mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

All in the family...

I watch Penn and Teller's Bullshit. Sometimes they manage to state exactly what I believe (when they beat on PETA and recycling), sometimes I firmly disagree with them (religion), and sometimes I can't find myself really caring (circumcision, cursing).

They had an episode a while ago on family values that had been sitting on my RePlay for a while. I finally got around to watching it a few days ago during my "use up my personal days" vacation.

The bulk of it was on why they disagreed with conservatives like Michael Medved that the traditional family and marriage was good/necessary/important. Their proof that it was were studies that kids raised by lesbian couples do as well as ones with 2 heterosexual parents, and two examples - a lesbian couple with 2 kids concieved by artificial insemination, and a foursome - a married couple that lived with their girlfriend and boyfriend.

I still tend to think that having a father in a household is a good thing, and gives a little bit of that "diversity" that liberals always love. But it's probably fair to say that a kid raised by two loving, concerned lesians or gays is probably going to come out ok.

But it seemed to me that there was a big elephant in the room that Penn and Teller managed to keep hidden (they are magicians, after all). That is the "nontraditional" family that makes up the bulk of "nontraditional" families - single parent households. The traditional family hasn't been replaced by lesbian couples raising kids - they are a tiny segment of the population, and I don't think people "choose" to be a lesbian couple instead of a heterosexual couple.

No, it's single parent households that make up the bulk of nontraditional families. It would seem fairly intuitive that having two parents (of whatever gender) is going to make kids better off than having one parent, if only from an economic standpoint - two incomes are better than one, and a second parent means more time to spend with the kids in terms of taking care of them, educating them, watching them, and, well, parenting them.

And unlike kids raised by lesbian couples, kids raised by single parents generally are worse off.

This isn't to disparage single parents - stuff happens, and a kid is probably better off with one parent who cares about the kid than a household where one or more parent abuses or neglects the kid. But many women are choosing to be single parents, and I think that is a choice that is contributing to a cycle of inner-city poverty. To not even address this issue on a show about how "traditional families are bullshit" seems like, well, bullshit to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home