Little Zhuangzhuang, a newborn elephant at a wildlife refuge in China, was inconsolable after his mother rejected him and then tried to stomp him to death.
Tears streamed down his gray trunk for five hours as zookeepers struggled to comfort the baby elephant.
They initially thought it was an accident when the mom stepped on him after giving birth, according to the Central European News agency.
Employees removed him, cleaned him up and treated his injuries, then reunited the baby with his momma.
But she was having none of it, and began stomping him again.
So the game keepers stepped in once more and permanently separated the two.
“We don’t know why the mother turned on her calf but we couldn’t take a chance,” an employee told CEN.
“The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled,” he said.
“He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him.”
The petite pachyderm, born in August, is now doing well. The zookeeper who rescued him from his violent mother adopted him and helped him thrive at the Shendiaoshan wild animal reserve in Rong-cheng, China.
I found another photo of the baby elephant here:
So, in this post, I wanted to take about the duty that parents have to their children.
I guess a lot of my views on ethics are rooted in the obvious needs that children have. When I look at an unborn baby, I can tell what it needs. So, I am careful not to cause a pregnancy before I can supply its needs. The needs of the little unborn creature are driving these moral boundaries on me. And the same with born children. I oppose gay marriage because when I look at little children, I want them to have a stable environment to grow up in with a mother and father who are biologically related to them (in the best case). I permit lots of arrangements, but I promote one arrangement over the others because that’s what’s best for children. Anyone can look at unborn and born children and see that, just like anyone can look at a crying baby elephant and understand – “I have to govern my behavior so that I don’t hurt you”. If that means cutting off the premarital sex and making decisions that are likely to produce a stable marriage, then that’s what we should do.
Children cry too, you know. They cry when we hurt them. They cry when we make bad decisions and when we don’t provide them with what they need. Children need mothers and fathers who care about them. Making a safe environment for a child isn’t an accident. It isn’t random and unpredictable. We have to control our desires before we have children, so that we provide children with what they need. It would be nice if men and women were more thoughtful and unselfish about children and marriage before they started in with sex.
Whenever I debate a controversial issue, I like to go straight to the studies in order to let the evidence speak for itself. Although it’s difficult to convince someone on the opposite side to change their mind, usually people in the middle will side with the person who has evidence, instead of the person who is crying the loudest and telling anecdotal stories that may or may even not be true.
A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.
There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.
Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.
While in the US Census same-sex households have to be guessed at based on the gender and number of self-reported heads-of-household, young adults in the Canadian census were asked, “Are you the child of a male or female same-sex married or common law couple?” While study author and economist Douglas Allen noted that very many children in Canada who live with a gay or lesbian parent are actually living with a single mother—a finding consonant with that detected in the 2012 New Family Structures Study—he was able to isolate and analyze hundreds of children living with a gay or lesbian couple (either married or in a “common law” relationship akin to cohabitation).
So the study is able to compare—side by side—the young-adult children of same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, as well as children growing up in single-parent homes and other types of households. Three key findings stood out to Allen:
children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.
Employing regression models and series of control variables, Allen concludes that the substandard performance cannot be attributed to lower school attendance or the more modest education of gay or lesbian parents. Indeed, same-sex parents were characterized by higher levels of education, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school than even those of married, opposite-sex couples. And yet their children are notably more likely to lag in finishing their own schooling.
[…]The truly unique aspect of Allen’s study, however, may be its ability to distinguish gender-specific effects of same-sex households on children. He writes:
the particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation. Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes.
Thus although the children of same-sex couples fare worse overall, the disparity is unequally shared, but is instead based on the combination of the gender of child and gender of parents. Boys fare better—that is, they’re more likely to have finished high school—in gay households than in lesbian households. For girls, the opposite is true. Thus the study undermines not only claims about “no differences” but also assertions that moms and dads are interchangeable. They’re not.
With a little digging, I found the abstract of the study:
Almost all studies of same-sex parenting have concluded there is “no difference” in a range of outcome measures for children who live in a household with same-sex parents compared to children living with married opposite-sex parents. Recently, some work based on the US census has suggested otherwise, but those studies have considerable drawbacks. Here, a 20% sample of the 2006 Canada census is used to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.
The author of the study is a professor of economics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. His PhD in economics is from the University of Washington. A previous study had shown that gay relationships typically have far more instability (they last for more shorter times). That’s not good for children either. Another study featured in the Atlantic talked about how gay relationships have much higher rates of domestic violence. That’s not good for children either. So we have three reasons to think that normalizing gay relationships as “marriage” would not be good for children.
The reason I am posting this is because I want people to understand why social conservatives like me propose these laws defining and promoting marriage. We do favor natural marriage for the same reason that we oppose no-fault divorce, and for the same reason why we oppose welfare for single mothers (it encourages single motherhood). We don’t want to encourage people to deprive children of their mother or their father. We look at the research, and we decide that children need their mother and father. Given the choice between the needs of the child and restraining the freedom of the adults, we prefer the child’s need for her mother and father. It’s not just arbitrary rules, there is a reason behind the rules.
But children are not commodities. They have certain needs right out of the box. Adults should NOT be thinking about how to duct-tape a child onto any old relationship that doesn’t offer the same safety and stability that opposite sex marriage offers. We should be passing laws to strengthen marriage in order to protect children, not to weaken it. Libertarians don’t want to do that, because they want adults to be free to do as they please, at the expense of children. Libertarians think that the adults should be able to negotiate private contracts and have no obligations to any children who are present, or who may be present later.
Justin hosts a discussion between Mara Clarke of the Abortion Support Network and Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Instititute. Mara believes women should decide whether to terminate a pregnancy, but Scott says that all depends on whether we are dealing with a human life in the womb.
Klusendorf: no justification for abortion is necessary if the unborn are not human
Klusendorf: we need to address the issue “what is the unborn?” Are the unborn human?
Klusendorf: SLED: size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency
Klusendorf: None of these things affect the value of a human being
Klusendorf: Even if we don’t KNOW whether the unborn is human
Mara: I’m not going to debate when life begins
Mara: Women know when life begins by feelings
Mara: The moral decision is “whether I can take care of this child?”
Brierley: When is an unborn being human?
Mara: I refuse to debate that – the real question is whether women want their babies or not
Mara: Forced pregnancy is not OK
Brierley: Could your justification for abortion (not wanting to care for a child) work through all 9 months?
Mara: Late term abortions are rare, so I don’t have to answer that question
Mara: Abortion should be OK through all 9 months of pregnancy because women cannot be restricted
Mara: Some women are poor, they need to be able to kill expensive babies at any time
Klusendorf: although she says she won’t debate the unborn, she does take a position
Klusendorf: she assumes the unborn is not human, because she says that insufficient funds is justification for abortion
Klusendorf: no one argues that you can kill a two year old because they cost money, because she thinks they are human
Klusendorf: she is begging the question by assuming the unborn are not human, but that is the issue we must resolve
Klusendorf: I am pro-choice on many other things, e.g. women choosing their own husbands, religion, etc.
Klusendorf: Some choices are wrong – Mara might be right, but she needs to make the case for the unborn not being human
Brierley: What is your reason for thinking that an unborn child is different from a 2-year old?
Mara: An unborn child is not the same as a 2-year old, in my personal opinion
Mara: I am not a debater, so I don’t have to provide reasoning for my assertion, I just feel it
Mara: Not everybody agrees with Scott, they don’t have to have a rational argument, they just need to feel differently
Mara: From my experience, when a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, then she should be able to not be pregnant
Mara: Women shouldn’t be punished with a baby that she doesn’t want, even if she chooses to have recreational sex
Brierley: What do you think of women who think the unborn is human and do it anyway?
Klusendorf: It’s interesting that they never kill their toddlers for those reasons
Klusendorf: I layed out scientific and philosophical reasons for the humanity of the unborn
Klusendorf: Her response was “but some people disagree with you”
Klusendorf: People disagreed about whether slavery was wrong, or whether women should be able to vote
Klusendorf: that doesn’t mean there is no right answer – the right answer depends on the arguments
Klusendorf: if absence of agreement makes a view false, then it makes HER pro-choice view false as well
Klusendorf: she did make an argument for the unborn child having no rights because of the location
Klusendorf: she needs to explain to us why location matters – what about location confers value
Mara: I’m not going to let Scott frame my debate for me!!!
Mara: women get pregnant and they don’t want their babies! should we put them in jail!!!!
Klusendorf: I didn’t just give my opinion, I had science and philosophy, the issue is “what is the unborn?”
Mara: philosophical and scientific debates are unimportant, I am an expert in real women’s lives
Klusendorf: Which women? Women in the womb or only those outside the womb?
Mara: Only those outside the womb
Klusendorf: Only those outside the womb?
Mara: Women living outside the womb have a right to kill women inside the womb – women have bodily autonomy
Klusendorf: then does a pregnant woman with nausea have a right to take a drug for it that will harm her unborn child?
Mara: Unborn children are only valuable if they are wanted, unborn children only deserve protection if they are wanted
Mara: There are restrictions on abortion – you can’t get an abortion through all nine months in the US
Mara: There is a 24-week limit in the UK as well
Klusendorf: There are no restrictions on abortion that conflict with “a woman’s health” because Supreme Court said
Mara: where are these late term abortion clinics?
Klusendorf: (he names two)
Mara: that’s not enough!!! we need more! where is there one in Pennsylvania?
Klusendorf: well, there used to be Gosnell’s clinic in Pennsylvania, and you could even get an infanticide there….
Brierley: What about Dawkins’ view that it is moral to abort Down’s Syndrome babies?
Klusendorf: he is ignoring the scientific case and philosophical case for the pro-life
Klusendorf: the pro-life view is a true basis for human equality
What I wanted Scott to ask was whether sex-selection abortions were OK with her. Since her reasoning is “if it’s unwanted, it has no rights”, then that would mean sex-selection abortions are just fine. That’s what a UK abortion expert recently argued. And I also posted recently about how sex-selection abortions are not prosecuted in the UK. If you’re looking for a war on women, there it is.