Friday, June 09, 2006

Diversity & Marriage II

John Rowe made an interesting point in the comments over at The Volokh Conspiracy that I thought I'd share:

Another theory I think that needs to be explored is given that a) gay couples don't naturally have children, but b) do and will have children regardless (perhaps because all human beings have a natural urge to parent), perhaps the process of getting from a to b will have the effect of screening for more responsible people among gay parents, a sort of "responsibility effect" if you will.

For instance, heterosexuals don't need to do anything but "the act" to conceive. And clearly the pathologies that we see with single parent households are compounded by the fact that such mothers are often poor, uneducated, young and clearly "not yet ready," to have children.

But a lesbian couple going to a sperm bank or two gay men adopting have to jump through endless hoops of responsibility, and are likely only to have children when they are financially ready and responsible for it.

Good points. I have viewed the current crop of child-rearing gays to be something of an elite group (by motivation and affluence, at least), though many of these children are the result of heterosexual unions, so it's difficult to tell how much the screening effect would impact average parent quality. We probably won't know for some time how effective gay households are in rearing children, but something like what John Rowe describes could work to negate any intrinsic detriment gay marriages possess.

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