sexism of anti gay marriage activism

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sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby idobox » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

Hi,

In France, right now, the government is trying to pass a law allowing the "marriage for all", another formulation for gay marriage (and I suppose all the people who don't identify as heterosexual).
Contrary to what we heard 15 years ago for a similar law (the PACS, a pseudo marriage), and from what I've heard in US politics, obvious homophobic or religious arguments are rather scarce, and are replaced by arguments on anthropology and complementarity.
In essence, they claim marriage is mostly about responsibility and family, and quickly drift to "kids needs parents from both sex" or "gay couples are by definition sterile".

The first point disturbed me as being at the same time shared by a lot of people, and and insidiously sexist. The way I understand it, they claim kids needs male and female referent, because it is important to reproduce sexist patterns. Are they afraid small boys raised by men will never learn they're not supposed to cry, or to like to colour pink, and should love sports while little girls wouldn't learn it's their role to care for children and the house, or that they're supposed to be weaker and earn less than men? That civilization will collapse if we stop treating men and women differently?

Or am I reading too much/misinterpreting the argument?

Please, even though the subjects are tied, I don't want to talk about gay marriage in itself, but about the implications of this idea of gendered role of parents.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

I can pretty categorically say that it's important for people to have same-gender role models growing up. It was certainly important for me and the lads I grew up with

One of the reasons given for higher levels of crime in black neighbourhoods of the U.K is often seen to be lack of black male role models. froma quick google, seems to be relevant in the U.S too.

Of course, that no reason to oppose gay marriage or adoption - isogendered role models could come from other family, friends or teachers etc.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

idobox wrote:In essence, they claim marriage is mostly about responsibility and family, and quickly drift to "kids needs parents from both sex" or "gay couples are by definition sterile".

The first point disturbed me as being at the same time shared by a lot of people, and and insidiously sexist. The way I understand it, they claim kids needs male and female referent, because it is important to reproduce sexist patterns. Are they afraid small boys raised by men will never learn they're not supposed to cry, or to like to colour pink, and should love sports while little girls wouldn't learn it's their role to care for children and the house, or that they're supposed to be weaker and earn less than men? That civilization will collapse if we stop treating men and women differently?

Or am I reading too much/misinterpreting the argument?
I can see why it comes off as extraordinarily sexist--and I think that's a reasonable culprit to suggest--but I don't think we need to assume sexism for us to understand what's wrong with the proposal.

Marriage is not the significant barrier between gay couples and children; biology is. They have options to overcome this barrier, but those barriers don't evaporate or diminish with the presence of marriage. All marriage does is legitimize homosexuality as a type of loving human relationship. Opposing it out of fear of the risk to parentage is a misdirect.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Or am I reading too much/misinterpreting the argument?


Probably a bit.

The different sexes do have certain differences. Yes, yes, a great many of our differences are solely cultural, but differences do exist...and even the cultural differences are pretty ingrained. Kids growing up are gonna have to be able to deal with both sexes in a culturally appropriate way to be functional adults. So yeah, as Ormurinn says, role models of both sexes are a good thing...but they need not be parents. Parents tend to be default role models, but say, two men raising a little girl? Totally can be done just fine. Hell, it happens with single parents all the time. There's an additional challenge there, but it's not a huge one.

Realistically, it's not that they're formulating this as part of some grand sexist philosophy...it's that they're grasping at any straw they can to justify their anti-gay bias, regardless of if it's logical or not.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby idobox » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

Using this argument against gay marriage is deeply flawed, as singles are allowed to adopt in France in the first place.

Ormurinn wrote:I can pretty categorically say that it's important for people to have same-gender role models growing up. It was certainly important for me and the lads I grew up with

One of the reasons given for higher levels of crime in black neighbourhoods of the U.K is often seen to be lack of black male role models. froma quick google, seems to be relevant in the U.S too.

Of course, that no reason to oppose gay marriage or adoption - isogendered role models could come from other family, friends or teachers etc.


Is it the monoparentality that's the cause, or the fact that single mother are more frequently poor, undereducated, or some other factor?
In the same neighbourhood, with equivalent revenue and eduction level, do single mothers have more criminal kids than others?

I expect the opposite in the populations with the highest criminality rate, as the father will be more likely to be a bad role model than the mother.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

Note that single parents is a somewhat worse sample than two parents of the same gender. Two parents inherently have more time than one, and a working single parent, no matter how good, is going to have less time to be around the kid than two(regardless of gender).

So, I would expect two parents of the same gender to generally outperform single parent households. Since nobody is advocating removing children from single parent households...it's kind of ludicrous to rely on that. It doesn't stand up to logic. It also doesn't stand up to consistency in the US, since the same folks advocating that gays would make poor parents are generally the same sort that advocate adoption over abortion. A larger adoption pool would seem to be something that should be fantastic for these folks.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Using this argument against gay marriage is deeply flawed, as singles are allowed to adopt in France in the first place.
Yes--so I don't see this entire line of reasoning as anything but a misdirect. Sexist or not, it's obviously just plain wrong.
idobox wrote:Is it the monoparentality that's the cause, or the fact that single mother are more frequently poor, undereducated, or some other factor?
In the same neighbourhood, with equivalent revenue and eduction level, do single mothers have more criminal kids than others?

I expect the opposite in the populations with the highest criminality rate, as the father will be more likely to be a bad role model than the mother.
Yeah, there's a dangerous game you can play with things like this. Are the lack of positive role models in a given community a cause for higher criminality in a given community? Or is it a symptom of higher criminality in a given community? Or is it both?

I think there are reasons why you see higher criminality in certain communities. But I also think that in describing those reasons, there is a tremendous risk of confusing causation with correlation--and emphasizing the wrong things. I would expect a lack of positive role models would indeed have a negative impact on the criminality of a community, but I would also expect that it's symptomatic of criminality in a community--and I would expect it to be far more symptomatic than causal.
Tyndmyr wrote:So, I would expect two parents of the same gender to generally outperform single parent households. Since nobody is advocating removing children from single parent households...it's kind of ludicrous to rely on that. It doesn't stand up to logic. It also doesn't stand up to consistency in the US, since the same folks advocating that gays would make poor parents are generally the same sort that advocate adoption over abortion. A larger adoption pool would seem to be something that should be fantastic for these folks.
Something else that always gets missed: If biology is a barrier toward pregnancy, the chances of you having an unwanted child are almost zero.

In other words, one accurate way of describing gay marriage is this: "A marriage in which parents are more likely to actually want the children they have."

Biological barriers also force prospective gay parents to spend more time preparing for their children (and therefore making better early decisions for those children). Honestly, I'd be surprised if the children of gay parents aren't better off than the children of heterosexual parents.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Using this argument against gay marriage is deeply flawed, as singles are allowed to adopt in France in the first place.

Ormurinn wrote:I can pretty categorically say that it's important for people to have same-gender role models growing up. It was certainly important for me and the lads I grew up with

One of the reasons given for higher levels of crime in black neighbourhoods of the U.K is often seen to be lack of black male role models. froma quick google, seems to be relevant in the U.S too.

Of course, that no reason to oppose gay marriage or adoption - isogendered role models could come from other family, friends or teachers etc.


Is it the monoparentality that's the cause, or the fact that single mother are more frequently poor, undereducated, or some other factor?
In the same neighbourhood, with equivalent revenue and eduction level, do single mothers have more criminal kids than others?

I expect the opposite in the populations with the highest criminality rate, as the father will be more likely to be a bad role model than the mother.


I don't see how it's flawed - The only argument I was making was that having an isogendered role model is important to develop properly. Monoparentality doesn't even come into that unless a parent is the opposite gender to their child - and in cases of monoparentality there will hopefully be non-parental role models.

In the case of inner city black populations it's often the case that there are no successful men in the community who are not engaged in criminal activity (for whatever reason) and that often there is a gender gap in that more men are incarcerated than women.Large gender imbalances in either direction are always bad for society - to many men causes conflict amongst them for spouses, too many women leads to family breakdowns and lack of male investment in children.

Looking at the U.K, its certainly the case that more materially-deprived* traditional working class communities (old northern mining towns for example) often have lower crime rates than more materially prosperous* inner-city areas with populations descended from recent immigrants - which would tend to indicate that culture influences criminality.

*both being below the poverty line - but with a lot more state investment going to the inner cities.

All of which flies past that I was pointing out the invalidity of the argument in the first place, since role models can come from more places than parents.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:All of which flies past that I was pointing out the invalidity of the argument in the first place, since role models can come from more places than parents.
Right, but the interesting question after that is 'How important are role models who aren't our parents?'.

Another very interesting question: 'How important are role models who are our parents?'

I think we tend to overestimate the value of both.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:All of which flies past that I was pointing out the invalidity of the argument in the first place, since role models can come from more places than parents.
Right, but the interesting question after that is 'How important are role models who aren't our parents?'.

Another very interesting question: 'How important are role models who are our parents?'

I think we tend to overestimate the value of both.


It varies rather a lot, I imagine. That said, the overall value of having role models is a pretty strong one, sociologically speaking. Kids have an impressive capacity to mimic, often unconsciously. We're definitely very social creatures, and the image we form in youth of what we're "supposed" to grow up to be like can be very strong. Certainly, economically equivalent areas can be shown to have very differencing crime rates based on cultural factors, and role models is definitely a large part of that.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It varies rather a lot, I imagine. That said, the overall value of having role models is a pretty strong one, sociologically speaking. Kids have an impressive capacity to mimic, often unconsciously. We're definitely very social creatures, and the image we form in youth of what we're "supposed" to grow up to be like can be very strong. Certainly, economically equivalent areas can be shown to have very differencing crime rates based on cultural factors, and role models is definitely a large part of that.
But what actual evidence do we have that role models are significantly causal in relation to criminality--rather than largely symptomatic?

It sounds very intuitive to say 'positive role models significantly reduce crime'--but my intuition leads me to doubt things that only sound intuitive.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:09 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It varies rather a lot, I imagine. That said, the overall value of having role models is a pretty strong one, sociologically speaking. Kids have an impressive capacity to mimic, often unconsciously. We're definitely very social creatures, and the image we form in youth of what we're "supposed" to grow up to be like can be very strong. Certainly, economically equivalent areas can be shown to have very differencing crime rates based on cultural factors, and role models is definitely a large part of that.
But what actual evidence do we have that role models are significantly causal in relation to criminality--rather than largely symptomatic?

It sounds very intuitive to say 'positive role models significantly reduce crime'--but my intuition leads me to doubt things that only sound intuitive.


Well, there's a wealth of research on single parent families. They generally do worse in a range of metrics than double parent families, but extended family support can solve this quite a bit. The Effects of Parental Role Model on Criminality, by McCord and McCord looks like interesting reading, if you don't mind delving through some of the older research. For instance, they briefly discussed an experiment where kids of similar backgrounds were paired up, to try to solve delinquency through peers instead of role models...this is generally accepted to have been a failure.

There's not a ton of research on gay parents, but I cannot fathom a reason why they would perform worse than a single parent would. All indicators would seem to point to them doing better.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby lutzj » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:41 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It varies rather a lot, I imagine. That said, the overall value of having role models is a pretty strong one, sociologically speaking. Kids have an impressive capacity to mimic, often unconsciously. We're definitely very social creatures, and the image we form in youth of what we're "supposed" to grow up to be like can be very strong. Certainly, economically equivalent areas can be shown to have very differencing crime rates based on cultural factors, and role models is definitely a large part of that.
But what actual evidence do we have that role models are significantly causal in relation to criminality--rather than largely symptomatic?

It sounds very intuitive to say 'positive role models significantly reduce crime'--but my intuition leads me to doubt things that only sound intuitive.


Growing up without a father correlates with a number of problems even if we control for race, income, etc.; bevy of statistics here. It seems especially bad for boys, which would corroborate Ormurinn's theory that boys suffer from not having male role models in the home.

That said, most of the "fatherless homes" in such studies are single-mother, or perhaps mother+extended family, rather than dual-mother households. Data on boys who grow up with two female parents or girls who grow up with two male parents (where those two parents in turn are in a sexual relationship) seem scant, but, as tyndmyr points out, it doesn't seem likely that such arrangements would be worse than single-parent homes, which already are legal.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby omgryebread » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I can pretty categorically say that it's important for people to have same-gender role models growing up. It was certainly important for me and the lads I grew up with
I can categorically say that the word "categorically" should never be used with anecdotal evidence as support.

I'm kind of wondering how much criminality is related to the actual single-parenthood and how much is related to the environment in which single parenthood is likely to occur and the consequences of single parenthood.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Bsob » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:01 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It varies rather a lot, I imagine. That said, the overall value of having role models is a pretty strong one, sociologically speaking. Kids have an impressive capacity to mimic, often unconsciously. We're definitely very social creatures, and the image we form in youth of what we're "supposed" to grow up to be like can be very strong. Certainly, economically equivalent areas can be shown to have very differencing crime rates based on cultural factors, and role models is definitely a large part of that.
But what actual evidence do we have that role models are significantly causal in relation to criminality--rather than largely symptomatic?

It sounds very intuitive to say 'positive role models significantly reduce crime'--but my intuition leads me to doubt things that only sound intuitive.


Well, there's a wealth of research on single parent families. They generally do worse in a range of metrics than double parent families, but extended family support can solve this quite a bit. The Effects of Parental Role Model on Criminality, by McCord and McCord looks like interesting reading, if you don't mind delving through some of the older research. For instance, they briefly discussed an experiment where kids of similar backgrounds were paired up, to try to solve delinquency through peers instead of role models...this is generally accepted to have been a failure.

There's not a ton of research on gay parents, but I cannot fathom a reason why they would perform worse than a single parent would. All indicators would seem to point to them doing better.


It is not about them doing worse than a single parent. We generally don't allow single parents to adopt, the question is: should same sex couples be allowed/preferred/discouraged/prevented from adopting?

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:19 am UTC

Bsob wrote:It is not about them doing worse than a single parent. We generally don't allow single parents to adopt, the question is: should same sex couples be allowed/preferred/discouraged/prevented from adopting?


The default position should be one of equality. Where same-sex couples can adopt et cetera. We would need very damn good reasons, backed up by evidence to move away from such a position.

Instead we are starting at a position of inequality. Where people are being required to prove that they can be good parents. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that same sex couples can be excellent parents.

Also, this particularly moving testimonial.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMLZO-sObzQ

To justify not allowing samesex couples to adopt, surely the argument needs to be, that samesex couples cannot be as good parents as different sex couples and surely there needs to be evidence of this to maintain this position?

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:32 am UTC

I'm not exactly same-sex marriage's strongest supporter. But even I believe gay couples should be allowed to adopt. Why? Because we live in a world where orphanages and foster homes have sexual abuse rates worse than prisons. A loving couple is far and away a better environment for a child than foster homes, regardless of whether it's a mother and father or two fathers. Seriously, can I repeat enough how much I hate foster homes? But as long as we have such a shortage of people willing to adopt that we have to have large-scale foster care, there is absolutely no way you will convince me that gay adoption is anything other than an improvement.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:32 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I can pretty categorically say that it's important for people to have same-gender role models growing up. It was certainly important for me and the lads I grew up with
I can categorically say that the word "categorically" should never be used with anecdotal evidence as support.

I'm kind of wondering how much criminality is related to the actual single-parenthood and how much is related to the environment in which single parenthood is likely to occur and the consequences of single parenthood.


Sorry If I was unclear. Those are two seperate statements. I can categorically state it because there have been studies linking self esteem and the presence of role models, because in communities which lack male role models, the communities themselves state this as a problem, and through basic reasoning - children learn by copying. I provided an anecdote for flavour and because my own little sample of n=5 or 6 is one i have more experience with. Interestingly the guy I think of as having the least male influence on his life is gay - but I dont think thats causal.

More generally - looks like using the argument to limit gay adoption is bunk - at least in the case of lesbian mothers. The claim in the study is that lack of male role models had no effect - I'd be inclined to reply that there are more sources of male role models than immediate family.

http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/p ... n-mothers/

Gay couples should be allowed to adopt. They should probably be advised to have a family member or close friend who can provide an isogendered role model - but if we dont demand that of single parents we shouldn't demand it of anyone else either.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:58 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'm not exactly same-sex marriage's strongest supporter. But even I believe gay couples should be allowed to adopt. Why? Because we live in a world where orphanages and foster homes have sexual abuse rates worse than prisons. A loving couple is far and away a better environment for a child than foster homes, regardless of whether it's a mother and father or two fathers. Seriously, can I repeat enough how much I hate foster homes? But as long as we have such a shortage of people willing to adopt that we have to have large-scale foster care, there is absolutely no way you will convince me that gay adoption is anything other than an improvement.


Seriously this

The state of fostering and the child care system is horrible in the UK and i find it extrordinary that no one seems to care (in society or in politics).

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Enuja » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

Defining "sexism" is extremely important for idobox's question. I think that most words do, and should, have complex, context dependent definitions, so I'm not complaining that anyone has used the word incorrectly. But the answer to this question deeply depends upon the definition of the word "sexism."

Here is Merriam-Webster's two definitions of sexism
1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
By many definitions of prejudice or discrimination, this argument against gay marriage is not sexist by definition one. But it is most certainly sexist by the second definition. Fostering "isogendered" role models is based on the assumption that children in the future will identify with role models by gender, that gender is important to behavior, that social roles and behavior should be based on sex.

So, yes, arguing that children should have both male and female parents is sexist, but only in the sense that people who buy the argument (none of whom have posted here so far) are proudly and happily sexist. And many who are proudly and happily sexist by definition two do not buy the argument that gay marriage, or even gay parenting, should be restricted in order to provide role models of different genders.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:12 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:So, yes, arguing that children should have both male and female parents is sexist,.


Petty point

- arguing is not distriminatory - doing is
- Standard two parent model is empirically the best model we have, single parents are emprically worse, two same sex are an unkwown. Ergo it is not prejudicial to argue for the nuclear family as a top preference all else being equal.

that is to say, its not sexist.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

leady wrote:
Enuja wrote:So, yes, arguing that children should have both male and female parents is sexist,.


Petty point

- arguing is not distriminatory - doing is
- Standard two parent model is empirically the best model we have, single parents are emprically worse, two same sex are an unkwown. Ergo it is not prejudicial to argue for the nuclear family as a top preference all else being equal.

that is to say, its not sexist.

"sexism" and descriminatory prevention of equality aren't exactly the same thing.

me saying that all women should be in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant is still sexist, even if i don't go out and do something to ensure that all women are always in the kitchen without shoes.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

Dont bother leady.

Enuja wants to eliminate any conception of gender at all, theres no way at all that she'll see the positive effects of having gendered archetypes to aspire to.

Yes, Im willing to accept that based on the definition you're using Enuja, that wanting isogendered role models for children is sexist. It's also extremely beneficial for them.

It's sexist in the same way that modelling ethnic Bantu as having different drug tolerances to Indo-Europeans is racist. Technically the case, but not normally said to be because it's overwhelmingly beneficial.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:24 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Dont bother leady.

Enuja wants to eliminate any conception of gender at all, theres no way at all that she'll see the positive effects of having gendered archetypes to aspire to.

Yes, Im willing to accept that based on the definition you're using Enuja, that wanting isogendered role models for children is sexist. It's also extremely beneficial for them.

It's sexist in the same way that modelling ethnic Bantu as having different drug tolerances to Indo-Europeans is racist. Technically the case, but not normally said to be because it's overwhelmingly beneficial.

how much more beneficial is having male and female parents than having male/male parents or female/female parents? how do you correct for just the added benefit of being more than one parent?

the sexist part is to suggest that the only correct, or even THE BEST way to raise a child is with a mother and a father....which, as a general statement, is patently false as even some mother/father pairs are demonstrably shittier parents than any other reasonable option
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

fortunately I don't see anyone making an argument that strong

would I select a early thirties middle class healthy nuclear couple in preference to a same sex equivalent - probably yes

Would I select two lard buckets that live in a trailer vs above - probably not

thats how to treat generalisations properly :)

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:36 pm UTC

leady wrote:would I select a early thirties middle class healthy nuclear couple in preference to a same sex equivalent - probably yes


why?
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

because it empirically has the best known good outcome.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:07 pm UTC

leady wrote:because it empirically has the best known good outcome.

so did not letting black folk have white babies at some point in the not too distand past.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:13 pm UTC

True - but the problem there was

a) the other way around in the UK (i.e. misguided positive racism)
b) consistently ignored other known causes of harm (not being adopted is far far worse than nearly any adopted outcome)

but again on a perfect like for like duolopy choice, I would make the choice you would disagree with I suspect. Fortunately in the real world these perfect coin flip examples don't exist.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby omgryebread » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:It's sexist in the same way that modelling ethnic Bantu as having different drug tolerances to Indo-Europeans is racist. Technically the case, but not normally said to be because it's overwhelmingly beneficial.
Okay, plenty of people, myself included, have defined racism poorly and ended up with something that would include this as racist: but it's not. Racist would be saying that Indo-Europeans are superior because of their different drug tolerances. Or if drug research for Bantu people was systematically ignored to the benefit of Indo-Europeans. Or if doctors refused to treat Bantus and claimed it was because they were unfamiliar with Bantu physiology.

Also: Neither Bantu nor Indo-European are ethnic groups. Linguistics and ethnicity are closely related, but are not the same thing.


Ormurinn wrote:Sorry If I was unclear. Those are two seperate statements. I can categorically state it because there have been studies linking self esteem and the presence of role models, because in communities which lack male role models, the communities themselves state this as a problem, and through basic reasoning - children learn by copying. I provided an anecdote for flavour and because my own little sample of n=5 or 6 is one i have more experience with. Interestingly the guy I think of as having the least male influence on his life is gay - but I dont think thats causal.
You're still using the word categorically wrong. Categorically does not mean "confidently" or "correctly", but rather "without exception." You need to show that every single child benefited from the presence of a role model or would have benefited from that presence.


leady wrote:because it empirically has the best known good outcome.
You're applying the general to the specific. You're stating (dubiously) that heterosexual parents tend to perform better, therefore a specific heterosexual couple would be a better parent than a specific homosexual couple.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:27 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Dont bother leady.

Enuja wants to eliminate any conception of gender at all, theres no way at all that she'll see the positive effects of having gendered archetypes to aspire to.
I'd like to see the elimination of gender as well--for the same reason I'd like to see the elimination of things that are only beneficial because they create a context in which they become beneficial.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby leady » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

I'm not stating any such thing sorry

only that one has a known outcome, one doesn't (so far as I know). Give it 10 years or so and I suspect there will be enough data to make an evidence based comparison on both sides.

and your example is my lard bucket one :)

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

leady wrote:I'm not stating any such thing sorry

only that one has a known outcome, one doesn't (so far as I know). Give it 10 years or so and I suspect there will be enough data to make an evidence based comparison on both sides.

and your example is my lard bucket one :)
Keep in mind, there is a difference between "This is better because the evidence say so" and "We have insufficient evidence to make a comparison". Your example is a case of the latter, and I think that you're presenting it in such a way that this nuance is lost.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

Bsob wrote:It is not about them doing worse than a single parent. We generally don't allow single parents to adopt, the question is: should same sex couples be allowed/preferred/discouraged/prevented from adopting?


Well, strictly speaking, the adoption issue is being brought up in opposition to marriage. Since marriage is possible without adoption, banning the former to stop the latter seems...very inelegant. It's not a solution you'd use unless you were just casting about for any old reason to oppose the marriage in the first place.

I would be ok with limiting adoption in cases where it can be shown that the couple would not make good parents. That's a reasonable bar, and one in common use. However, speculation is not evidence. In addition, even if having a same-sex role model is important, and even if we entirely ignore out-of-family role models, half of all potential adoptees are the same gender as a same-sex couple, so the problem would seem to be easily avoidable without banning all adoption.

Also yes, the foster care system is terrible. The lack of stability is hell on kids. A home has to be fairly rough to be a worse solution than fostering. Not every parents can be optimal. Even if there is a downside to having gay parents, the question is, how big is it? You've got to demonstrate a pretty substantial difference to make taking any action against them adopting rational.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:59 pm UTC

Oh, and I forgot:
lutzj wrote:Growing up without a father correlates with a number of problems even if we control for race, income, etc.; bevy of statistics here. It seems especially bad for boys, which would corroborate Ormurinn's theory that boys suffer from not having male role models in the home.

That said, most of the "fatherless homes" in such studies are single-mother, or perhaps mother+extended family, rather than dual-mother households. Data on boys who grow up with two female parents or girls who grow up with two male parents (where those two parents in turn are in a sexual relationship) seem scant, but, as tyndmyr points out, it doesn't seem likely that such arrangements would be worse than single-parent homes, which already are legal.
Thanks for the link! In reading through it, my problem with the notion that 'positive role models' are important is based on the idea that it's very, very hard to disentangle 'positive role model' from 'positive context' (because if your father is a positive role model, he's also going to be a good father--and if he's a good father, that's going to help quite a lot!).

I'm resisting the power of positive role models largely because I don't see any way to say anything useful about their causal link to better children until we can disentangle all the things that occur when one or both of your parents are positive role models. And the absence of a father (as you more or less imply) is not the same as a father who isn't a positive role model.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:26 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
leady wrote:I'm not stating any such thing sorry

only that one has a known outcome, one doesn't (so far as I know). Give it 10 years or so and I suspect there will be enough data to make an evidence based comparison on both sides.

and your example is my lard bucket one :)
Keep in mind, there is a difference between "This is better because the evidence say so" and "We have insufficient evidence to make a comparison". Your example is a case of the latter, and I think that you're presenting it in such a way that this nuance is lost.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:30 pm UTC

You really can't disentangle them. An environment with no good role models at all is inherently going to be a bad environment.

We probably won't have perfectly applicable stats, either, until we have a good pool of same sex adopting parents to gather data from. We can determine probable limits to the differences with pretty good confidence though using existing data, and those indicate that no problems exist that are severe enough to warrant avoiding testing. So, logically, allowing adoption wholesale for them is the next reasonable step, combined with lots of data gathering.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby Enuja » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Dont bother leady.

Enuja wants to eliminate any conception of gender at all, theres no way at all that she'll see the positive effects of having gendered archetypes to aspire to.

Yes, Im willing to accept that based on the definition you're using Enuja, that wanting isogendered role models for children is sexist. It's also extremely beneficial for them.
No reason to make this about me. I was using two definitions, both from a dictionary, and I said this argument is sexist by one definition and (essentially) not sexist by the other. I, personally, use both definitions of "sexist" at different times.

leady wrote:
Enuja wrote:So, yes, arguing that children should have both male and female parents is sexist,.


Petty point

- arguing is not distriminatory - doing is
- Standard two parent model is empirically the best model we have, single parents are emprically worse, two same sex are an unkwown. Ergo it is not prejudicial to argue for the nuclear family as a top preference all else being equal.

that is to say, its not sexist.
leady, why did you quote me out of context, and ignore the two different definitions of sexism I was using? The part of my quote you used was not about the definition of sexism that you're using in your second bullet point.

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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby idobox » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Wow, I'm impressed to see how much attention this has focused.

In my original question, I was using sexism in the second sense proposed by Enuja.
The idea that kids need isogendered role models is, in my point of view, trivially sexist. It implies some values or behaviours belong to one gender, and that children should learn which ones belong to their gender, and which ones don't. It's the same kind of sexism that causes little girls to get dolls and cooking sets when little boys get cars and action figures, and propagates the idea that a woman should be caring and a man strong. It also mean we see people as members of their gender rather than as human beings. It also implies that a man, raised by women or not, and exhibiting a behaviour traditionally categorized as feminine is wrong.

A lot of you seem to agree that isogender role models are important, and if you don't believe in gender roles, I don't understand why.

The lack of black male role models, and tangent discussions is a different matter. The issue is that these kids don't know anyone they can identify to with a positive image, and they identify as black males. They have plenty of positive white males and positive black female examples, but do not take them as role models. To me, it's a sign society is racist and sexist.

One argument I've never heard, but I might understand would be to say that since the world is sexist, it is useful for kids to know the codes and conventions, so as not to suffer from exclusion, to avoid the "ridicule" of white guys appropriating african-american codes, or of black guys in suit being called white.
I don't think it would be the right way to deal with the issue, but I understand how people could think that.
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Re: sexism of anti gay marriage activism

Postby jules.LT » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

idobox wrote:One argument I've never heard, but I might understand would be to say that since the world is sexist, it is useful for kids to know the codes and conventions, so as not to suffer from exclusion

Teaching your kids to follow the conventions just because they're the conventions is certainly is bad thing, but knowing them is definitely good.
People will interact with you differently based on your gender, and gender is one very important factor that you will use to predict the behaviour of another person.

To learn about that, I'd argue that you also need an opposite-gender role model. Still, they probably don't need to be one of your parents.
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