Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Study Erases Women's Reality

Billy Hallowell cites a study comparing adults who grew up in "same-sex homes" with adults who grew up in "intact (biological) families." Naturally, the adults who had the benefit of a healthy relationship with both of their natural parents are doing better in every way.

What's wrong with the study? It completely erases the reality of "same-sex homes" in which one, two, or more women (often relatives) share the care of fatherless children, by lumping this kind of family together with "lesbian homes," in which women who are not relatives, who have dedicated themselves to making statements against the family structure, share the care of fatherless children.

There are obvious reasons why it can be hard to separate these two types of families for the purpose of sociological study. Women who are, in fact, lesbians may have convinced their children or foster children that they were some sort of distant relatives; in some communities that may have been the only way they could keep custody of those children. And these days, in some other communities, women who are in fact nonsexual may be getting the benefits of affirmative action efforts on behalf of lesbians.

Still, it would have been nice to have seen some recognition of the "family" in which another woman and I dated men, fostered a teenager, and sometimes double-dated with our "daughter." Or the "family" in which my mother and sister are bringing up the nephews. I'm guessing that a large-scale study would find that this kind of same-sex family is more likely to have suffered from poverty (women still earn less money than men) and health issues (this kind of family often forms after the father dies), but less likely to have suffered from socioemotional problems than a lesbian family. That's only a guess...but I'd like to see the statistics.