If you asked most people whether having a mother and a father in the home is essential to raising a happy, well-adjusted child, most would agree that it is. Rom coms like Baby Mama (2008) and The Backup Plan (2010) explore the plight of the single woman who is ready for marriage and children, but has been unsuccessful in finding a suitable mate. Both films show that a woman’s decision to voluntarily become a single mom is still looked upon unfavorably by society, and both stress the idea that it is better to wait and find a mate with which to raise children rather than going it alone.
Additionally, as of late, gay rights, and specifically gay marriage, have been a topic of great concern. The issue of gay marriage, often raises another issue for fodder – gay parenting. Naturally, if you believe that homosexuality is wrong, it would follow that gay marriage and gay parenting wouldn’t be on your top 10 list of causes to support. But, what if you support gay marriage and thereby, gay parenting?
Without getting too deep into the issue of being gay, I am more interested in beginning a discussion about what, if anything, a child may lack or how one may be influenced by having same-sex parents. In this day and age, when a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, she is often slandered for her decision to procreate with a man who is not her husband, or in instances where the woman is artificially inseminated, she is deemed selfish and not acting in the best interest of her child even if she is financially, emotionally and physically able to raise a child on her own. But, why? What I noticed is that it isn’t the “number” of people dedicated to raising a child that made the case of the artificially inseminated mother an abhorence, and it isn’t even the lack of commitment that causes others to shun the unwed single mother. It seems to be the absence of a mother AND father figure consistently present in the home that insights apathy towards the single mother in both scenarios.
Psychological studies have shown that children who grow up in 2-parent households (male and female) are typically more well-adjusted and confident than their counterparts who do not. Do children NEED a mother AND a father to become whole, emotionally stable human beings? If one is an advocate for gay parenting, doesn’t this directly refute the idea that a mother and father are essential elements in a child’s development? There are certain things that a woman provides that a man cannot, and vice versa. Therefore, it would follow that if a child is without one or the other, it would somehow impact or negatively affect the way in which that child views the world and relates to others in society.
I cannot reconcile the two. Can you? Many men and women who grew up in dysfunctional and single parent homes have struggled to overcome the absence of their mother or father, or both. Is a mother and a father necessary to the proper development of children? If so, why is gay parenting celebrated and single parenthood shunned? Which situation is more ideal?