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Gay Lesbian Parents - Essay Example

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Same-sex or lesbian and gay parenthood is a highly controversial issue with arguments for or against tending towards the emotional and moralistic as opposed to the objective and scientific. Stacey and Biblarz (2001) suggest as much in their assertion that the mainstream media's adoption of the same-sax parenthood debate has effectively led to unsupported conclusions, either for or against…
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Download file to see previous pages That reality suggests that the children of gay and lesbian couples can experience healthy and normal psychological development were it not for societal tendencies towards discrimination, on the one hand, and the innate tendency of children to react negatively to uniqueness, or difference, on the other (Ahmann, 1999). In other words, while homosexual parenting does not, in itself, limit a child's capacity to undergo a normal psychological development process, the fact that it unfolds within societies which, despite public statements to the contrary, are innately protective of the traditional family structure and biased against same-sex families, detrimentally impacts the child's opportunities for healthy development. Through a review of the arguments on either side, the research shall attempt to prove the stated argument.
Western societies, despite the prevalence of laws upholding homosexual rights tend towards negative conceptualisations of homosexuality. The anthropologist, D. Gilmore (1990) asserts that societal acceptance of sexual orientations is ultimately defined by the prevalent culture and cannot be dictated by laws. Insofar as Western societies, whether as a consequence of historic or religious traditions, define homosexuality as a practice which falls from without the bounds of normalcy, if not outright abnormal, it is inherently incapable of comprehending the possibility of children of same-sex parents as anything other than underprivileged. The fact that this is not necessarily the case and that the aforementioned perception is ultimately predicated on the dominant culture's perception of homosexuality as abnormal is validated by evidence which effectively proves that cultures which perceive of homo and hetero-sexuality as equally normal, have no prejudices against the concept of same-sex parenting (Gilmore, 1990). In other words and as further emphasised by Halwani (2002), culture dictates perceptions of homosexuality and, as a result, invariably affects the children of same-sex couples.
The fact that culture, concomitant with traditional definitions of marriage and family, inexorably influence perceptions of the stated relationship and, as such impact the psychological development of the children concerned, is evidenced in a plethora of commentary on the phenomenon. The law, for example, clearly defines marriage and the family unit which is subsequently formed as a "union of man and woman uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family" (Johnston, n.d.). Religion, similarly defines marriage and family, consequently maintaining same-sex unions and families to be a harmful deviation from the norm with incalculably detrimental psychological effects on the children concerned (Richardson, 2004). In other words, there exists a predominately negative perception of the same-sex family unit insofar as culture, religion and the law combine to define it as abnormal. That in itself will limit the possibilities of healthy psychological development for children with gay or lesbian parents.
Psychologists have determined the existence of a strong likelihood, as evidenced by empirical fact, that children who grow up with same-sex parents can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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