Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sometimes Research Sucks It { Children Raised in Single-parent families are Screwed }

So i read an article yesterday that referred to research that showed kids who are raised in pretty much anything other than a family with a mother and a father are screwed.  The author indicated that single-parent families were less healthy/successful/happy and were more prone to crime and poverty, etc. It also said that future research would likely show that children raised in gay-parent families would have similar results as the vagabonds raised by single parents.  This article (and i've lost the link to it, or else i would quote it and thus be more accurate about what it said) really pissed me off. 

First of all, where are the VAST majority of single-parent families?  Inner cities.  Are those kids affected by a hell of a lot more than just the fact that they only have ONE parent?  OF COURSE they are.  Drugs, violence, gangs, crime...all these thing affect those kids. 

You can't use that study to speak for the majority of single-parent families from "average" society.  And you certainly can't use those studies to predict the future outcome of children raised in gay-parent families. 

I'm just an average, white, middle class chick who was a single mom for about 6 years before remarrying.  Is single-parenting more challenging than having two parents in the picture?  Of course it is.  I can speak for that.  But i can also speak for all the single moms i knew (and still know) personally. 

I'm going to list a few of the single moms (anonymously) that i know, and the outcomes of their kids:

S - 2 girls, one graduated college with honors, the other graduated from a language-submersive high school with high honors; both are involved in clubs and/or sports

W - raising a son pretty much since birth, on her own.  The son is smart as a whip, does great in school, is kind, concerned, and loving. 

L - single mom for many years to one daughter who does well in school, behaves well, is not scarred in any way; fully functional

H - single mom for several years, one son who never had issues in school or at home, no acting out; completely functional

Come on, let's face it.  We could all sit down and compile a list of perfectly normal, healthy, functional families who don't fit the mold of "one mother and one father." 

I think it's quite easy and convenient for certain groups to take research and twist it into whatever they want it to imply.  I think it's rubbish and downright manipulative to do that. 

What do i predict for children raised in gay-parent families?  I predict they will have more open minds, more compassion and understanding and less judgment, in general.  I think they'll perform alone the same lines as any other child in a family with healthy parents (or parent), and be prone to the same ups and downs, challenges, truimphs, failures as the rest of "average" society (and by that, i mean kids not growing up in the harsh reality of inner cities or other less than ideal situations).  I think they'll just be "normal."

And let's face, it, i'm usually right.  ;oP

4 holla'd back:

Donna Banta said...

Where did you read this gem? It's not hard to control the statistics in order to make any number of points. I agree with your prediction about gay-parent families.

Chris said...

I've raised my stepson for the last five-plus years by myself, and one of the first things everyone said about him post-breakup was how much more open and relaxed he seemed. I myself would have thought the trauma of having his mom move out (in such dramatic circumstances too) right as he started high school would have been terrible for him, but he handled it just fine. I've never had even the slightest trouble with him; he's always been conscientious and helpful. He's been working for the family business for a year and a half, doing a great job, and he's had a long-distance relationship for almost the same amount of time (she's finally moving to the vicinity this weekend, actually). And he's proudly straight-edge! (Even though he listens to a lot of other music besides punk rock.)

We may have been a regular, "normal" family on paper, but she was such a toxic, life-sapping presence on both of us, it was nothing but an improvement when she left. Heh, it really was a "nuclear" family, in the sense that we were both suffering from radiation sickness from being around her!

Here's something else you'll get a kick out of: so many self-professed Christians told my mom how wonderful I was for letting him continue to live with me, even though Medusa and I were never married, and I never adopted him. I was really amazed how many of them seemed to think it was some huge sacrifice on my part, that it was unfair that I couldn't "get on with my life" as they put it, having to raise someone else's teenager. Essentially, they were saying that in my position, their response would have been, "Hey, sorry, kid, I know I've been the father figure in your life since age 2, but you're not technically my legal responsibility, so see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya, try to have a nice life anyway."

I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they would have acted differently if put on the spot, but I don't know... I mean, what kind of person wouldn't do the same? You see clearly what needs to be done, so you do it. Even without the benefit of hindsight, it was obvious that she was going to ruin her life and drag him down with her if given the chance; how could I have done anything else? What kind of selfish fucker would stand there and watch it happen?

And these same people would probably think I'm amoral if they knew I'm an atheist. Gotta love it.

sandi said...

Nice! You are a stellar human being and a fine example of an atheist! :) Your step-son is lucky to have you! I hope people read your comment!

Chris said...

Aww, you crazy. But thanks all the same. :)

Anyway, I meant to say somewhere in all that rambling that I agree with you -- I've known miserable people with two parents who stayed married, and I've known great people who were raised by one grandparent. And I imagine we've all known preacher's kids who were the biggest hellraisers of all.

Speaking of Anthony, he loooves Emalkay. I downloaded a couple songs after your recommendation, and he keeps playing them over and over, especially "Battle Suit". "Ask her for some more stuff!" he says.

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