News24

The benefits of being raised by a gay family

2013-01-10 08:50

Georgina Guedes

An article published by the Sunday Times this week has various commentators spitting mad because journalist Stephen Mulholland concluded that being raised by gay parents is better than growing up in a children's home, but still not desirable. He called on heterosexual parents to instruct their children on this fact.

I'm a bit late with my response - my column being published on Thursday - but I would like to add my voice to the call for parents to educate their children that being raised by homosexuals is no hardship and will, in fact, probably deliver some life benefits.

These children are wanted

In the first instance, male gay couples (or singles) that choose to raise children will have had to face quite a few challenges in getting their hands on children to raise in the first place. They will either have had spent a fair bit of money on surrogacy, had a friend who had enough faith in their parenting abilities to bear a child for them, or subjected themselves to the scrutiny of social workers as they went through the rigorous screening process for adoption.

While it may be a little easier for lesbians than gay men, the chances of accidental or unwanted pregnancies are still extremely low. The bottom line - if a gay family is raising a child, chances are that that child was desperately wanted in the first place.

Because gay couples are less likely to be shackled by societal expectations, they're also more likely to have established themselves financially before bringing a child into their family. Well-meaning aunts are far less likely to grill them on when their children will be making an appearance, which makes it a decision that they come to on their own, when they truly feel ready.

Raise them right

Once the children are under their roof, gay couples are also far more likely to raise them as open-minded and caring individuals. Coming from a family that isn't the norm will probably make those children thoughtful, considerate and supportive of others, rather than stuck in any conventional notions of how things should be.

Gay rights advocates often use the slogan "hate is not a family value" in support of their cause. There's no risk of hate and bigotry being channelled down into the children of homosexuals.

Their children also won't have any gender stereotypes dished up with their morning cereal. Mum won't be ironing socks while dad chugs beer in front of the rugby. These children will be free to define their own sexuality and roles in society without the weight of gender expectation weighing down on them.

Heteros are OK too

Of course, I'm not saying that all children raised by heterosexual couples are unwanted, bigoted, repressed and unintelligent. I hope not - I'm raising two with my husband myself. But I am saying that while heterosexual parenting may be the norm, the alternative is assuredly not undesirable, and I most certainly won’t be teaching my children that, thank you very much.

In fact, were my husband and I and our entire family support structure to be obliterated in a freak fireball, I would prefer my children to be raised by a gay couple than by any straight parents who agree with Mr Mulholland.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer, editor and trainer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

Send your comments to Georgina

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.



Comments
  • brian.trudgeon - 2013-01-10 09:11

    A lovely well thought out piece. Thank you Georgina.

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-10 12:10

      Sigh,... so politically correct it's painful.

      juannepierre - 2013-01-11 06:08

      As a gay guy I don't want kids, don't want that boring, straight version of a life. Yawn. So I agree with the article, the few gays that do want kids are far better parents than a child raised by two straight teenagers whose pregnancy was a mistake. Why? In the first case the child is wanted, the second, the child is a burden.

  • salvador - 2013-01-10 09:40

    Theories being mulled over and discussed by adults. Wonder what the children think, especially as they become adolescents and adults themselves. Almost like they are the guinea pigs in grandiose ideas.

      tc.convulvulous - 2013-01-10 10:02

      ..and, when the paw-paw hits the fan, the liberel, politcally-correct theorists are gone, nowhere to be seen, blaming some other cause for the mess that they preached. Just look around us at the state of this country!

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-10 10:19

      Here's what the Children think! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q

      morgaenart.farto - 2013-01-11 15:40

      mmm it is gays doing the buggering, eh Gaytheitis?

  • tc.convulvulous - 2013-01-10 09:58

    It really looks like we have lost our way! No appreciation for right/wrong/values/standards.

      Doorboot - 2013-01-10 11:44

      @ atheist so you are not brainwashed? Your high priest Dawkins has no sway over you? Mate you are just a troll.

      gemma.vandermerwe - 2013-01-11 14:49

      @Doorboot Just how ignorant are you??? You are one to talk since your religion allows only a limited amount of scripts to "sway you".

  • sattva.scrabbler - 2013-01-10 10:08

    I agree with you 100% !

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-01-10 14:30

      Me too, except the bit about having beer for breakfast. Everyone knows that spirits are much better early in the morning.

  • sue.r.byronmoore - 2013-01-10 10:19

    Well stated Georgina - and exactly so. Many heterosexual parents could learn from gay couples, who, more often than not, are quite simply much kinder to each other.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2013-01-10 12:20

      LOL and the down thumbs just support that exact idea.

      gary.landman - 2013-01-10 17:27

      Are you seriously implying that hetero couples are less kind to each other? I am daily astonished at the crass stupidity of some comments. "Sorry Sweetheart, in an effort to be nicer to you , I am going to start looking at other men!" My wife is going to be sooo happy! ...or is that gay? Oh yes , gay means happy, therefore if you are gay you must be very happy...

      oistar.tutu.9 - 2013-01-10 18:24

      Howzit Gary> Your 'boerish' comment makes me think that you are the type that gives your wife a klap now and then to get her right, is it not?

  • salvador - 2013-01-10 10:20

    In previous articles this author has seemed to have a problem with gender characteristics and roles and would probably like to subsume them into something androgenous, and then just take the children along for the ride.

      thando.gqabaza - 2013-01-10 11:40

      But you atheists use big scientific words to undermine the religious all the time here

      Doorboot - 2013-01-10 11:45

      Thando atheist is just a hypocrite that has been brainwashed by his high priest Dawkins.

      chris.shield - 2013-01-10 11:59

      That would be the best thing that could happen to the world! Gender roles in society are no different to what Bantu education was under apartheid, you're teaching young brains that "You look like this so you can only do that, he looks like that so he can't do this" It's all BS!

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-11 08:22

      Atheitis = troll

  • yusuf.patel.9822 - 2013-01-10 10:43

    Contrary to most of the comments agreeing with Georgina . Her article has no factual case study proving her case and is based on opinion and emotion.

      brian.trudgeon - 2013-01-10 11:01

      Feel free to cite a single study that proves anything contrary to what Georgina said. I suspect you will be at a loss to.

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-10 11:11

      Why don't you ask Zach Wahls... He seems like a pretty good case study. He seems like a well adjusted individual.

      koo.doyle - 2013-01-10 12:17

      Her case is based on common sense, which you are clearly lacking.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 12:36

      Studies into gay parenting have been done. That is why people can say with confidence that there isnt anything to fear from the idea of gay parenting. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/study-gay-adoptive-parents-make-great-adoptive-parents/263893/ http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 12:37

      "Does parental sexual orientation have an important impact on child or adolescent development? Results of recent research provide no evidence that it does. In fact, the ?ndings suggest that parental sexual orientation is less important than the qualities of family relationships" http://cms.bsu.edu/-/media/WWW/DepartmentalContent/CounselingCenter/PDFs/SAFEZONE%20Resources/Children%20of%20gays%20and%20Lesbians.pdf

      hannesenbrianda - 2013-01-10 21:55

      Brian. I have read widely on this topic and has found articles on both sides of the argument. What I did find was that as soon as an academic publish an article that are negative to homosexuals that these authors were branded as homophobic. It is clear to me that there cannot be a mature academic debate on this issue while contrary arguments are not allowed. So on the balance I still do not think that homosexuals have proven their case yet that children growing up in homosexual relationships are on par with children growing up with their biological parents in a stable relationships.. There is enough pressures in society to make me expect that children from homosexual couples may find it more difficult in life so the burden of proof is with homosexuals. Specifically I would like to see long term studies, not limited case studies, on outcomes such as physical conditions, cognitive and intellectual development and emotional stability. The studies that I have read indicates that children that grows up with biological parents in long term relationships tend to do the best on all of these criteria. While homosexuals continue to play the man and not the ball (no pun intended), this debate will not mature.

  • gus.fernandes.7 - 2013-01-10 11:21

    Stephen Mulholland is one of SAs best journalists-comentators and I agree with him. "Normal" families have enough challenges raising children without having their kids teased by their peers. Would Ms Guedes have been happy to have been raised by 2 gays?

      brian.trudgeon - 2013-01-10 11:33

      If you actually read what Georgina wrote, you would know how she would feel about been raised by two gays. She would rather her own kids be raised by gay parents than a bigot who agrees with Stephen Mulholland.

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-10 12:14

      Actually, having grown up being bullied, for a number of reasons, one of them being that I was gay, I think I could equip any child I was bringing up with the emotional intelligence to deal with such behaviour. The problem lies with society, not the notion that the child of a same sex family will be teased more. Remove the stigma from society, problem solved!

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 12:39

      There is no such thing as "normal" families. All families are different.

  • Ntebogeng.Malele - 2013-01-10 11:32

    The subtle deception promoted as a benefit by the author. One has to wonder what is taught in such a home when it comes to sex education/reproduction.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 12:44

      Gay parents are equipped the same as straight parents to teach kids about sex. Like how to protect themselves and the emotional consequences. I do think gay parents are more likely to make the effort in the first place and not try enforce gender or orientation stereotypes on their children.

      juannepierre - 2013-01-11 05:53

      As if gays are taught how to be be gay. Get a clue... You do realize gay kids were raised by straight parents? In fact so was Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and Eugene terblanche.

  • Doorboot - 2013-01-10 11:42

    It is a pity that people categorize themselves based on sexual preference and orientation rather than attributes that actually counts such as emotionally stable, financially capable. I do not walk around thinking of myself as being hetro or gay but rather as a good father and a loving husband. My point is that it does not matter what you feel attracted to (unless you are a pedophile etc) but rather what your values hold dear. If you are comfortable to have children being raised by Gay Pride participants or nudists or Christians then ask yourself is it good for the child.

  • markallenrsa - 2013-01-10 13:01

    Absolute rubbish. people who can make babies together are meant by nature to raise them. This even happens with animals. I am not saying that they get it right all the time, but it obviously gets reported more when they get it wrong due to the much higher %. We have distorted the whole thing..

      oistar.tutu.9 - 2013-01-10 18:31

      only 5% of the animals stick with their partners after mating you narrow-minded hill-billie

      matt.jordan.144 - 2013-01-18 13:46

      What about men or woman who cant't biologically have children?Should they not be able to adopt and raise kids? And just because you can make a baby, that DOES NOT mean you should. Some people are horrible parents, and they just shouldn't have them in the first place. Your comment makes no sense.

  • kylecorreiadearaujo - 2013-01-10 13:18

    Excellent Article!

  • chris.stuart.332 - 2013-01-10 14:24

    + 1000 ! Could agree more with you even if I tried, thanks Georgina

      morgaenart.farto - 2013-01-11 15:41

      Cum again Cwiss

  • fernyrob - 2013-01-10 14:54

    I find all these verbal attacks below sad, ugly & in some cases childish. The majority of gay & lesbian persons just want to get on with their lives like everyone else. And if they want to adopt a child or choose to have a child through surrogacy, what business is it of anyone else's? How does this affect any of you who have reacted negatively to this article above? There are far bigger issues in this country for us all to be concerned with. Half the reason for the issues South Africa faces is due to ignorance, something I can see here in many of these comments. If you haven't walked in a gay person's shoes then shut the hell up. GLBT persons are born that way, do not choose to be gay & have the same rights as every other citizen of this country. And by the way, I am not gay, I have an adult gay son who is a professional in his field, who my husband and I are extremely proud of as well as many gay & lesbian friends of whom I am proud. I hope to be the grandmother of my gay son's child one day in the future & I will be the happiest person in the world to say I am! All a child needs is to be loved & nurtured by their parent/s, gay or straight.

      gary.landman - 2013-01-10 17:16

      @Fernyrot, umtrue. If gays just wanted to get on with thei lives, they would not find it nesesary to push the gay agenda gay pride thing into every facet of society. When the issue of legalized peadophilia starts to rear its ugly head, what will you liberal thinkers start doing then? After all, a very small percentage of people think that it is just an alternate and normal lifestyle. Much the same a small percentage of homosexuals think that they are leading a normal lifestyle. You are on a very slippery slope. Have you noticed that homosexuals have to find a nice an innocuous name for themselves... gay? Strange.

      brian.trudgeon - 2013-01-10 17:49

      @Gary, since redheads are in the minority are they less normal? Slippery slope arguments are used all the time by people afraid of change or who have theie own deep seated bigotry to deal with. Bigots also find nice innocuous names and descriptions for themselves. Christ like for example even if nothing is further from the truth. Legalizing gay marriage/parenting does not automatically equate to having to legalize everything. It is a typical argument used by conservatives. Being liberal does not mean everything is permissible. Being gay is not a choice. Being ignorant might be.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 18:19

      @gary There is no such things as "gay agenda". You sound like a conspiracy theorist. Clearly you take your rights for granted. LGBT people had to fight very hard and for many years to get the debate going for equal rights. Did you know that as late as 1996, gay people were still being imprisoned just for being gay? If you were denied basic rights, would you just lie down and not fight back? There is a huge difference between homosexuality and pedophilia. One involves a minor. Allowing gay people to get on with their lives has nothing to do with pedophiles.

      juannepierre - 2013-01-11 06:01

      @Gary, I am impressed, usually people with the thinking pattern such as yourself can't really spell. Well done bra, well done.

      fernyrob - 2013-01-11 09:22

      Shame Gary, I just feel sorry for people like you, so bigoted & small minded. A small percentage of people?? What is that percentage? Since you seem to be an expert on this subject I am sure you would have all these statistics at hand...... Or perhaps you are you talking about your own immediate family, friends & acquaintances who are just as blinkered as you? Either way, I see you as a sad individual who knows absolutely nothing about a GLBT person's life BUT still feels the need to pass judgement!

  • david.m.stephens.3 - 2013-01-10 16:42

    hmmmmm......words fail me. A mans ways seem right to him, but the end there of is death and that is exactly what is displayed here. Pride in all of its fullness, as the creation stubbornly shakes its fist at the creator and decides not to walk in ways of righteousness, but in ways of sin. That is what this is and it can be masked by it propundants in many colorful ways, but in the end its true nature will be revealed. People are not born GLBT, they choose that lifestyle or there is a misdeed in the bloodline passed down from the father to the child which becomes evident in the life of the child. For which they have no explanation and then believe that they were born that way. God does not create people Gay and then condemn them for behaving and doing what they were created for, no that would be unjust of Him. This is not true of God, but is true of man and the devil, who in their lustful and sinful ways try to destroy all that God created beautiful. How can a child grow up to be 'normal' with two men or two women for parents, who will he get the female identity from in his life if he has two fathers? Or the male identity from if there are two mothers. This can never be a good possibility and eventually the bad fruit from the bad tree will be plain for all to see. You can not sow apples and expect oranges. There is something fundamentally wrong with the reasoning of people in this matter and to believe that you are right when the Lord says you are wrong is foolishness.

      gary.landman - 2013-01-10 17:17

      Thanks Dave

      brian.trudgeon - 2013-01-10 17:21

      Words fail me. The same divine creator who says we must be like the child, as they are without sin engineered a universe where the child without sin can be saddled with a curse/flaw/homosexuality because of something their father did. It looks like the work of an unjust creator to me. This argument is flawed in my opinion. I wonder what it must have been like for a child growing up in biblical times, with one father, a host of mothers, and then still add daddies concubines? Will this give the child an excessive "female identity"? Sorry, nothing here holds water for me. I still believe Georgina's points to be succinct and well made.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-10 18:22

      Thank goodness there is a thing such as separation of church and state.

      juannepierre - 2013-01-11 06:03

      God...? Prove it.

      Ntebogeng.Malele - 2013-01-11 11:25

      And to all who believe(in Christ), there's an insighful book: Demons, written by Howard Pittman and can be found/downloaded from here: http://www.knihy.own.cz/indexEN.htm. Hurry before atheist/unbelievers report it because they are afraid of the TRUTH.

  • dennis.richardson.944 - 2013-01-10 17:46

    Pulverturm, ignorance of what ? Have you noticed that doctors wear a glove when they do the manual prostate test ? I guess if you put enough Dolce etc on it must help a little but surely not if you get your nozzle too close ! Atheitis, I disgust you !!?? Gays are the ones who do disgusting things and must have an excrement fetish. Bundy, what gays do is creepy (apart from disgusting ).

      juannepierre - 2013-01-11 06:13

      How do you know what I do, Dennis? Please don't act like straight couples don't go a little back door, because then not only are you clueless of gay sex but hetro sex too... And need I say, you are missing out. Sexual liberation is a gift you can give yourself, grandma.

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-11 11:08

      Well let me educate you. Please excuse the graphic nature of what I am about to say. 1. Most people wear a condom during Anal intercourse, this is for two reasons, one being hygienic, the other to prevent STD's 2. A lot of people who perform anal intercourse only do so after having an enema, cleaning the rectum of any excrement beforehand. 3. Not all gay sex involved anal intercourse. Some prefer not to have anal sex and instead opt for oral or manual relief. Now that you are educated, stop spouting such rubbish.

  • dennis.richardson.944 - 2013-01-11 12:11

    Do you guys carry an enema kit around with you ?? Sounds like a very natural way to have sex - also wonderful spontaneity !!?? Why not just admit that it is a piggish thing to do. And the same goes for heterosexuals who do it.The thought makes me want to gag. But of course one must be politically correct and say two consenting people should be able to do what they like with each other.That may be so but it doesn't mean it is not disgusting and unnatural. I can't imagine telling my child that it is OK to have anal penetration !!!

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-11 13:21

      It sounds like you need to stop thinking and obsessing about what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. I hope you will also be telling your child not to fly in aeroplanes, drink cows milk, wear glasses, use modern medicine to cure an ailment. These are all things I would say are pretty unnatural, and mean for heavens sake, if man were meant to fly god would have given him wings, it's disgusting that he defies the laws of nature like this!

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-11 13:57

      Oh, and learn how to use the reply function instead of starting a new thread when responding. But I guess that's a little higher grade for someone of your intellectual capacity!

      Tharina25 - 2013-01-22 12:50

      Why on earth are you talking to your child about anal penetration in the first place dennis???

  • dennis.richardson.944 - 2013-01-11 14:07

    I notice no one is saying it is not disgusting ?? How can u compare eg telling a child that flying is fine with telling him that anal penetration is fine ?? Really peculiar logic ??

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-11 14:50

      Lemme teach you how to use the reply function... see that little "Reply to dennis.richardson.944" link... click on it! But now I digress... I think you spend a rather unhealthy amount of time thinking about something that repulses you so... I don't find heterosexual sex at all appealing, but I don't spend all day thinking about how much it disgusts me.

      dennis.richardson.944 - 2013-01-11 15:29

      No u don't spend time thinking about how much it disgusts u because it doesn't disgust u. Thank u for the reply info. Does make things easier. U live and learn! Only since very recently that I have started having so much fun on news 24 !! It really is hilarious how worked up u guys get, and how u duck and dive !! Maybe it is a hormonal thing !!

  • katie.stanton.923 - 2013-01-13 15:25

    So you have no problem with baby selling and intentionally creating motherless children? As an adopted child, the whole idea of intentionally taking a child from their mother needs to be banned. You are equating the ability to buy a child as being a benefit when it is not.

  • gmolatlhwa - 2013-01-13 16:37

    I agree with some of the things you mentioned

  • ekalombo - 2013-01-13 21:01

    Not true.

  • Ros Rose - 2013-01-16 19:29

    All you have done is state your own version of bigotry!

  • hugo.brown.9659 - 2013-01-22 08:09

    I suggest that we all retire to the Kruger Park, or Serengeti or Amazonia or any such spot that is not yet effected by man's myopic view of himself. Where the real reasons for life on this planet continue (as a development project) as I write. What would those ecosystems think of the concept of homosexualism, let alone the intentional production, and raising of young (to justify the concept of a happy family unit)?? When all else fails, when humans can no longer agree, can no longer assert their moral (?) authority on each other - I would suggest it remains to trust our instincts - those which still reside with the other 99% of life which shares this planet with us. What would they say ??

  • hugo.brown.9659 - 2013-01-22 08:28

    Would I be correct to surmise that you went out to sups with some gay friends, got into a lively chat about gay whatever, got persuaded to promote their cause for credibility in child rearing, thought what the hell, I need to write an article, why not cause an uproar and get something going ?? Well you did. With spurious arguments you have got everyone discussing nothing. Such is the power of blogging. Put nothing in - get nothing out ?

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