Same Sex Marriage and Children
Having a child witness or be brought up in a same sex married household is frightening to some, but to others, it could be the most beautiful possibility. Same sex marriage became legal in all 50 states in 2015, which sparked a huge controversy between the supporters and those who are against it. Given the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal in all states, it is evident that many more people will get married if they are in a same-sex relationship, which will cause more same-sex families. Some have the opinion that children who are raised by same-sex couples will not be raised in a proper household, on the other hand, people believe that children who are raised by same-sex couples will become more respectful than those who are not, and that they will have a more open-minded outlook on life. There are many instances where people believe that the “normal” family would consist of a man marrying a woman.
Although same sex marriage has become more common and is legal throughout the United States, that does not mean that everyone agrees on this controversial topic. In journalist Lizette Borreli 2013 Medical Daily article, “Do Same Sex Parents Impact The Mental Health Of Their Children?” she explains how studies show that same sex marriages negatively impact children. Borreli suggests, “People who oppose same sex marriage, including some U.S. elected officials, have argued that a child raised by a gay parent will need additional emotional support or will face social challenges compared to children of heterosexual parents” (Borreli 1). Protesters argue that children who live in a same-sex household can have issues with their mental health, considering it could be a stressful situation.
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A child being in a positive mental state is something that many strive for, and the possibility of that being taken away is frightening to some. In Sebo Marketings 2015 article, “Same-sex Marriage: Harmless or Harmful?” explains how,“Children raised by same-sex parents do not get the benefit of exposure to the different parenting styles and gender characteristics of heterosexual couples” (unitedfamilies 6). Society today gives the idea that men can only teach a child how to do masculine actions such as working outdoors or fixing a car, whereas a woman can teach a child how to cook and clean. Society does not often show that a woman can teach a child how to do masculine work, as a man could teach a child how to do more feminine work. This of course makes it seem that a Lesbian couple could not teach their son how to mow the lawn or fix their car because a woman in society does not do those things. This sparks a large controversy in communities because it is hard for many to believe that society shapes the world to believe one thing, and that one thing stands for centuries.
On the other hand, many supporters believe that same-sex marriages help a child grow to become an open minded individual, making them no different than a child who was raised by a heterosexual couple. In William Meezan and Jonathan Rauch 2005 U.S. National Library of Medicine article,“Gay marriage, same-sex parenting, and America’s children” explains, “in general, children raised in same-sex environments show no differences in cognitive abilities, behavior, general emotional development, or such specific areas of emotional development as self-esteem, depression, or anxiety” (Meezan and Rauch 21). It is shown that children raised in a same-sex marriage household are not struggling any worse than a child who is raised in a heterosexual home, which is something that many people are not aware of. Not only this, but many argue that same-sex marriage is not uncommon, making it not as big of an issue that it is made out to be. Sharon Jayson, a writer for USA Today explains in the article “How will same-sex marriage rulings effect children?” states, “An estimated 37% of LGBT Americans have had a child, meaning as many as 6 million U.S. children and adults have an LGBT parent, according to findings from a national study released in February by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, which studies gay and lesbian trends” (Jayson 5).
These facts show that many more children live within a same-sex household, which makes it easier for children to understand that they are not alone in their living situation considering the chances are high that they meet another child in the same situation. Both parties have points that are valid and are able to be heard. Protesters make it clear that children living in same-sex households struggle in their everyday lives and that heterosexual homes have an all-around better living environment than a same-sex home. The United Families article states, “An intact heterosexual home is more stable than any other family structure” (unitedfamilies 8). On the other hand, supporters explain that same-sex families make their children feel more comfortable and that they have even better social lives than heterosexual couple’s children do. Lizette Borreli also explained in her article, “More research on lesbian parents than gay parents exists, showing that children raised by lesbian parents show higher levels of social, academic and overall competence and have had fewer behavioral problems and less aggression than their peers” (Borreli 6).
Supporters believe that it is a positive thing for children to be exposed to a same-sex marriage and raised by a same-sex married couple. Although the way society makes it seem that a heterosexual marriage is the only correct way to do things, it is evident that times are different now than they were centuries ago. It is normal for a child to be brought up by a same-sex couple, and it does not make a difference in their ability to interact or learn with other students or do well in school. Society makes it seem that only a man can teach masculine things to children and a woman can only teach feminine things, but this is not the case. Many men know how to cook and have the ability to teach their children, and many women know how to mow a lawn which they could also teach their child. There is no difference between children who are raised by same-sex couples versus children who are raised by heterosexual couples. What matters most is that children are being exposed to loving households and that they are always supported no matter what they do, whether two men or two women do that. Children are the future, and the more they are exposed to same-sex couples the more open minded they will become.
- Borreli, Lizette. “Do Same Sex Parents Impact The Mental Health Of Their Children? Some US States Say ‘Yes’ And Prohibit LGBT Adoption.” Medical Daily, 25 June 2013, www.medicaldaily.com/do-same-sex-parents-impact-mental-health-their-children-some-us-states-say-yes-and-prohibit-lgbt.
- Jayson, Sharon. “How Will Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Affect Children?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 26 June 2013, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/26/same-sex-marriage-families/2461375/.
- Marketing, Sebo. “Same-Sex Marriage: Harmless or Harmful?” United Families International, 17 Sept. 2015, unitedfamilies.org/marriage/same-sex-marriage-harmless-or-harmful/.
- Meezan, W, and J Rauch. “Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America’s Children.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16158732.