world, and thus ignore external factors, refuting determinism. Unless my opponent refutes libertarianism, he cannot affirm the resolution.

Dropped cases & Conclusions

My key argument about raising children being a skill has been woefully neglected, even though it’s key to my case. Moreover, there has not been anything addressing how the factors presented are not due to virtues: indeed, some such as “how to be assertive” seem blatant to be to do with virtues, not biology. I pass over to my opponent for his rebuttal.

[x] Ibid, p39

[xi] Ibid, 36, citing A.L.Crowl, S.Ahn, & J.Baker 2008

[xii] Ibid, 35

[xiv] R.C. Sproul, Chosen by God

[xv] Luke 7:30



Biological parents, biological outcomes – Morse’s theories

First, my opponent attacks Jennifer Roback Morse. He essentially says she says X, therefore her statements are false. This is committing the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy is “where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context.”[1] Also, my opponent totally takes her words out of context. Although it seems harsh, she was directing it towards an amicus brief that said the people of California should have no say in whether or not Prop. 8 is passed, and that only the legislators should control the issue. She was saying the gay lobby is using deceptive tactics that rob the people’s opinion which destroys their freedom. As she is a libertarian, her wording is totally logical [2].

Other studies on African villages have come to the opposite conclusion my opponents has. A study with a sample of 100 homes reports the families with a mother and a father do the best, and those missing the fathers often has many personal hardships and often ended up in a crisis. The study consistently found African families worked best when both biological parents were present [3].

And Psychology Today notes many adopted children, including the author of the article, have problems because they have never (or not until later life) identified their biological parents [4]. My opponent merely asserts it is a cultural longing, but has provided no evidence for his assertion.


My opponent claims virtues, not biology, determine these actions. However, my study on the issue found parents in our species acted the same way as beetles indicating there is some genetic or natural instincts parents adopt. Beetles, based on current knowledge, do not have a complex culture nor virtues. So, my opponent’s rebuttal isn’t convincing.

The relevancy of fathers

My opponent seems to be fixated on one aspect of fathers. And yes, fathers are more aggressive. But he ignores many of the positive benefits fathers bring, and focuses on that one aspect. And, slight aggression may be a good thing. Rough-housing with their children leads to more sociable children later in life, and fathers naturally spend more time per each playing session than their mothers. The fathers aggressiveness often helps the child, research shows, and again my opponent ignores the many other positive qualities of fathers; they all benefit the child [5]. I don’t see how fathers attitudes make them non-optimal!

Again, my opponent commits the genetic fallacy multiple times with Byrd, merely stating he said this therefore his statement here is false. Even if we assume Byrd’s research is discredited, the vast majority of research show “clearly how absolutely important biological mothers and fathers are to the well-being of their children. Study after study has shown that no other factor is more vital to the healthy development of children than having a mum and a dad.”[6]

Also, many of the slanders aren’t necessarily coming from Byrd: many of the words (let them bully your child) comes from Dr. Berger, a totally different man. The evidence also supports many of his conclusions, and the APA has asked him on multiple occasions for him to lead many of their studies on the issue [7].

Also, slandering research is not how science is done. Walter R. Schumm writing how the media often slanders Paul Cameron, “[h]owever, most credible professionals with whom I have associated would prefer that critics attack bad research or poor theory rather than the personae of others.”[8] Unless my opponent can find holes on the specific research cited, I do not see how his rebuttal is strong.

Since I have cited extensive research not created by Byrd on the issue (Hansen, and the child welfare office, and a summary of the research by Australian journalists) this point still stands.

Moral issues

Yes, in a debate about a utopia existing we likely would ask are we in one. But my opponent’s analogy has no weight on his current argument. We are not debating the possibility of something; we are debating a social science. Something being moral has no bearing on whether or not children reared by homosexuals are going to have no differences, or positive outcomes, when compared to heterosexuals. Indeed, research indicates the opposite [8][9].

1. Yes, there are significant differences.

2. Actually, the answer is yes. Children raised by homosexuals are much more likely to have been raped by their parent and get less help with their school work. Studies claiming no difference often come to find many differences when correct analysis is conducted [10].

3. Therefore, there are necessary differences!


I basically extend my rebuttal from above. Free will has no bearing on whether children from homosexuals do better, worse, or the same as those raised from heterosexual couples.


My opponent has failed to refute the simple conclusion I have posed: children raised by homosexuals do worse than those raised by homosexuals. My opponent’s definition of no difference is false, the no difference claim actually has no bearing on societal influence. It is only if the current normal family is superior to homosexuals [11]. Even if we assume the no difference thesis relies on whether or not it is natural or culturally induced, I have refuted my opponent’s contention. Since studies refute the claim homosexual children are “no different”, I have won the debate.








8. Walter R. Schumm. “Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives from Social Science on Gay Marriage and Custody issues” St. Thomas Law Review, 2005.

9. Schumm 2006, Cameron 2005, 1996, and 1999, Sirota 1997, Regnerus 2012, Potter 2012, and Sarakantos 1996 & 2000 are examples of some of the research opposing gay parenthood. Of these studies, 4 of the studies are considered the “best” studies on the issue by Schumm 2012, Schumm 2005 & 11, Lerner and Nagai 2001, and Amato 2012.

10. Cameron 1996 (for rapes), Potter 2012 (for school), and Regnerus 2012 (for all), and Stacey and Biblarz 2001 for proof that pro-gay research actually uncovers many differences.

11. Stacey, Judith, and Timothy Biblarz. “(How) Does The Sexual Orientation Of Parents Matter?” American Sociological Review 66.2 (2001).

Debate Round No. 3


Evidence - the ivory tower of bad research

My opponent claims I am committing a genetic fallacy by saying "she says X, therefore her statements are false" (which even if I did wouldn't be a genetic fallacy). He misunderstands: I claim "she suffers from cognitive dissonance, a proven bad researcher; thus her statements are not worth much". If I quoted a mechanic on this issue, we wouldn't say that mechanic's witness is as valuable as a psychologist's. In fact, we wouldn't say their witness is valuable at all. Similarly, we wouldn’t say that an individual who is clearly a deluded, bias, propagandist for a field has, in themselves, credibility. While he may claim “slandering research is not how science is done”, the fact is that is exactly how it is done. To quote Schumm myself, “It appears clear that value biases have dramatically influenced how social scientists evaluate scientific literature, how they develop their theoretical models, and how they conduct their research in the area of lesbigay parenting”[i].

Morse clearly suffers from cognitive dissonance. As my opponent concedes, she believes the gay lobbies are Nazis, and she is a revolutionary. She believes the gay lobby are trying to overthrow America. That isn’t libertarian: it’s just mad. My opponent surely will agree Morse, an economist, has no value in psychology, especially when I provided actual scholarly sources contradicting her.

The African village study by my opponent is so comically useless that it is irrelevant: it is comparing the families with only one parent to two, and has nothing to do with homosexuality, never mentioning the term. If suddenly when homosexuals get married they merge together into one mass, then it’s barefaced lying, and insulting that it is trying to be passed off as evidence. In the study, only twice is “biological parents” even mentioned, and that is when talking about American statistics, nothing even about Africa. In the article he cites, however, it does mention: “In the modern era, the concept of the family in an African setting has shrunk to become a nuclear family…as a result, many parents find it difficult to carry out their work as well as family responsibilities”[ii] His study criticises his position that a nuclear family is best.

Byrd, or more accurately the NARTH institute as they published the article[iii], is clearly bias. Again, NARTH suffer from cognitive dissonance as shown, but more importantly studies have directly pointed out the fallaciousness of the evidence, as I’ve already said. The source itself isn’t a study, so I cannot refute it, it is just a series of claims backed by cherry-picked studies. “For every finding of significant differences [between lesbian families and heterosexual families] there [are] four or more findings of no significant difference”[iv]. I provided a direct criticism of the article, by an actual scholarly source, and by contrast my opponent cites evidence for vague claims without actually quoting his work, whilst trying to pass off shoddy work by non-professionals as “specific research”.

The Psychology Today article is anecdotal evidence, pointing to a case where a man wanted to meet his parents. So what? As I’ve already said, this is easily explainable by a cultural desire to know one’s parents. My opponent has not refuted this likelihood, and has to show a biological link to prove his conclusions, not simply assert that our desire to know our parents is unique in being uncontrollable.

And finally criticising Trayce Hansen’s claim that “the unconditional-leaning love of a mother and the conditional-leaning love of a father that’s essential to a child’s development.” is simple: after these claims she made, she has firstly been thoroughly rebuked by better qualified doctors who studied the psychiatric area in question. My favourite line: “Dr. Hansen's article was fortunately labeled “opinion,” since none of her remarks are based upon psychological science.”[v] Though I prefer using quotations to see the point of the article instead of you, readers, to dredge through the entire article to get the evidence, I recommend reading it, as it gives a great what can only be described as spanking to Hansen’s case. Her story got worse, however, when she then reproduced the argument in court, and got an even more public spanking. “The court noted that, contrary to Dr. Hansen’s testimony, the APA concludes that no evidence suggests that same-sex couples are unfit to be parents, or that psychosocial development among children of same-sex couples would be compromised in any respect.”[vi]

The case without the bad science

Cultural problem, Cultural solution

Without Morse’s non-scholarly source and the completely irrelevant African village artic le, all we have is anecdote, which is explained better through culture than biology simply due to simplicity: our culture clearly has emphasis that “blood is thicker than water”, and as such this explains the source of the problems.


Beetles genetically may favour biological parents, lions may have matriarchy[vii] where women do all the work with children, both “primary hunters[viii]and “[cubs] dependant on their mother”[ix], bats may raise communally[x], and chimps (our closest genetic matches) raise without father at all[xi]. So what? We’re not beetles. It still doesn’t refute that, as my major case has always been, child-rearing is a skill. The only really major part of my refuting case has still not actually been refuted in its soundness.

Relevance of fatherly attributes

I agree with my opponent some traits that culturally men have are good, possibly key, in raising healthy children. However, this doesn’t hurt, but complements, my case. Male attributes are what matter, not having a penis. And without the non-scholarly bias NARTH source, and the astonishingly thorough disproving of Hansen, we are left only with an unfindable Australian source by journalists, not psychologists and thus not evidence, and a welfare office source which again I cannot find reference to, despite contrarily being told it exists.

Now, I don’t have much more time, so I am going to focus on my libertarian case, but I first want to address the definition problem. My opponent has now kicked up a fuss in the third round of a debate where before the first round he accepted to the definitions. This is just astonishingly ridiculous and should be given no weight. No-one denies that there may be given a sample of people some natural deviation – that’s not just possible, but necessary. Natural deviation, or random error, is always going to occur. A necessary difference, that is a difference based on being homosexual, is what needs to be proven. That was the original resolution, that is the current resolution.

Libertarian Case

My opponent misunderstands the case. If we have complete free will, then our actions are not determined by our biology or upbringing. So if we have free will, then we cannot have personalities wholly dependent on whether we are raised by a heterosexual or homosexual couple. Yet my opponent claims our personality is dependent on whether we are raised by heterosexual or homosexuals. Libertarianism is proven deductively, however, making it prima facie more valid than the inductive, non-certain scientific method. Thus, there is no difference on whether we are raised by heterosexuals or homosexuals. Or, long story short, our actions are not determined by upbringing, so it does not matter who raises us. If true, then Difference Theory, which says our future actions are determined by the orientation of who raise us, is false. No Difference Theory must be true.

Thank you for reading, and I urge a vote PRO.



Bad research, bias, opinion

My opponent essentially has said bias taints all the research I have cited (I will talk about that later, too). But the irony of my opponents statement is that he cites Walter R. Schumm, sociologist, when talking about pro-gay studies. Indeed, as I previously noted, pro-gay bias is notorious. Especially due to the fact pro-gay research actually mis-represents their findings, and their research usually uncover significant differences [1]. My opponent decided to drop this point and merely focus on my findings. Indeed, my opponent misrepresented a study himself, claiming an article – he conveniently takes out the second part of the quote “Many social scientists believe there is sufficient evidence to support the null hypothesis: there are no differences--on a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive measures--between children raised by homosexual and heterosexual parents. However, the data they employ is flawed in many ways: small, biased, non-random samples”[2] As I previously noted research actually opposes gay parenting, and the research supporting it is likely based on spurious assumptions.

Now, let’s assume Morse is an ideologue. My opponent also ignored an argument made last round “My opponent’s definition of no difference is false, the no difference claim actually has no bearing on societal influence.” I cited Stacey and Biblarz (pro-gay researchers) on the subject. Their definition is only whether or not gay children are different in current society; saying society causes the difference would still mean no difference theory is incorrect. This point was dropped and conceded, meaning half of my opponents case is nullified, whether or not Morse is correct.

Byrd and Morse, my opponent claims, are ideologues. And my opponent cites a NARTH paper that concludes against homosexuality, so its biased. What? Just because it concludes against something =/= bias. I agree, the bias exists. But Schumm’s 2011 paper, which my opponent cites, actually notes how many anti-gay researchers (Cameron, Byrd, etc.) are actually much better at citing both sides of the story [3]. He also noted of a unique example: three papers published in the same journal. The one with the best methodology was anti-gay, and rarely cited. The other two were cited many times. Along with countless other examples, he finds the overall bias is towards homosexuality – as I have states multiple times citing Stacey and Biblarz 2001.

A. Dean Byrd has also been considered a valid researcher by the APA [4], which has pro-gay leanings. All of these points I have already brought up or am expanding on, and my opponent chooses to ignore them. Also, my opponent can ignore Morse’s works; she cited many references to each controversial statement she has made to peer-reviewed science. So don’t trust her, trust her sources. She often expands next to the reference with quotes from the source and ways to access it so we know she is not lying. Does this sound discredited?

Trayce Hansen’s claims are all based in science. She writes, “According to decades of research, the ideal family structure for children is a two-parent, mother-father family” and cites three references to that statement alone [5]. One of them is the 2002 Child Trends brief, a non-biased research organization. Another to the American College of Pediatricians, although a conservative group that report tshe cites cited 5 references in one paragraph on the issue, and dozens more overall, all to the peer-reviewed literature, on that point. And the last reference is by the Alabama Policy Institute which wrote a massive over 100 page paper on family structures with dozens of references. The ACPEDS brief she cited notes “Consequently, mothers and fathers parent differently and make unique contributions to the overall development of the child”[6] with three references in one statement. These points I am making come from many lines of empirical research – with only weak research indicating otherwise.

And the news article I cited was based on anecdotal evidence; nowhere did I say this was the main line of evidence. It merely shows a real-world example of my points.

Cultural problems

I have provided countless lines of evidence indicating this was untrue.


Let’s assume my beetle study is bogus. Guess what he ignored? The most important study in this section, that there exists a gene which dictates how mothers treat their children [7]. This blows a hole in my opponent’s argument. He has ignored this study since I pointed it out in round two. And the fact animals act differently only proves my point. Their actions are genetic in nature, and society cannot choose how mothers act. Since it differs across the animal kingdom, it makes sense that it would be a biological cause! Further, research indicates monkeys often spend time with their young. Many monkey species are monogamous, and stay with their young for biological reasons “the males will help provision (feed) and carry the young. Biologists explain this as an investment in the male's own offspring” [8].

Mothers and Fathers

My opponent again chooses to ignore my data. He ignores a study I cited by the Administration for Children and Families, hardly a biased source. The Administration writes, “In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children.”[9] Even if all the previous studies are wrong, he has ignored this study and has provided no counter evidence.

Whether or not the differences are cultural, this means there is a necessary difference in current society – meaning I win the debate. However, the research indicates it is likely not cultural. Fathers inherently act differently than mothers in all societies – as my beetle study indicated (when linking it to humans) humans have adopted the same concept as the beetle in all societies – debunking the “culture” myth. And I have significant evidence that there is a mother gene [7]. A difference my opponent ignores is that gender creates a huge difference. A father helps his girls talk to men because he is a man, and mothers help boys talk to girls because she is a girl. This was indicated in round two, and dropped. This means, no matter what, children of homosexuals will always have some difference to those raised by heterosexuals.

Libertarian case

Genes cannot be changed through free will, nor can biological attributes. So if I want to be black I can be black? It does not work out that way. And, as stated, fathers and mothers being their gender directly affect their children’s social skills. Since free will definitely cannot change this, than the point is invalidated. And, to repeat: since motherhood is determined by genes [7], and fatherhood too [8], and society does not change how parents act as noted by the beetle study when talking about humans, this refutes the case.


I would like to note my opponent has not cited one study showing homosexual’s children are no different. On the contrary, I have cited large amounts of research, and have shown many pro-gay studies prove my point. I would also like to note his theory of culture, not biology, determining parenting has been refuted by the studies and the animal kingdom as I have noted. He also dropped the mother gene study, essentially refuting his whole hypothesis. He also ignores the vast social evidence that children need both parents. Research indicates children raised by homosexuals are at a general disadvantage which has been established by even a few pro-gay authors, no difference theory is false.

VOTE CON – and please vote fairly.

Thanks for the great debate!









Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BAMThatDeafGuy 4 years ago
Christian philosopher St. Augustine argues that destiny cannot be changed/avoided. So in using this argument the parenting figures become meaningless as a child's way of life is all based in choice. If a child grows up to murder gays, you could change the variables in his life but the reality is he could still very well murder gays regardless of his parenting background.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
Lol. I never said any of that. Attacking my literacy only keeps bumping you down on the respect list, especially when you misrepresented two articles on the subject.

And no, you gave little proof that the field was bunk. Rather, you just kept screaming culture when I provided proof of parental genes.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Do you read what I put, or just decide that if I only post a fragment it is because I disagree with the next half? I have said repeatedly: "you're basically making up my case saying I agree with the statisticians for gay marriage". No, I disagree with the statisticians about the gay marriage evidence from the social sciences. That doesn't make the anti-gay statisticians right. And the fact that they are astronomically wrong doesn't make the pro-gay statisticians right. "If I did this again, all I'd do is just point out how the entire field is bunk"

I honestly don't understand how you don't seem to understand this: THE FIELD IS USELESS IN WORKING OUT WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG. I really don't understand. You notice that I don't cite any studies, you notice I produce an argument saying the studies are bunk, I post that the field is bunk, and yet you decide "Welp, he must believe the studies are right!" I cannot comprehend the lack of basic literacy required to make that error.

Your attack on the libertarian case is inexistent; again it just comes from ignoring other parts of my case. Your parental technique is a choice. Unless you believe your parenting role is forced on you, it makes much more important factors of how you raise your child than what gender the parents are. Yes, skin colour is a genetic factor. Is living your life a genetic factor though? Again, the libertarian case is prima facie in whether it proves or disproves studies. If we cannot rationally be determined in our actions by genes, then the science is irrelevant, as all it does is show correlation. If we can, then my case is undermined anyway. However, again, you ignored the actual problem and the arguments,
Posted by lit.wakefield 4 years ago
"So, even if my opponent wins every other point in this debate, no difference theory is invalidated because men help their daughters interact with men. Research shows lesbians and single mothers cannot fill this role [5]." I feel that Stephen sidestepped this among other arguments instead of really addressing why it was incorrect. He did mention a study (xii), but did not show that it directly related to the issues 16kadams mentioned .. Does that count as a dropped argument? I think I might be confused as to what constitutes a drop. Feel kind of borderline as to whether he actually responded to some of the arguments or just grouped them altogether and dismissed them... Anyway, I apologize if I am in the wrong.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
"Paul Cameron"s anti-gay biases are so well known that there is even a pro-gay website dedicated to challenging his work []. However, a number of researchers appear to be pro-gay, which may mirror the official positions of influential professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association." --Schumm 2005 lesbi-gay adoption Conference.
Just as I thought you ignore the second half of the quote.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
That is not his 2005 study. That's a non-peer reviewed study he made. His St. Thomas Law Review study is more important. I'll read the one you just posted, but since you misrepresented Abbot I might find the sane thing again.

NONONONONO. The website dedicated to refuting Cameron is Herek. Burroway is an engineer (I find him a fairly valid source--but according to you those not in family research fields are irrelevant to this research). But that was one of his poor articles relying on little evidence and mostly speculation and attacking scholars not their methodology.

Some journal editors don't get paid ( It depends on how much money the journal gets. The fact that the journal only has two articles indicates Schumm and the other board members don't get paid.

I never mentioned gay marriage once. And it was directed at a nations level -- where your claims often survive. But the fact that you can't admit that your side is biassed, possibly more so, explains a lot.

I attacked all your points except ethics. Ethics has no bearing on differences. If I was wrong I would have conceded, but the fact you criticize cameron and cite more biassed sources that "refute" him states a lot.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
"You have not read his 2005 study"

You said 'read his study', as it disagreed with me. I read his study, posted his study oline, then quoted where his study disagrees with you. Your response is "You have not read his 2005 study". Comical.

"Who wrote that website?" The article was wrote by "Jim Burroway". Moreover, the source was about a fact. Are you claiming that Schumm is not in the payroll of Cameron as he works for him in his journal? If so, actually disagree, don't randomly change the topic.

What pisses me off on the largest scale is the fact that you're basically making up my case saying I agree with the statisticians for gay marriage. I don't, nor did I cite any to create an argument, only to criticise yours.

What you've done is what you've done through your entire case: not attack any of my arguments. Again, the libertarian case is the most important, followed by the case against scientific statistics. If I did this again, all I'd do is just point out how the entire field is bunk, and ignore your arguments bothering with the statisticians.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
"You have not read his 2005 study"

You said 'read his study', as it disagreed with me. I read his study, posted his study oline, then quoted where his study disagrees with you. Your response is "You have not read his 2005 study". Comical.

"Who wrote that website?" The article was wrote by "Jim Burroway". Moreover, the source was about a fact. Are you claiming that Schumm is not in the payroll of Cameron as he works for him in his journal? If so, actually disagree, don't randomly change the topic.

What pisses me off on the largest scale is the fact that you're basically making up my case saying I agree with the statisticians for gay marriage. I don't, nor did I cite any to create an argument, only to criticise yours.

What you've done is what you've done through your entire case: not attack any of my arguments. Again, the libertarian case is the most important, followed by the case against scientific statistics. If I did this again, all I'd do is just point out how the entire field is full of bunk, and ignore your arguments bothering with the statisticians.

Also, Cameron repeatedly ignores all criticisms to his sources. He has nationally went to court, b!tching about how he wasn't kicked out, he was resigned from the APA (which no-one sound of mind and evidence buys or bought), and in court has actually been sued for libel for making up and distorting evidence.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
I am not saying Cameron isn't biased, I am saying his results are a lot more robust but liberal scholars fail to admit they have biases, unlike Cameron who admits his faults. If anything, this onloy hsows who the true scholar is in the national debate.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
You have not read his 2005 study, where he uses the data of others but also makes his own data set. If you have not read the study, you should not make ignorant comments. There is also no proof that he "twists" studies. Doing a second analysis and statistical test, and getting different results, is not misrepresentation.

Who wrote that website? Herek! yayayay! We agree! Herek is openly gay, has the same flaws in his work then the ones he claims Cameron to have, and Cameron has actually responded to Herek's claims in academic journals. And the fact Schumm has criticized Cameron means he is probably one of the least biased scholars on the issue. But he also maintains attacking Cameron is probably not valid; rather attack his research. His faults are few, but they exist, and the attacks on him are mostly political.

LOL. call Cameron biased, and cite boxturtle bulletin - I have already read the article by the way. Cameron has only published two studies there, the rest going to academic journals. The article assumes Cameron will, in the future, publish most of his work there so he can avoid strict peer review. But the fact he rarely publishes there, and there are no new papers there, indicates his "junk science" passes the peer review.

Now Schumm does work for that paper... But being on the editorial boardoes not always mean payroll.

This is what pisses me off in this debate (on a national level). You say "look, Cameron, Schumann, Byrd are hacks", yet ignore the hundreds of studies showing EVERY pro gay study has Major flaws, that the peer review overlooks major problems, and then slam scholars that publish robust studies or critiques. Are you willing to admit all of your studies are bogus? No, probably not. I don't because Cameron is the only study that had a large sample size, and was considered the best by Lerner and Nagai in 2001 (though it had some flaws). The new studies (Potter and Regnerus) are the best on the issue and find... differences!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Points against Con for citing that NARTH article (Dean Byrd, Journal of Sexuality). It is not "research". Also, it's free online, so you could actually put the link up so people can judge its (lack of) worth for themselves. But Pro really annoyed me too. Statistics are often overstated, of course, but you can't decide before seeing them that they "mean nothing", and there are statistical techniques in addition to correlation, you know. In the same way, parenting is not just an extended bout of baby-sitting, and your comment "nor does the vagina...make you better at child-rearing" shows a shocking ignorance of the biology of childbirth and breastfeeding. One of my least favorite debates ever. I didn't get past round 2.
Vote Placed by lit.wakefield 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a hard one for me to judge. I really can't say that I was convinced by either side, though I definitely lean towards 16kadams. As for the sources... I'm not going to go through all of them to award the credibility point. Conduct point: I felt that Con's statement that Pro was asserting that fathers are irrelevant was clearly a straw man. I also thought it was somewhat deceptive how he used the word "parent" in round one... almost bordering on an equivocation of sorts However, maybe I just misinterpreted what he was saying. Regardless, conduct goes to Con because of Pro's dishonesty regarding his sources. I actually went to source he cited conclusions from. Pro failed to mention what the next sentence says: "However, the data they employ is flawed in many ways: small, biased, non-random samples." I was surprised Con didn't mention this sooner. RFD cont. in comments After reconsideration, I do not really feel justified in awarding arguments.
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made an excellent case...for the wrong debate. The debate was much less philosophical and ethical than Pro was trying to make it. It was about whether the theory was correct, not good or bad. Countering spelling and grammar