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Round 2: Stanton Replies to Chapman

Glenn T. Stanton

April 4th, 2008

Editor’s note: Last week, we began a discussion on anthropological views of marriage, with special attention to its implications on same-sex marriage. Patrick Chapman, biological anthropologist and author of the forthcoming book, “Thou Shalt Not Love”: What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays (Haiduk Press: 2008) began the discussion. That post was followed by a response from Glenn T. Stanton, director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus On the Family and co-author (with Dr. Bill Maier) of Marriage On Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting (InterVarsity Press: 2004). This past Monday, Dr. Chapman kicked off round 2 of the discussion, and today Mr. Stanton offers his rebuttal. I’ll return next week with some final thoughts.

I am happy to engage this discussion another round and am thankful to Box Turtle and Professor Chapman for their continued participation.

I see the headline on this exchange as “Anthropologist and Evangelical Researcher Disagree on Much”, which sounds like a good Onion headline. But I do believe this has been an opportunity to let two people with very different views carefully explain their positions and allow others to eavesdrop into and comment on the conversation. That is worthwhile. As we close this exchange, I want to thank Dr. Chapman for his clarity and kindness. And to Box Turtle for hosting the exchange in a very professional, remarkably fair manner. I say that with all sincerity.

Predisposed Bias?
Let me start by addressing an accusation he makes about Focus on the Family at the close of his last post. He says:

The organization, generalizing from Stanton’s methodology and the recent article that began our conversation, is more concerned about fitting anthropological studies into its predisposed bias than an honest appraisal and reporting of the research. (emphasis mine)

Actually NOT doing this is exactly what prompted me to write the paper under discussion. As I explained here in my first response to Chapman, I went to read leading anthropologists a few years ago on their explanation of marriage in light of gender and sex. Let me say this very clearly: I did not find what I went to the texts expecting to find. I went to this literature expecting to find and truly hoping to learn about the great diversity of gender-manifestations I always hear about from my many Women’s Studies friends.

I fully expected to have these anthropologists explain to me either the subtle or overt realities of how we in the West understand male and female are not so in other cultures. To that end, I anticipated they would employ great energy in explaining how our “he/she” categories don’t work in some/many non-Western cultures. But that is exactly what I did not find.

I found relentless talk about male/female and the only qualifiers offers were for 1) class differences for marrying couples in various cultures, and 2) the different tasks male and female perform in various cultures. But these were relentlessly about male and female together and absent of talk about “spectrums” of gender.

Even a full, careful read of a journal article on, as its title explains, “interpreting gender in Bugis society” (a society Chapman referred to as evidence in his first post) offers no explanation of anything but male or female (in either “sex” or “gender”) in the entire article. As previously noted, the article does mention what it calls “male transvestites” but only as a “very small percentage of the population.” If there are other genders among the Bugis, this anthropologist either failed to recognize them or failed to report it. Being a professor from University of Wisconsin, Madison, you think she would be keen to such subtleties if they existed. I understand they are quite sensitive to “heterosexism” at her institution. I will check out the Graham-Davies book that Chapman referred to on the subject.

This leads to perhaps our discussion’s biggest point, the “elephant in the room” that we are both feeling and describing different parts of.

Sex and gender
Chapman concludes from reading my response that I do “not comprehend the implications of, or difference between, sex and gender” and then proceeds to explain it to me. Goodness, anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to our national discussion on sex-roles over the past few decades gets the difference. My problem is I just don’t accept all the rhetoric that Gender- and Woman-Studies Departments accept and blather as established truth. I think this new understanding of “gender” is a cultural construct, which I will explain in just a bit.

Chapman then goes on to carefully explain to me that it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.” I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.

Do you really believe that I think there are ways that all men and ways all women act? That is ridiculous. But equally ludicrous is the idea that it is silly-talk to speak of essentially-male or essentially-female qualities, even across cultures. If this were true, we would all need guides to point us to the males and females in cultures different from our own. When I travel around the world, I do this discerning on my own and have never had anyone correct me or had my supposed “ethnocentricism” embarrass me in a cultural faux pas. I have little trouble discerning who the men and women are, even when they are performing outside their “prescribed roles.” Please!

Let’s look at this more closely.

There are two sexes: male and female. I don’t see intersexed persons challenging this, as they are people who are “inter”…between the two, but typically identify relatively well as either male or female. This has been my experience with intersexed people I know. The Intersex Society of North America explicitly does not regard intersex as a third gender.

“Gender” is a much softer, less precise term than “sex”. If we use John Money’s classic, but new-fangled, definition of “sex is what you are biologically; gender is what you become socially”1 gender here is understood to mean how you see yourself and how society forms you with regard to your sex. Given this definition, I would posit that there are some 6.5 billion different genders, because to be honest, we all understand and express our sex in different ways. Let me speak from my experience.

I understand that I live out my maleness in ways very different than many males. In any given sports season, I could not come close to conversing intelligently about how the season is going. I have no interest in hunting, NASCAR or eating chicken wings at Hooters. However, I could tell you what is currently on display at the local museum or what was on Ovation last night. I am like Niles and Frazier Crane. My buddies kid me about this.

As far as household roles, a feminist literature professor, who I liked very much, tried to convince me that I lived by strict gender roles, whether I realized it or not. As proof, she asked me her discussion-ending gotcha-question. “Glenn,” she asked, “who cleans the toilets in your house?” I had to be honest. “My wife has seldom touched a toilet brush in her life.” I told her. I clean the bathrooms. Nor does she mop the floors. She cooks, and I do the dishes. She does the laundry. We both change diapers. We have women who work full-time here at Focus and Family and do so in plain sight without the slightest bit of recrimination from Dr. Dobson. Some of them are even vice-presidents and directors, oh my! Does this mean we are gender-benders?

Being or thinking this way does not mean we are either the least bit confused nor staunchly rigid on what masculinity and femininity are, but only that we recognize there are different ways to be genuinely male or female. But — and this is a huge one – the fact that there are no incarnated golden feminine or masculine archetypes in the world does not mean these two ways of being human don’t exist in real, discernible ways or that we can’t talk meaningfully across cultures about what male and female are, either in what were are physically, biologically and psychically.

This is my problem with this new use of the term “gender.” That it is used as a way to imply that male and female are no longer adequate terms to describe sex-based human experience. I don’t find this in my diverse life experience, nor did it appear to me, that the anthropologists I read did either.

Name-calling and other things…
I was struck in both of Chapman’s responses his ease and confidence in making conclusions for me about what I believe. Professor Chapman, I am many things, but I am neither a naïve realist nor an ethnocentrist. If I were, I would find no value in the work of the anthropologists, for their specialty is explaining to us differing human experiences in diverse cultures.

You also explain, ala Stephanie Coontz, that historically “love is irrelevant” to marriage. This is the silliest thing she says in a book full of silly things. If she wants to say that love has not always been the sole or primary force in marriage that it is today, that point is hard to dispute. But to believe that marriage has always been a relationship solely about either class-cohesion or -advancement or about the transfer of land or material goods is deeply mistaken. The human heart didn’t grow warm in just the past 150 years. It has always felt and reacted to love, rejection and developed jealousy. These have always played a part of human relationships, including marriage and parenting, because it is profoundly human.

Regarding Murdock’s writings and the word “typical” in relation to his explanation of family being “a married man and woman with their offspring.” I read this word to mean it is usually this, while some families are single-parented because of death or desertion and some do not contain children. The reason I came to such a conclusion is that he discusses these different family forms in his book, but not homosexual marriages. The good scholar that he is, he stated the typical and later discussed the atypical. He explained these atypical families as variations on the heterosexual family. I did encounter discussions of same-sex marriage as rare from other scholars, and I address those in my paper.

In the occasions that Chapman cites instances of “same-sex marriage” he explains that couples must represent both female and male social qualities, regardless of their biological sex. I don’t doubt these are socially legitimate marriages, but he explains, “Relationships must follow the heterosexual model” in Samoa. That is the very point I made and when I have encountered the rare instances of same-sex marriage in other cultures. So do we both agree that there are no examples in past human experience, in any culture, is something looking like homosexual marriage where men as men and women as women are allowed to marry each other, regardless of what their “gender” might be? If I understand Chapman’s posts correctly, the societies he mentioned do place gender restrictions here.

Children and Well-Being
Let me end with what I think is the most important point: what this means for children of tomorrow.

First, I did not say that children do better in two-parent homes than single-parent homes. You put those words in my mouth and denounced it as a non-sequitur because SS homes are two-parent. What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being, compared to their peers growing up in single, cohabiting, step- or divorced homes. Children in SS homes are not, but definition, growing up in homes with their own mother and father.

He mentions the Lamotrek as a society where “same-sex couples” raise children with “no evidence of harm to the children or society.”

Two questions here. 1) What does “couple” mean in this context, especially in your explanation of frequent change of residence in their culture? We have a similar thing in the U.S. with children increasingly being raised by their mother and grandmother in the same home. It happens in other cultures also. The “same-sex couples” in Lamotrek should be clarified. 2) Regarding harm, which you say didn’t exist, was any study done on how these children actually fare compared to children in other family forms? The book you cite was published in 1965 and sociology was just starting to look at how family formation impacts child well-being in the West. It is doubtful Alkire did such an analysis because of this, but also because it is not the anthropologist’s task to make judgments about the quality of what a culture does, but only what it does.

Finally, the numerous research reports coming from sociology and psychology indicating that father-love is more impactful in some important child well-being measures than mother-love does not imply that children with two fathers would do extra better. The fatherhood effect is not cumulative. Scholars who have done work on fatherhood and child development explain that fatherhood is consequential in many ways, but primarily as it contrasts with and complements motherhood in important and unique ways.2

It’s been fun.

Glenn T. Stanton

P.S. Just watched the woman-who-changed-via-hormone-
injections-to-present-as-a-man-and-is-now-pregnant-because-
she-still-has-her-uterus on Oprah today.

References:
1. John Money, “The Concept of Gender Identity Disorder in childhood and adolescence after 39 years,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 20 (1994): 163-77. [BACK]

2. Henry B. Biller, Father and Families: Paternal Factors in Child Development (Westport, CT: Auburn House, 1993).

John Snarey and George Vaillant How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: A Four Decade Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993).

Ross Parke, Fatherhood (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996).

David Popenoe, Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence That Fatherhood and Marriage Are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society (New York: The Free Press, 1996). [BACK]

See also:
Round 2: Stanton Replies to Chapman
Round 2: Chapman Replies to Stanton
Glenn T. Stanton Responds to Professor Patrick Chapman
An Anthropologist Critiques Focus on the Family’s “Anthropological” Report on Marriage

Comments

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Johno
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

“The human heart didn’t grow warm in just the past 150 years. It has always felt and reacted to love, rejection and developed jealousy. These have always played a part of human relationships, including marriage and parenting, because it is profoundly human.”

I appreciate this exchange and thank the participants, but it is quite bizarre for me to read the above quote coming, without irony, from the keyboard of Mr. Stanton, given his views of our relationships.

KatieKat
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Mr. Stanton, in your section about sex and gender, I notice that not only do you use the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably, you also use the term ‘male’ interchangeably with ‘masculine’ and ‘female’ interchangeably with ‘feminine’. I know you have said that you understand the difference between sex and gender, but you do not demonstrate that in your discussion.
You also said,
“Chapman then goes on to carefully explain to me that it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.” I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.”
Which tells me that you do not understand those differences, regardless of the fact that you claim that you do.
[Biological] Sex is determined by our genitalia, and only our genitalia. [Sociological] Gender is determined by our actions, mannerisms, dress, and individual perception. So when Chapman says ‘that it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.” ‘, it’s because it IS a mistake to assume as much. There are many people, including the FtM person you mention that you saw on Oprah, who are biologically female but feel, think, and act as if they are male. The opposite is also true. And, while you are sort of correct in saying that there are no ‘essentially-male or essentially-female qualities, there are, however, groups of those qualities that do, in fact, typically (as in, usually) belong to one sex or the other. And when a large proportion of those qualities that are typically associated with one sex are exhibited in someone of the opposite sex, that person typically feels, thinks, and presents as their gender and not their biological sex. Even though you have never met one of these two-spirited individuals, that does not mean that they do not exist. The fact is, a lot of those people identify as queer in this part of the world, and probably don’t associate with the groups that you do.
Okay, this ended up being much more stream-of-consciousness than I intended. I hope it makes sense.
(Not to mention, as a queer person, this subject makes me just a little heated)

Glenn
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Katie Kat

I understand exactly what you are saying and all I would says is that I have met such people, and i wrote what I wrote in my post with those meetings fully in my mind. I didn’t experience them as some new third gender, but some mix of the two. Some are quite creative in this mix, and some are very traditional.

And yes, I admit, I don’t have much stomach for this new use of “gender”. I just don’t find it helpful in understanding how people live their “sexed” lives. As I said, it seems to me that there are as many genders as there are people, given this definition.

glenn

Timothy Kincaid
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Having read Stanton’s response, I have to agree with Chapman that Stanton does not understand the distinction between sex and gender.

But I think that this is not a misunderstanding out of ignorance or lack of information. Rather, it appears to me that Stanton deliberately chooses to ignore and deny that some cultures were capable of looking at a person of female sex and see a person of male gender.

Similarly, Stanton is far more comfortable in assuming that all historical same-sex marriages were sexless and loveless arrangements, much in the same way that the Washington Post was more comfortable in eliminating Maj. Rogers’ orientation because “there was no evidence that he’s gay”.

But choosing what we believe because we want it to be true (or because we believe that it must be true in order to agree with our understanding of the Bible) is perhaps not the wisest way to approach the world.

Joel
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

I commented as i was reading…

When i started to read this… I was srsly trying to understand the ‘marriage-protectors’ point of view… Stanton says, “That is ridiculous. But equally ludicrous is the idea that it is silly-talk to speak of essentially-male or essentially-female qualities, even across cultures. If this were true, we would all need guides to point us to the males and females in cultures different from our own. ” Ok.. sinc eit just SILLY to speak of essentially-gender qualities then plz demonstrate what are the specific qualities. If not, parting from what Chapman provided, where penis+penis(assuming this is THE male quality) is a permitted form of a couple, how does that add to prove essentially-male qualities across ALL cultures?

” Given this definition, I would posit that there are some 6.5 billion different genders, because to be honest, we all understand and express our sex in different ways.” So… then since we KNOW what male is. Im still trying to figure out what stanton means by essentially male qualities, which, when applied to the anthropologist record of gender differentiation, still holds.

“Some of them are even vice-presidents and directors, oh my! Does this mean we are gender-benders?” Not at all? It just goes to show what Chapman stated. Gender and Biological sex are one and the same in the US, this of course, is moot when applies to cultures(as the ones chapman explained).

I guess one could make the case that, since gender is socially constructed, then Stanton and christians have, somewhat of a right, to create their own gender barriers. And ultimately, rejection of those that do not fit(like other cultures have done). “If I understand Chapman’s posts correctly, the societies he mentioned do place gender restrictions here.” And.. this IS what hes defending. In other words.. even though other cultures dont define male specifically because of biological sex then it follow that because they defined it.. we are also able to define what constitutes male and female.

“But — and this is a huge one – the fact that there are no incarnated golden feminine or masculine archetypes in the world does not mean these two ways of being human don’t exist in real, discernible ways or that we can’t talk meaningfully across cultures about what male and female are, either in what were are physically, biologically and psychically.” You’ve been saying that all along, very explicitly stated now i guess… i stilll cant find these universal gender qualities. I thought it was(according to God) the biological sex that made one male and female. But that point would be absurd to argue since it would be easily contradicted by what Chapman has already noted.

“I don’t find this in my diverse life experience, nor did it appear to me, that the anthropologists I read did either.” Mmm.. well then, maybe i just misunderstood chapman, but i dont think so.

“The human heart didn’t grow warm in just the past 150 years. It has always felt and reacted to love, rejection and developed jealousy. These have always played a part of human relationships, including marriage and parenting, because it is profoundly human.” Of course ppl that marry for what we now consider, ‘wrong’ reasons can develop this.. i dont think thats being disputed. What i dont think you want to accept is that marriage BASED almost entirely and/or primarily caused BECAUSE of love(money too… but thats not something unique to heterosexual and provides nothing for the debate) for the other significant other is quite ‘new’.

” What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being, compared to their peers growing up in single, cohabiting, step- or divorced homes. Children in SS homes are not, but definition, growing up in homes with their own mother and father.
” Understandable.. and i imagined the same thing.. what you noted is what was bothering me… FIRST) You only have indirect research that proves that SSrelationship w/ children households would be not-as-excellent as heterosexual marriage(specially so if their lesbians) SECOND)Following such logic to BAN SS marriage, then children should not be allowed to either be raised divorcee, step- or single raising homes? Just wondering..

“The fatherhood effect is not cumulative. Scholars who have done work on fatherhood and child development explain that fatherhood is consequential in many ways, but primarily as it contrasts with and complements motherhood in important and unique ways.2″ Since there is no aparent research with SS households w/ children then how do you conclude that its not cumulative… If applied to lesbians(or single mothers) its quite apparent, according to this being a reason to advocate agianst SS marriage(because SS raising children are not beenefitial), they shouldn’t be allowed to have children…. ever, in benefit of the childs well being?

Also.. since you mention cohabitating as worse than married couples raising children… wouldn’t that somehow contribute to a factor WHY SS couple raising already raising children should get married? Doesn’t this imply that marriage(per se) makes for a more stable environment? I guess well never know if stanton and the likes are the ones shaping the future…

Joel
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Want to clarify one of the earlier paragraphs… “” Given this definition, I would posit that there are some 6.5 billion different genders, because to be honest, we all understand and express our sex in different ways.” So… then since we KNOW what male is. Im still trying to figure out what stanton means by essentially male qualities, which, when applied to the anthropologist record of gender differentiation, still holds”

What i meant was, the way to see if this hold is by KNOWING what male is,, then applying the anthropological record and see if it holds. Since I’m missing the crucial gender specific qualities accross culture then i have no idea what i would be looking for… Im pretty sure if one looks for what male is in his eyes, biological sex, this would not hold… since as chapman said, biological sex =/= gender. Two penis carrying ppl would be considered ‘heterosexual’. If you live in America… odds are this is GAY…, wouldnt you say stanton?

Sure they develop a ‘straight’ model… but that model has so much GAY in it, it just seem pathetic that you just dismiss that its really gay.

Then again… since you feel compelled to hold ur unapologetic christian view, it would be best if you just defined what should and shouldnt be. Looking at different cultures, it doesnt seem wrong to not allow what does not fit your christian model.

Stephen
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Mr. Stanton betrays in every sentence an ideologically driven argument. He seems to find nothing strange in a layman taking on professional scientists.

However, his sociological argument is irrelevant since marriage is, almost universally, about property and inheritance and only tangentially about children. This obsession with the ‘sacrament’ of marriage either ignores or willfully mis-states the history of the institution. Marriage is a civil institution that came lately to be blessed by the church. The primitive church refused to conduct marriages as did the pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. The trouble with anyone writing for FoF is the woeful lack of knowledge matched only by the ideological fervor.

For the record: my husband and I married in Canada five years ago after living together for 35 years. So far the sky has not fallen and there are no riots in the street.

Fannie
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Stanton said:

“the fact that there are no incarnated golden feminine or masculine archetypes in the world does not mean these two ways of being human don’t exist in real, discernible ways or that we can’t talk meaningfully across cultures about what male and female are, either in what were are physically, biologically and psychically.”

Yes, I think we all know that males and females are different physically and biologically. What is debatable is what they are psychically.

If anatomy is psychological destiny, I think the real questions are:

Psychically, what is a man? What is a woman?

Stanton argues that “essentially-male” and “essentially-female” qualities exist across cultures, and that’s how we can tell males and females apart.

What are these non-physical, non-obvious qualities?

Ephilei
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Wait, in Stanton’s first post here, he said, “I have never met anyone who wasn’t either male or female . . .” but now he says, “This has been my experience with intersexed people I know.” Has he just met them this week?

Ephilei
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

I have no doubt that Stanton understands the theoretic difference between sex and gender. But he refuses to use them correctly – which may be even worse. Here are just two examples:

From Stanton’s first post: “[quoting Murdock]“consists typically of a married man and woman with their offspring.” 2 So he is specific, and there you have it again, that nagging male/female thing.” Murdock “nags” about man and woman, not male and female.

Or in this post: “The Intersex Society of North America explicitly does not regard intersex as a third gender.” Nobody would even toy with the idea that intersex is any gender at all – oh, unless you considered sex = gender. Subsequently, as the statement doesn’t make sense, the ISNA statement he references does not say that. Instead, they make a statement that understand the difference between sex and gender.

I wrote about this in more depth on my blog, if you’re interested.

And I certainly do appreciate Stanton’s blatant dismissal of people who exist in great minority. To him, I don’t exist. First he says that one particular article about the Bugis only mention two genders and then says that it mentions a third gender “but only as a “very small percentage of the population.”” and goes on again to say the article doesn’t mention a third gender. Obviously, he’s not lying, but he believes that a gender doesn’t count unless there are a lot of us.

On a broader plain, this same lack of recognition determines Stanton’s view of marriage. Stanton admits there are cultures with same sex marriage, but somehow that’s not enough and never says how much is enough. A quarter? The majority? Behind this veil is Stanton’s belief that only the normal, the majority exists – whether in gender or love or marriage.

grantdale
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Good grief — we’re still back at the obvious in many ways.

To point out that the volume of literature on human sexuality etc is overwhelmingly heterosexual in nature offers, frankly, complete boredom.

The overwhelming majority of people are heterosexual; as are the authors of such texts. As is most of the reason for many of those texts in the first place. So one would expect… what?

I’m sure we’d hear complaints from Stanton if the literature wasn’t largely addressing heterosexuality; yet the fact it does is presented as if it is a default indictement for all the other relationships. And, yet, diverse forms of human relationships are also examined. In a rightful share? Perhaps, perhaps not.

None of any of this provides a reason for preventing marriage for same-sex couples. It merely says most people are heterosexual.

Yeah, boredom.

But moving onto the ugly…

To claim that “children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better” is really only to be saying that “children do better in stable, loving homes”.

(Hence, non-sequitur precisely because Stanton uses that to leap into anti-same-sex parenting.)

If children do indeed grow up with their mother and father, it’s reasonable to assume that the parental relationship is a one that functions at least well enough. Or else they’d have joined the statistics for divorce and single-parenting.

(neither of which, I note, Stanton is ever willing to lump togther under something called “heterosexual parenting”, although they very clearly are part of the whole.)

Nothing in this suggests that “motherhood” and “fatherhood” are required; oddly, particularly given Stanton is at pains to point out his own refusal to follow the strictest views about what motherhood/feminine and a fatherhood/masculine should be. His own behaviour would have appalled his ancestors.

It says merely that the stable, loving home provided to children by the stable, loving relationship of a man and a woman is better than one rent by discord between the man and the women.

I fear Stanton will win no award if that’s his conclusion. Nor should he.

(If he was to be arguing that it is important for children to have contact, role-models of both men and women, or even heterosexuality… few would disagree; including the vast majority of same-sex couples who are raising children. But that does not mean children must be raised by one man and one women, married, to “turn out alright”.)

The public fraud, and yes I’d call it that, comes in remembering exactly why Stanton is engaged in all this in the first place.

He’s involved not because he wants all children to grow up in stable, loving homes — although I don’t doubt he does want that too — but because he’s engaged in a social war against same-sex couples.

And, hence, the throughly disreputable connection he’s attempting to make in the public mind between the children of heterosexual couples in conflict or instability, or raised alone without the same resources… and the children being raised in the stable, loving homes of stable, loving same-sex couples.

The connection he promotes is not of the problems already well established in the literature — conflict and insecurity and poverty at home — but some nebulous blame on the lack of a man or the lack of a woman. (If only it were that simple!)

Stanton then links this to reasoning this is why we must prevent marriage for same-sex couples.

He admits no support in the literature for pushing that line, at it’s most basic level. Yet, he does it anyway.

Chapman and Stanton, we do appreciate your continued back-and-forths.

Ephilei
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

It’s quite obvious, if you’ve followed the dialogue, that Stanton doesn’t get Chapman. Chapman’s thesis has been that there have been many models of marriage with varying elements of gender, love, money, and even whether a spouse is alive at all. These variations show there isn’t one way to do marriage and even a model that’s never happened before, like the Modern, Western model, have a chance to succeed.

But Stanton is so locked into a black and white mindset that he can’t even comprehend that Chapman’s pink and purple openness. Stanton is trying to condemn same sex gender a priori while Chapman has a “wait and see” attitude.

For instance, in Chapman’s second post he said that the West has mostly moved beyond gender roles. Then Stanton gets offended because he was mixing sex and gender and shows off how he doesn’t follow gender roles, proving Chapman’s point.

Or, Stanton rebukes Chapman’s claim that he lumps single parent families with same-sex marriage families. Which he did. In his rebuttal, tho, he says children of are living in the homes of only one of their parents. He should’ve dealt with adoption families or children of sperm donors.

Speaking of the pregnant transman, I suppose Stanton would say he supports him because they’re living in an opposite gendered marriage, huh?

Fannie
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

“Speaking of the pregnant transman, I suppose Stanton would say he supports him because they’re living in an opposite gendered marriage, huh?”

Nope. Note how Stanton refers to the transgender man as “she” (“a woman who presents as a man” to be specific). Therefore the transgender man and his wife are a same-sex couple in Stanton’s eyes.

Popsiclestand
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

I do not understand how Mr. Stanton can both “understand” the accepted differences in definition between sex and gender used by much of the professional community but not “accept” it. The claim is very obvious.

People do have no choice in the sex they are born with, but gender is just an obvious social construct. That’s as plain as day. If you took a man and woman out of the context of the society that they are in, or any exposure to such society or community for that matter, you would have two beings of different sexes performing the duties and behaving in ways that suit them as individuals, not as their expected genders dictate.

Now, I have no doubt that gender roles, as they stand today, have evolved from commonly occuring features and attributes of men and women, but the effective word in that is that they EVOLVED and are still evolving.

In my mind, Mr. Stanton, Focus on the Family, and others with similar ideas against marriage equality for same-sex couples are standing in the face of an evolving culture and saying “we will not cross that line — we will not change in that way” but just the fact that the issue is being discussed, that those minorities negatively affected by antiquated laws and social mores are standing up for themselves, means the lines that FoF don’t want crossed no longer even exist. In fifty years or so those ideas of “protecting marriage” will be seen in the same light as those arguments against interracial marriage. As just plain foolish.

Popsiclestand
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

And…I agree with your statement grantdale, Mr. Stanton arbitrarily attributes lack of both mother and father as the sole reason for poor development of children in single-parent homes despite other obvious factors present in such situations such as economic hardship or (in the case of divorce) the turmoil and insecurity involved with the seperation of two parents.

I would like to know which statistics Mr. Stanton is looking at that show causation specifically between the absence of a mother and father in the home and poor child development — ruling out all other equally correlating variables of course.

Elise
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

“What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being…”

Elise
April 4th, 2008 | LINK

Crap, hit ‘post’ too soon…

“What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being…”

So I take it FoF will be rolling out that Constitutional Adoption Ban any day now?

Liadan
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Shorter Glenn Stanton: “I’ve been told what the difference between sex and gender is. I just don’t CARE.”

Might’ve saved some time if you’d just told us that at the outset, though.

>>We have women who work full-time here at Focus and Family and do so in plain sight without the slightest bit of recrimination from Dr. Dobson. Some of them are even vice-presidents and directors, oh my! Does this mean we are gender-benders?<<

Given how much ink FotF spills encouraging women to submit to masculine headship and have babies instead of careers, it does smack somewhat of hypocrisy. Apparently those oh-so-natural gender roles don’t even work for y’all, much less everyone else.

Ben in oakland
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Grantdale– dorothy Parker said it best.

“Heterosexuality isn’t normal. It’s just COMMON!”

Patrick
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

[Stanton]–I think this new understanding of “gender” is a cultural construct…

Chapman has been arguing that gender is a cultural construct.

***

[Stanton]–Chapman concludes from reading my response that I do “not comprehend the implications of, or difference between, sex and gender” … Chapman then goes on to carefully explain to me that it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.” I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.

That was Chapman’s point, you don’t seem to understand the difference and consistently misuse the terms. It means some biological females act as if they were men and vice versa. In a sense, their bodies say one thing and their mind says another. Which shouldn’t be too surprising to find, given that our genitals form at a different time than our brain is hardwired. So, there’s no guarantee they will end up with the same result.

***

[Stanton]–There are two sexes: male and female. I don’t see intersexed persons challenging this, as they are people who are “inter”…between the two, but typically identify relatively well as either male or female. This has been my experience with intersexed people I know. The Intersex Society of North America explicitly does not regard intersex as a third gender.

This reaffirms Chapman’s view that you don’t get it. How intersexual’s identify is their gender. What their biology says is their sex, and it isn’t male or female for intersexuals. Only if we don’t get the difference between sex and gender would we even question if the ISNA views intersex as a 3rd gender. Clearly you don’t understand the difference.

***

[Stanton]–I clean the bathrooms. Nor does she mop the floors. She cooks, and I do the dishes. She does the laundry. We both change diapers. We have women who work full-time here at Focus and Family and do so in plain sight without the slightest bit of recrimination from Dr. Dobson. Some of them are even vice-presidents and directors, oh my! Does this mean we are gender-benders?

No, but it does prove Chapman’s point!: modern Western society doesn’t have sharply divided gender roles, so Focus staff and your marriage don’t distinguish between them because our society doesn’t (unlike all the anthropological societies you’ve been discussing). Chapman argued marriage has united the man and woman genders to ensure all work is accomplished (it didn’t matter what the sexes involved were). The work is no longer divided, so marriage no longer performs that function. So, if heterosexuals who perform the same gender can marry, then why not homosexuals who also perform the same gender?

***

[Stanton]–the fact that there are no incarnated golden feminine or masculine archetypes in the world does not mean these two ways of being human don’t exist in real, discernible ways or that we can’t talk meaningfully across cultures about what male and female are, either in what were are physically, biologically and psychically.

Once again, Stanton confuses sex with gender, treating the terms as synonyms. This is why Chapman said you don’t seem to get it, because you don’t. If you do, then you are purposely using the terms in ways that knowingly would confuse your readers.

***

[Stanton]–But to believe that marriage has always been a relationship solely about either class-cohesion or -advancement or about the transfer of land or material goods is deeply mistaken.

Stanton seems to miss Chapman’s point – people didn’t marry out of love, that is new. Think of Abraham seeking a wife for Isaac. He sent a servant to find a wife. Isaac supposedly had never met the woman in his life when they got married. Surely they didn’t marry for love. Sure, they may have grown to love each other after they married, but they didn’t marry for love. Marrying for love is new. They married because of the social and economic ties, as was the norm in cultures all over the world.

***

[Stanton]–“Relationships must follow the heterosexual model” in Samoa. That is the very point I made and when I have encountered the rare instances of same-sex marriage in other cultures.

And today’s heterosexual marriages do not sharply divide the gender roles, as Stanton’s own marriage highlights. So, same-sex marriages today still follow the heterosexual model: there is no strict gender separation. So, as Chapman has argued, if you think marriage should be banned if there is no strict gender separation, then your own marriage should be banned because you do not have strict gender separation.

***

[Stanton]–If I understand Chapman’s posts correctly, the societies he mentioned do place gender restrictions here.

But you still missed Chapman’s point – Western society doesn’t. You do some cleaning in your home, as does your wife. Both the man and woman are able to work outside the home. You both tend to the children, etc.

***

[Stanton]–I did not say that children do better in two-parent homes than single-parent homes. … What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being, compared to their peers growing up in single [homes].

Chapman wasn’t too mistaken then, he just missed the biological parent component to your argument. So, if this is your argument against same-sex parenting and marriage, then you must ban adoptions by heterosexual couples because they are harmful to the children.

***

[Stanton]–What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being, compared to their peers growing up in single, cohabiting, step- or divorced homes. Children in SS homes are not, but definition, growing up in homes with their own mother and father.

So, what do the actual studies say comparing children in same-sex parent homes compared to opposite-sex ones? It seems from your list they didn’t include that. Therefore, how can you truly know the differences found weren’t the result of other factors (economic, household fighting, etc)?

***

[Stanton]–The “same-sex couples” in Lamotrek should be clarified. 2) Regarding harm, which you say didn’t exist, was any study done on how these children actually fare compared to children in other family forms?

Sounds like a double standard. In the studies you cite they don’t include same-sex parenting, but you use the data anyway to condemn same-sex parenting. But in Lamotrek you won’t accept it unless it does include them. This explains Chapman’s comment about your predisposed bias and fitting the data into what you already believe. You have a double standard that accepts data, no matter how irrelevant, if it supports your view but ignore anything that doesn’t.

Grog
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

[Stanton]: “2) Regarding harm, which you say didn’t exist, was any study done on how these children actually fare compared to children in other family forms?”

While there aren’t exactly huge numbers of such studies, they do exist, and generally do not suggest that “harm” occurs to the children with respect to the normal measures of socialization.

I would suggest the following papers as relevant:

Golombok, S. “Children with Lesbian Parents: A Community Study” – Developmental Psychology vol 39, No. 1 (2003)

Green Richard, “Sexual Identity of 37 children raised by homosexual or transsexual parents” American Journal of Psychiatry Vol 135, No 6. (1978)

Patterson, C., “Lesbian mothers, gay fathers and their children” in D’Augelli ed. “Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual identities over the Lifespan”, Oxford University Press 1995

There are no doubt others – I’m lifting these citations from Johnson, Olive Skene, “The Sexual Spectrum” – Raincoast Books, 2004

The evidence as there is out there on the subject does not imply any material “harm as implied/suggested by the virulent anti-GLBT religious lobby. The consensus seems to be that as long as the child has a stable, loving family that they flourish.

Jason D
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

It almost appears that Stanton wouldn’t mind gay marriage so long as one of the partners had a sex change — or at least he would find it anthropologically “okay”.

John Howard
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Several people have asked what the difference between the male sex and female sex is. It’s not outward anatomy or mental gender, though those might affect the legal sex assignment. The relevant difference is reproductive likelihood. If a person is more likely to be able to successfully conceive using their unmodified gametes with a female, then that person is male, and vice versa. People (and I think all animals except earthworms and some fish) can only reproduce as one sex, and they can only reproduce with one sex, which is the other sex. Yes, some people cannot reproduce, but it’s usually easy to know which sex they would be able to reproduce as if they were healthy. Every person is one or the other, because it is based on being the most likely sex to be able to reproduce as.

So I couldn’t be called female without calling all females male and all other males female. People can still present and legally be the other sex, but people should not be allowed to attempt to reproduce as the sex they are less likely to be able to reproduce as, or with someone of the sex they are less likely to be able to reproduce with. People should only be allowed to reproduce with someone of the other sex, we should not allow people to choose which sex they want to reproduce as, or with.

Marriage should always allow the couple to reproduce together using their own genes, and I am sure that every marriage in the anthropological has been allowed to reproduce with their own genes, even ghost marriages and same-sex marriages. This is true because same-sex procreation is not illegal, nor is using a dead person’s genes. Those should both be prohibited, so that people are only allowed to procreate with someone of the other sex, someone they are at least eligible to marry. Ultimately, intentionally, only their legal spouse, but certainly immediately, a living person of the other sex.

Ephilei
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

@John Howard

“Sex” actually has a variety of definitions once you get gritty. You’ve given the biologist definition. To the physician, sex is determined by genitalia. To the endocrinologist, sex is determined by hormones. To the chemist and genetic engineer, sex is determined by DNA. Transexuals and many intersex people themselves say sex is determined by the brain. Who’s to say who’s right?

Eventually you come to see that sex depends more on the opinions and beliefs of the observer than the subject’s own body. If you’re looking toward sex for an absolute to base ethics off of, you’ll be disappointed.

By the way, some amphibians can also change their sex to reproduce. Then there are species without sexes, like snails. There are species where every member is hermproditic (ie, has fully functional “male” and “female” reproductive facilities). And there are more variations beyond that.

John Howard
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

I’ve given you an important definition that cannot be dismissed. Yes, there are other ways to define it, and a legal sex does not have to match it, but we can’t dismiss this definition by saying that “there are other ways”. The important thing is that there be, in addition to those, THIS way of defining it. Do you not agree that we should only be allowed to conceive as whichever sex we are most likely able to conceive as? Or do you think that we should allow people to attempt to conceive as the sex they are less likely to conceive as?

Sargon Bighorn
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

I am a Citizen of the United States of America and I will fight for equal rights under the law. I am NOT concerned with what an anthropologist does or does not say about Gay citizens of America. I am not concerned with what a religious extremist does or does not think about Gay citizens of America. Like other minorities in America, (religious, racial, sexual, ethnic) I shall go thru the legal system to gain equal civil rights. I shall prevail.

Joel
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

“People can still present and legally be the other sex, but people should not be allowed to attempt to reproduce as the sex they are less likely to be able to reproduce as, or with someone of the sex they are less likely to be able to reproduce with.” If that means you think homosexual intercourse is somehow an ‘attempt’ to reproduce, i will tell you off the bat that their really not trying too… “less likely”, why didnt you say impossible?

“People should only be allowed to reproduce with someone of the other sex, we should not allow people to choose which sex they want to reproduce as, or with.”
that would imply that only ppl that can reproduce be able to marry? ‘we should not allow ppl to choose which sex the want to reproduce’ and if reproduction=intercourse then you suggesting we sgould reinstate the sodomy ban? Criminalize them?

K.. i will get bak to what your saying once i know if your being serious; or just trying to explain, in other words, what Stanton meant; or simply kidding… cause if your kidding i aint gona waste time commenting on what your saying.

PiaSharn
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Stanton: “What I do say in many of my books is that children who grow up with their own mother and father do markedly better in every important measure of well-being, compared to their peers growing up in single, cohabiting, step- or divorced homes. Children in SS homes are not, but definition, growing up in homes with their own mother and father.”

I find it interesting that you failed to mention adopted children being raised by a married couple.

According to your statement, since these children are not being raised by their biological parents, they are therefor at a disadvantage and do not do as well as children who are not adopted. Is this an accurate interpretation of your remarks?

Also, like Popsicklestand pointed out, you failed to note that there are many factors (single parents often don’t have the financial stability that a married couple has, kids in divorced families have emotional issues that are caused by the break-up of their parents, etcetera) that go into why children in single-parent or divorced families are not as well off, and these factors do not apply to children being raised by a same-sex couple.

In fact, by not allowing same-sex couples the legal right to marry, you put their children at a disadvantage. By allowing their parents to marry, these kids and their families would have the same legal protections as heterosexual families.

You claim to be concerned about children, however, you are doing them more harm by not allowing their parents the right to a legal marriage.

Ephiliel: “Wait, in Stanton’s first post here, he said, ‘I have never met anyone who wasn’t either male or female . . .’ but now he says, ‘This has been my experience with intersexed people I know.’ Has he just met them this week?”

That confused me as well. Does he know intersexed individuals, or doesn’t he? I’m rather baffled. Mr. Stanton, could you clarify this?

Joel
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

“Ephiliel: “Wait, in Stanton’s first post here, he said, ‘I have never met anyone who wasn’t either male or female . . .’ but now he says, ‘This has been my experience with intersexed people I know.’ Has he just met them this week?”

That confused me as well. Does he know intersexed individuals, or doesn’t he? I’m rather baffled. Mr. Stanton, could you clarify this?

I got that pretty clear… let me try and explain his point. After saying he has experienced intersexed ppl he notes that these ppl identify as male or female, and he accepts it. It makes me wonder again tho… since male and female gender as he might understand it also does not depend on the anatomy, what are these universal gender specifiers.

Joel
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Or maybe.. since intersexed are not one or the other then they have a freedom to choose? Unlike those that are anatomically already assigned.

Popsiclestand
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

Piasharn and Ephiliel, I think Mr. Stanton does know intersexed people and has known them for a while, but, similar to his non-acceptance of the difference between the terms “sex” and “gender”, he refuses to see them as a third sex, which is actually counter to his previous misuse of sex and gender. For, if gender and sex are one and the same (as Mr. Stanton claims they are) then intersexed people should present as both male and female genders — which, even Mr. Stanton points out they don’t.

Anyway, Sargon Bighorn put it best I think. It doesn’t matter what FoF or Mr. Stanton THINK about gay people and same sex families or even if such thoughts are backed up by traditional thinking on relationships and sexuality. The facts of the matter are, gay individuals are tax paying citizens. Marriage is a civil insitution under the law that provides many protections that allow families to flourish and grow. Denying one group of people to enter into civil marriage contracts with other citizens is a breach of the constitution of the United States. Passing state constitutional bans against recognizing civil marriages performed in other states (or the loose definition of ANY unions that simulate marriage) is in direct violation of the constitution of the United States.

This is also is NOT a state issue, as so many politicians who are so cowardly that they can’t stand up for all the citizens they represent, would have you believe. The United States is ONE country. Gay people reside in each state in that country and therefore leaving such a minority civil rights issue up to the popular vote dictated by the majority of the citizens in each state, is tantamount to making certain states a sort of prison for gay people — where their equal rights stop at the border.

Bruce Garrett
April 5th, 2008 | LINK

If she wants to say that love has not always been the sole or primary force in marriage that it is today, that point is hard to dispute. But to believe that marriage has always been a relationship solely about either class-cohesion or -advancement or about the transfer of land or material goods is deeply mistaken.

You gotta love the technique here. Concede the point out of one side of your mouth and then out of the other call it “deeply mistaken”.

Do you really believe that I think there are ways that all men and ways all women act? That is ridiculous. But equally ludicrous is the idea that it is silly-talk to speak of essentially-male or essentially-female qualities, even across cultures.

No…I don’t think that all men and all women act in certain ways. However…yes I do.

Emproph
April 9th, 2008 | LINK

I apologize everyone, I realize this is obnoxiously long, but there are some important points here which I felt compelled to mention.

Under Acknowledgments in Glenn Stanton and Bill Maier’s book, Marriage on Trial:

to our precious and patient wives […] you help us make sense of life, giving it fullness, perspective, meaning and the sweet mystery of otherness.

Save that thought.

Now onto Glenn Stanton from the above post:

Chapman then goes on to carefully explain to me that it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.” I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.

Broken down:

it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.”

I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.

I think you do, I just don’t think it fits your worldview enough to entertain it as fact.

Continued:

I think this new understanding of “gender” is a cultural construct, which I will explain in just a bit.
[…]
Given this definition, I would posit that there are some 6.5 billion different genders, because to be honest, we all understand and express our sex in different ways.
[…]
This is my problem with this new use of the term “gender.” That it is used as a way to imply that male and female are no longer adequate terms to describe sex-based human experience.

More specifically, male is no longer adequate. Because after all, if male can no longer define the capacity of female, what is male?

So you feel that psychic/psychological gender, is a social construct? Fair enough, but let’s be real about what that means. It means that ultimately, homosexuality itself (same-sex attraction) is a social construct.

So be it, but consider this. If the souls of all gay men were somehow magically implanted into female bodies, you would solidly regard them as heterosexual females, and as such, would consider their love for their husbands to be genuine.

Don’t get me wrong though, I get the fact that if you KNEW that this was the case, you would then consider their love to be corrupt, and any resultant children of that “love,” to be literal spawn of the devil.

(I conflate nothing!)

Marriage on Trial Page 175:

Satan accelerates his attack on God [...] by challenging God’s very image

But if our love is true, then it can only be of God. And you know at least this much about love. Our love, or at least the claim of our “love” as being actual love, is an insult to what you have with your wife, isn’t it? Otherwise, why would you be making such an adamant attempt to distinguish between “your love,” and “our love.”

(Or in Focus on the Family code-speak, “your counterfeit marriage” vs “my marriage.”)

Indeed, one of the opening salvos of your book expresses this sentiment. Page 24:

Shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to commit themselves to one another?

Yes, but we don’t always call it marriage. Parents commit to themselves to their children, but they aren’t married. Friends love and commit themselves to each other, but they aren’t married. Coworkers, athletes and soldiers can even love each other and enjoy great commitment, but we don’t call it marriage.

Marriage is about a whole lot more than love and commitment.

Except we’re not talking about all those other kinds of love and commitment Mr. Stanton.

Disagree or not, we’re talking specifically, precisely, and only, about that special “otherness” kind of love that you and your wife share–VIA DIRECT COMMUNION WITH GOD.

So what I take from that paragraph, is that you believe that gay relationships are to be regarded as nothing more than committed ‘friends with benefits.’

Again, so be it. But then the question becomes, why not just say so? Why not just say that you feel that we are either just simply confused, or screwed up in some way that can’t adequately be explained. Why resort to, among other things, Melissa Fryrear’s quite pointed definition of this homosexual-confusion of “otherness?” Page 182:

And so at it’s core homosexuality, and lesbianism in particular, is about filling emotional, relational needs, that core need of wanting to connect with another girl but then, when entering into puberty, all of those feelings and emotions became sexualized.

I take it then that if SSA is the sexualization of non-sexual needs, to then see the sharing of these inappropriately-sexualized needs as “true love,” must be proof of how screwed up we truly are.

Again, so be it. But again still, why not just say so? Or why not at the very very least, not resort to gratuitous slander? Page 65:

monogamy in male homosexual relationships is difficult to sustain, even in long-term relationships. 10

#10 being the citation of The Male Couple and the Dutch Study.

If you feel our love is that ubiquitously fake Mr. Stanton, and our relationships so predicated on delusion, why the need to seek out such spuriousness, and in fact, downright intentional dishonesty to make your point?

Why would this not be inexcusable to you, as a Christian AND as a human being?

it is a mistake to assume that “all biological males are gendered masculine and all biological females are gendered feminine.”

I know what the sentence means, but I don’t know what it means in practice.

To be flip, congratulations, you’re a cisgendered heterosexual male.

To be serious though, if this new “understanding of gender” were truly a cultural construct—and the very result of the sexualization of need—then we would see a majority of bisexuality, in measurable proportion to that need.

Furthermore, such a correlation between sexualized-need and bisexuality should be even more apparent in the historical record – given the virtual ubiquitousness of familial HELLS it has taken us to get to this technological point.

But you’ve covered all your bases. Not only are needs “sexualized,” or fixed at a certain point, but attempting to unfix them, can never cause harm, P 153:

So people who say such therapy is harmful are wrong?

Yes, quite wrong. As mentioned earlier, gay activist organizations claim that reorientation therapy is harmful to homosexuals. They warn it offers “false hope” and leads to depression and suicide.

Hear that Peterson and Christine? You can shut it all down now. No such thing as ex-gay harm. Glenn Stanton and Bill Maier say so. They wrote a book that says so. A book that was intended to never ever go out of print.

Here’s the point Glenn, disagree as we may, and we do, you know very well that we’re talking about the same form of “otherness” love that you share with your wife.

Again:

to our precious and patient wives […] you help us make sense of life, giving it fullness, perspective, meaning and the sweet mystery of otherness.

If the “otherness” of which you speak, is represented by the “makes sense of life, giving it fullness, perspective, [and] meaning,” then to that extent, gay men are inherently female, and gay women are inherently male.

If that’s the kind of concept that it takes for you to wrap your mind around the understanding that WE believe we can tell the difference between the love we have for our parents and children, or between friends, coworkers, athletes, soldiers, etc., vs the full-on love intensity of communing with life the universe and everything-that we feel with our partners, then by all means, use it to help further solidify your own concept of the integrity our delusion. And then at some point, hopefully, please find the courage to call us idiots to our faces.

By framing the issue as being about marriage, and then putting the word marriage in quotes, as in gay “marriage,” or by saying ‘counterfeit marriage,’ you not only say, but are also able to avoid saying outright, that our love is fake, and that we are all just to stupid to realize it, but your conscience can then also tell you that this is acceptable ethical behavior.

Any confusion at issue here revolves not around any so-called “cultural construct” of same-sex attraction or gender identity, but around how you can think of your objectively-sinful behavior as being Christian in nature.

Soc 101
April 15th, 2008 | LINK

Does anyone see the irony in the fact that heterosexuals are being asked to be tolerant of homosexual views, yet homosexuals are not tolerant of heterosexual views? Hmm seems a little one-sided to me. If in fact you are about tolerance and acceptance for all views regarding sexuality then you should respect the views and opinions of those for heterosexual marriage. One moment you are criticizing those against homosexual marriage for not being tolerant of other people’s personal beliefs and the next minute you are being critical of a man who disagrees with your idea of sexuality and gender. An idea that is the majority no less, I know some may hate the fact that I say majority, but regardless of this fact it is still true. Ephilei thought that Stanton is refusing to use these definitions correctly is false based on the premise that Stanton’s definitions again represent the current thought on the issue. With regards to the comments about majority and minority found throughout the blog postings, the debate is not whether the minority counts but should the minority, less then five percent of the population, be able to interject their limited views on the rest of society? While I agree that society should, “Tolerate” these personal beliefs, the masses should not be forced to accept these beliefs as “Normal”. Normal being defined as Goffman states in his book, Stigma. I enjoy how grantdale calls it a “social war against SS couples” lol that is great. It’s like saying if you defend your beliefs you are a villain on the attack. Remember the idea of SS marriage is the Idea that is on the attack. So naturally the idea of heterosexual marriage is going to defend itself. I guess that makes SS marriage the invaders seeking to rape and pillage the concept of marriage.
Again ephilie it is quite obvious that heterosexuals do not understand homosexuals and vis-à-vis. To quote another bloger… “Frankly, complete boredom.” Again tolerance is not always the best answer. The world tolerated Hitler with Chapman’s “wait and see mindset” and were did that get us. I guess we will have to wait and see.
This is another good one-Popsicle stand

April 4th, 2008 | LINK
I do not understand how Mr. Stanton can both “understand” the accepted differences in definition between sex and gender used by much of the professional community but not “accept” it. The claim is very obvious.
This is easy one can understand the theory behind a debate and reject it as being relevant. Look at any political debate. Many people understand where their opponent is coming from and reject its premise. The harder things to understand is are those who are for SS marriage acceptant of the arguments against it. The argument goes both ways my friend> I cannot believe the debate about interracial marriage was brought up. When was the last time anyone used that… the point is mute and no longer has any value? Lol that was cute. For mr. Popsicle stand- go read any parenting book and it will discuss the many different roles of mother and father, or males and females. The data can be found at your local barns and noble.
I also think it’s great that those for those for SS marriage admit that
“While there aren’t exactly huge numbers of such studies, they do exist, and generally do not suggest that “harm” occurs to the children with respect to the normal measures of socialization.” Proving that they do not get the same relational socialization in SS marriages as in Heterosexual marriages. Thanks “GROG” you make and excellent point. If you would have admitted that in the beginning it would have saved Stanton a lot of time.
Again with Gender, using the definitions that many have cited and quoted there are millions of genders and therefore both arguments from Stanton and Chapman are mute. To quote the office, “lose, lose, lose” no one resolves the conflict.

Thanks SOC 101

TJ McFisty
April 15th, 2008 | LINK

Does anyone see the irony in the fact that heterosexuals are being asked to be tolerant of homosexual views, yet homosexuals are not tolerant of heterosexual views?

Dripping with irony: Gays are to be tolerant of views that would have us shipped off to remote islands, stoned, ignored, or seen as inferior.

Oh, won’t someone think of the irony.

the point is mute and no longer has any value?

BTW, it’s “the point is moot, not mute. Sheesh.

Sorry, I fed the troll, but I’ve got a little sand up in my squeegem today.

Martin Lanigan
April 15th, 2008 | LINK

SOC 101 writes:

“Does anyone see the irony in the fact that heterosexuals are being asked to be tolerant of homosexual views, yet homosexuals are not tolerant of heterosexual views?”

I see no one hear advocating that heterosexuals be denied the right to form marriage relationships.

Heterosexual rights are in no way curtailed by the equal treatment of LGBT people under the law.

Consitituions protect the rights of minorities via the courts, precisely because minority rights should never be subjected to the tyranny of the majority.

I will leave you with a quote from one of your great Presidents:

“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Thomas Jefferson

Soc 101
April 17th, 2008 | LINK

the idea is not one of equal rights, I never mentioned the idea pertainint to SS marriage. What I am stating is that the idea and views of a minority group should not be pressed against the majority group. Again as you say the majority should not repress the minority and the minority should not force its ideas on the majority.

Again the argument goes both ways….
Thanks Martin for giving yet another example showing that the minority indeed actually has more power to press issues then the majority. If the majority is against something they are raciest or non tolerant, but if a majority is for something it has to be accepted only becuase it is from a minority opinion. Why is it wrong for the voice of many to express their ideas and acceptable for the voice of the few to express theirs?

Timothy Kincaid
April 17th, 2008 | LINK

Comment removed by Timothy

Jason D
April 17th, 2008 | LINK

I thought we weren’t feeding the trolls?

Timothy Kincaid
April 17th, 2008 | LINK

Oh that’s right!!

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