Monday, October 30, 2006

Mastering Nature II:

Continuing with the theme of my last post, and referencing the same LA Times article about gay men having children with the help of surrogates, I wonder whether gays' artificial reproduction may actually produce "better" social outcomes (children grow up to be better educated, earn more, have more talents, etc.) than from "normal" heterosexual reproduction.

The question that needs to be answered is whether the circumstance described in the LA Times article is or will be somewhat typical of when gays have children. If so, then gays' reliance on artificial methods may have the effect of selecting for the "more desirable" genes -- higher intelligence, better looks, various talents, etc. -- for gay couples. Then, comparing the children of gays v. straights, the social outcomes for gay families may be better.

Here is how the article describes it:

Chad Hodge liked #694. She was a 21-year-old college student, 5-feet-5, 135 pounds, with straight brown hair, blue eyes and a narrow nose. She had won 16 awards in high school for academics and music, and scored a 1210 on the SAT. She was outgoing, intelligent, responsible and friendly, or at least she said she was. . . . But David Craig, Chad's partner of seven years, had his heart set on #685. She was a teacher, 23, 5-feet-2, with wavy blond hair and light blue eyes. She wore a size 0. She had been a varsity tennis player in high school, a ballerina and a classical pianist.

Note, those who argue against gay marriage stress that studies show children do best with married parents of both sexes. Indeed, at the very least, social science demonstrates that poor, unwed, uneducated young mothers having children out of wedlock practically guarantees poverty and other social problems. Democrat William Galston noted that one need do only three things -- simple things that anyone can do -- which practically guarantees avoiding poverty: 1) don't have children until you are married, 2) don't get married until you are at least 20; and 3) graduate high school before getting married and having children.

But failure to do this, and its consequences (the inner city ghettos) is not at all the same or anything remotely similar to say, two professional, educated gay men using a surrogate or adopting. Thus any "study" which relies on comparing intact heterosexual families to out-of-wedlock births by single mothers is utterly inapt to the gay marriage/gay family debate.

When poor unwed young mothers have children, it is the antithesis of "rational planning." When gays adopt or use a surrogate, they have to jump through an endless set of bureaucratic hoops and pay significant $$$. And such requires the utmost amount of "rational planning." (Indeed, ironic that the inability of gay couples to naturally procreate may select for rational planners among gay parents, and make typical gay parents superior to typical straight parents, whose average parenting level is brought down by all of the parents who have children irresponsibly when they shouldn't.)

Some social science already shows that gays tend to be better educated, have higher income, and possess greater wealth. All of this correlates with higher average IQ levels. And gays stereotypically are more creative (and it's not just creativity in styling hair, but in producing the Western Canon. Bruce Bawer's article "Canon Fodder" could have been called "Queer Eye for the Western Guy"). Add to that the hurdles that gays must go through to have children which may select for more responsible and affluent gay parents, and the results may be children of gays, as a group end up, on average, better off by various measures. The fact that the children are missing a parent of one sex may be a negative. But the positives -- parents with, on average more wealth, more education, more income, better genes -- may outweigh the negative of missing a parent of one gender or the other.

1 comment:

Hunter said...

Note, those who argue against gay marriage stress that studies show children do best with married parents of both sexes.

As far as I know, there are no studies that draw that conclusion. As I recall, those arguing against gay marriage used studies comparing the children of single parents to the children of married parents as proof that "children need a mother and father."

All the studies that I have seen comparing the children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents show that development in both populations is exactly comparable, although there is some indication that children of same-sex parents are more tolerant.

You can't really take anything coming from those with an agenda at face value.