UPDATE: The research paper seems to have expired from the FRC web site, but you can see the whole thing here.
- relationship duration
- monogamy vs. promiscuity
- relationship commitment
- number of children being raised
- health risks
- rates of intimate partner violence
Are there really significant differences between the two arrangements? Let’s take a look at the some of the data.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)
Source: 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census
Monogamy vs Promiscuity
Sources:Laumann, The Social Organization of Sexuality, 216; McWhirter and Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (1984): 252-253; Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex,” 170.
Rates of intimate partner violence
Sources: “Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,” U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: 30; “Intimate Partner Violence,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report:11.
Marriage is a relationship that has a specific purpose. That purpose is to bind together two opposite natures and to produce children that are biologically linked to the parents. The children gain the benefits of being parented by the two different natures, so they get two perspectives. The fact that the children are genetically linked to two parents helps to ensure the stability of the commitment, as we see in the animal kingdom where animals protect their young.
The goal of marriage is not to increase the happiness of the adults, or to “recognize” the love of adults. The goal of marriage is have two people enter into a relationship where they understand that it is not about adults being fulfilled. Marriage is about people having a goal of raising children, which are tremendously stressful to raise. Marriage requires self-denial and sacrifice in order to raise those children – that is the main point of it. It also requires fidelity and chastity, so that the environment is kept stable for the children over a long period of time.
Children benefit from the stability that is more common in traditional marriages than it is in other arrangements, including heterosexual co-habitation which is similarly unstable (50% greater chance of divorce, more domestic violence, etc.). Therefore, it is important to keep the concept of marriage separate from other kinds of relationships so that the focus on commitment for the sake of the children is clear to those who contemplate marriage. Society needs to give special recognition to married couples, in view of their child-focused commitment.
I apologize in advance if this post causes anyone any harm or distress, I am just trying to explain why people have that opinion. They could be wrong, but that is the case they make. Obviously, married couples fall short of the goal, but that is their goal.
Two much bigger challenges to marriage are big-government socialism and especially no-fault divorce. I also wrote about same-sex marriage and co-habitation before, in the context of European states like Sweden and Norway.
You may also be interested in a recent post about whether homosexuality is caused by a “gay gene”.