A new type of family?  Prove it works first

by Dr Philip G Ney FRCP(C) MA RPsych & Paul Moynan

In the political, social, media, and judicial drive to change the definition of marriage, public opinion is being guided by sound bites, talk of equality and a compassion for those they know who have same sex attraction.  What too few are doing, is asking ‘Does it work?’In all the places this has been tried, we should ask if there is any evidence that anyone is happier, lives longer, makes better families, and that it is good for the economy.  Because if there is no evidence of benefit from all the countries where it has been tried, why would we want another uncontrolled experiment where innocent people are the unsuspecting, non-consenting guinea-pigs?

For all of human civilisation, in every culture, heterosexual mating has been the building block, for procreation, social stability and success.  The basic unit is a multi-factor pair bond that forms during heterosexual intercourse. In almost all instances thisbiological and psychological bond wasreinforced through a faithfully kept, mutual commitmentof the couple.It was ratified and solemnized by public declaration and religious blessing.  Everywhere this was recognised as producing the best environment in which to raise children. Because it has always worked best, it became the sole institution of marriage.

In all of recorded history, this is first time there has been a proposition to legally recognize and institutionalize a new family unit, named a“same-sex couple”.  A few people are seeking to overturn laws (and moral codes) that define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Without justification or evidence of benefit, they want to replace the ancient and honourable state of marriage with what they call ‘equal marriage’, where two men, or two women can form a similar contract with the same honour,obligations and rights which we have always known as marriage but without the pair bond that holds everything together. Logically it won’t work and the proponents are not bothering to convince people with any evidence it will.

Answering the Questions

In considering their demands we can leave aside religious, moral, and political arguments, and focus entirely on the pragmatic and utilitarian aspects i.e. is this thing efficient and effective?Does it give the best consequences for the largest number? For the sake of everyone present and future, we must ask:

  1. Where is the proof that this is good for individuals of all sexual orientations?
  2. Are they happier and healthier?
  3. Do they live longer?
  4. Do they successfully raise happier, more productive young citizens?
  5. Is the consequent health budget bigger or smaller?
  6. What is the take-up of forming a same sex couple in countries where it is legalised?
  7. What is the same-sex couples’ divorce rate?
  8. What is the cost of changing the bureaucracy in every country that adopts this change? What is economic cost for changes in the taxation laws being applicable?
  9. How will employers, public sector industry and others be obliged to provide for those having transsexual lifestyles? What are the economic costs of providing extra washrooms, changing rooms,etc for women wanting to be treated as men, and vice versa?
  10. What is the impact on the housing market, as new couples are being formalised?
  11. How are these new arrangements to be registered, when not universally accepted across all national borders? How will bigamy or polygamy be prevented?
  12. If a union is to be created based solely on expressions of affection, what is to stop this being limited to just two people – why not three or more? And why not embracing other objects of affection, including pets, machines and possessions? After all many people love their automobile.
  13. If such an arrangement will be formalised for a same sex couple, why not give the same rights to same sex siblings, committed to one another for life, sharing possessions, care etc? Why should a sexual relationship be the defining factor?
  14. But ultimately, is it beneficial to our society?

Before such a dramatic shift should even be contemplated the proponents must provide solid evidence that this will increase our eudemonia (flourishing) as a culture. The data is basic and not hard to obtain using public health, social and economicrecords, before and after studies in countries where this has been tried.It is their obligation to conduct research into the benefits for children, and their children.  You and I must keep asking them, “Where is the evidence?”. “Where is your evidence that this is good for any individual or for the country or any country?”.They should examine the health of those living a homosexual lifestyle and compare it to those of heterosexuals.  Ultimately, will this change benefit us?

Burden of Proof

In science, medicine, engineering or industry, the proponents of something new must shoulder the burden to prove that a new idea or design is better or more effective or more efficient than what it replaces. This pragmatic attitude has made it possible for new treatments to be introduced to the public, but only when it has been carefully tried on animals and then on a small willing sample of patients. This “show me how well it works first” attitude has permitted the gradual development of new aircraft, ships, trains, skyscrapers, and automobile engines. Pragmatism insists that well before the new idea is foisted on the general public, its loudest and most insistent supporters must stop shouting “Can’t you see it is much better” or “It’s our fundamental right”, and get on with demonstrating how it is an improvement, when and where it can be safely implemented, how much time and money it will take,and most importantly, how will it affect the honest average person and their descendants well into the future.

People have rightly been suspicious of those who loudly claim their idea or machine or medicine is much better but don’t bother to spend their time and money researching the whole range of effects and ramifications. Have we forgotten the frequent county fair scenes at which the man standing on the back of his wagon with a fair damsel at his side, tried to convince everyone his purple potion would most assuredly grow hair on the elderly, balding gentlemen in the crowd?“Hey mister, ifit’s so good why haven’t you tried it on your poor old horse. He certainly is losing hair”. “How can we be sure we won’t grow purple hair the same colour as the stuff in your bottle?”.

The good natured taunting was not without its benefit. It made sure our time and attention was not wasted on anything that didn’t have some evidence of benefit. It also ensured nobody was poisoned and nobody wastes their ‘sweat of my brow’ meagre earnings on buying a share in the company. Crowds have often been mesmerized and honest patrons conned, but gradually society has made policies of this root idea, “Prove it mate”. No longer must a desperately sick person first give a little of the new medication to the cat to see if it screams in agony or curls up and dies. We can with a fair degree of confidence be sure the new aircraft will fly, the new soap won’t turn everything pink, and the lovely meal served to us in a fancy restaurant won’t result in paroxysms of diarrhoea. All these safeguards are applied, except to new legislation. Surely this is daft. The one activity that affects more people, doesn’t need to have proof of effect and safety?

It is a very sad day when society is pushed this way and that, not by pragmatics, but by whoever can scream the loudest, “ITS MY RIGHT” and“SINCE IT IS MY RIGHT, IT IS YOUR DUTY TO GRANT ME WHAT I DEMAND EVEN IF THAT DOES YOU HARM”.

This ploy has become so effective, that it is taught to all who want to change society to suit themselves. Surely it is time, wiser people shouted back, “NO WAY! NOT UNTIL YOU PROVE WHAT YOU DEMAND IS BENEFICIAL AND SAFE FOR US ALL”.

You can be quite sure you will get an arrogant or ignorant response. Why? Because they have not done the basic research and pilot projects. They just think their idea is hot and good for them and their friends. They don’t really care about people or they would be the first to ensure that what they are promoting is worthy of your consideration: “Here it is. Here is the basic research. Here is scientifically significant data from a small sample and from other countries. We can try it here on one of our cities first”.

Since the idea of same sex marriage (it isn’t new) has now been tried in a number of countries, let us learn from their experience. How did they do it? How did it affect marriages? Were their children better at international athletic and scholarly competition? Was their average life span longer?Was more or less money spent on health care? It isn’t sufficient to show it is asgood. There must be evidence that it is better.And beware of those that make others feel sorry for themselves. Historically these unsuspecting “sheep” soon become cannon fodder as the leaders struggle for more money and power.

Biochemical basis for pair bonding.

There are 7 factors that ensure a couple is bonded so well the children can count on having the same parents for the rest of their lives. This confidence allows them to mature and become independent with maximum self-confidence.

By far the most important component of pair bonding is the exchange of hormones that occurs during vaginal intercourse. The vagina is lined with stratified squamous epithelium that allows and enhances an active transport mechanism which within 30 minutes picks up the hormones and nutrients of her husband’s ejaculate. Semen contains a mixture of male and female hormones that in the wife’s blood stream helps regulate her moods and sustain her health. Like-wise the oestrogens’ in her vaginal secretions are absorbed by the same kind of skin covering the penis. Since oestrogenshave a quieting effect on males it helps explain why men tend to fall asleep following satisfactory sex.

By contrast, the anus is lined by single cell columnar epithelium which is fragile and does not absorb hormones. It often breaks and bleeds when there is abrasive activity, as in anal intercourse. The semen has an immune-suppressive agent to protect the sperm from a hostile immune reaction by the vagina. In the anus this agent tends to suppress a normal reaction to the foreign proteins in the ejaculate. The combination of mucous, blood and suppressed immune response is ideal for the growth of bacteria and viruses. This helps explain why HIV, venereal diseases and tumours occur significantly more frequently with anal compared to vaginal intercourse. Since it isn’t possible for any man to know 100% for sure he will not transmit the HIV virus; and since 3% of condoms leak to the tiny HIV virus; and since in the heat of sex, condoms are not worn well, the recipient partner cannot relax assured he/she is safe during anal intercourse.

The combination of exchanging vital hormones, extreme pleasure of orgasms and intimate communication, work together to cement a heterosexual pair bond like nothing else on earth. The best scientific evidence shows that vaginal intercourse promotes health, happiness, a resilient bond of mother and father that children can count on and a longer life for both husband and wife. Anal intercourse does just the opposite.

Homosexual marriage doesn’t work

Child-rearing

Across the board child research affirms the short and long term benefits from having children raised by their own father and mother.  When this ideal was not possible the next best thing was adoption, fostering, well run orphanages and single parenting, but always affirming that this is making the best job of a non-ideal situation.  We rightly frown on (or prosecute) parents who would willingly give their children away to be raised by others, when they themselves have the prime qualities necessary.

Research has clearly demonstrated that:

  1. neglect of children is more damaging, and its effects longer lasting than abuse.
  2. neglect occurs when a child is deprived of what they need in constructing the person that they were designed to become.
  3. because their natural parents share their children’s genetic and constitutional make-up, they are in a much better position to know and thus meet the individual needs of their very different children.
  4. children whose needs are met are much more content and less enviously rivalrous than those who must vainly hope their needs will be met by someone who doesn’t know who they really are.
  5. parentinfant bonding is necessary for a safe and emotionally healthy environment. Bonding begins is utero and develops in both parents before the child is born.
  6. bonding also develops during breast feeding with the mother and with the father during his holding and protecting his wife while she is nurturing her children.
  7. the sexual hormones of a young infant are undifferentiated. They become differentiated during play and learning what is typical of one sex or the other.
  8. those children who have one or more aborted siblings (whether or not they are told of this) have high levels of existential guilt and ambiguous identity, including sexual identity confusion. If they are not guided into definite sexual identities in early adolescence, abortion survivors are easily persuaded they are the opposite sex or are transsexual when the genetic and external sexual characteristics indicate they are clearly one or the other sex.

By definition a same sex couple cannot produce their own children, nor act as both mother and father to their adopted children.  For mature socialisation children need the masculine and feminine input uniquely available in their parents.

In order for a same sex couple to have children in any way biologically related to them, society must sponsor a very risky, expensive and statistically unsuccessful IVF industry, always involving donor gametes.  So from outset, any children successfully conceived have DNA from an unrelated adult (either known or anonymous), creating tensions within the couple as only one partner is the biological parent.  It is an elitist practice, either for the individuals who can afford it, or for the society which collectively foots the bill.  By contrast, children born without assistance to heterosexual couples are conceived without any financial cost; and intrinsically belong to their family, genetically connected to parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.

As they have been carefully nurtured and protected, these children will tend to care for their parents in the same loving manner. The better aged and infirm parents are cared for by their children, the less the cost to the state. As naturally bonded children have parents who better understood their needs, so these children will better understand the needs of elderly parents, especially for respect and gentle tolerance.

Demographically Infertile

While the myth of world overpopulation is peddled in cinemas, school classrooms, and the mass media, it is incontrovertible that while the global population is growing for now, it is not because of the excessive birth of babies, but because medical advances are extending our lifespans and present governments are capable of providing for care of an increasing number of relatively helpless people.  Global population will peak in the next century, but will then start to dramatically fall because the next generation of parents will be significantly fewer in number.  This human ecological crisis is already coming close to the point of being irreversible.  Europe’s population (like much of the developed world) is not being replaced by the birth of babies – it relies on immigration to boost its falling numbers.  Requiring a birth rate of 2.1 children per woman to replace the population, countries like Italy and Japan are only having 1.3 children per woman.  Consequently, the exponential decline in population is making it impossible to run a free market economy. This effect is being felt most acutely by Germany, Japan and Italy but it is also slowing the growth of China’s economy.

Into this decline, some people seek to promote the endorsement of the new same sex arrangement, which by definition cannot reproduce.  No naturally born children can be raised to contribute to society, to pay taxes to ease the burden of an aging population, to discover a cure for HIV/AIDS or cancer.  Instead of encouraging the birth of new citizens in our world, a move like this worsens the problem.

Health Matters

Suicide rates among homosexuals are five times higher than among the heterosexual community.[1]Intravenous drug use and homosexual/bisexual behaviour are linked to a higher rate of HIV/AIDS infection. [2] Infection rates of other STDs are very high among those who engage in homosexual or bisexual behaviour.  The latter group have a propensity to spread their infection further and their promiscuity plays a deadly role.  In their 2010 studyWang et al showed that 75% of men having sex with men(MSM)were promiscuous; and with low rates of consistent condom use,and many also having sex with women, the serious health risks are not being confined to gay communities. One of the most recent “outbreaks” of illness among gays is ocular syphilis. It has mutated and become very difficult to treat.

It would be interesting to know the health care costs of those engaging in dangerous same sex practices compared to a faithful married couple.  It is one calculation that must be done by government revenue departments before any legislative or legal body endorses same-sex unions.

So why is it being pushed?

With a lack of evidence to show the success, longevity and health benefits of a homosexual lifestyle, we must ask why it is being promoted as ‘progressive’.  What is so new or better about gay life styles?  The onus for proof remains on the proponents, not on those seeking to defend marriage.

Same sex attraction and homosexual behaviour affects a small proportion of the population (estimates range around 1-2% of the population).  Same-sexcoupling is therefore not a democratic push by a majority of society. It seems many people think they are intelligent if they are tolerant. Since they have become accustomed to being cared for, they forget the necessity to prove benefit before anything new is considered.

The mass media has become saturated with gay issues, presenters, viewpoints, and stereotypical diatribe; such that it appears that gay marriage is a pressing issue for everyone.

Political correctness has tried to ridicule, prosecute and silence anyone who dare question the efficacy of promoting homosexual relationships; equality has been repackaged so that racism and homophobia are put on a par.  It clearly makes no honest sense to equate prejudice shown to someone for the colour of their skin, or their ethnic background, to the behaviour and opinions of someone wanting to redesign marriage and family for everyone.  The fight against racism places the person’s inherent worth on an equal footing; the struggle for LGBT rights demands the endorsement and promotion of harmful sexual practices in our schools, governments, courts, churches, places of work, minds and bedrooms.

At the risk of being pilloried with all manner of judgemental and intolerant labels, I would like to see the evidence that this dramatic change is good for anyone.  Then I can recommend it to my children.

[1]Portner, J. & Jessica Portner 2000, “Homosexual students: A group particularly vulnerable to suicide”, Education week, vol. 19, no. 32, pp. 32

[2]Wang, Q., Chen, X., Yin, Y., Liang, G., Jiang, N., Dai, T., Huan, X., Yang, B., Liu, Q., Zhou, Y. & Wang, B. 2011, “HIV/STD pattern and its associated risk factors among male STD clinic attendees in China: a foci for HIV intervention”, BMC public health, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 955-955

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