From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:
What’s the best environment for children? That’s a question we had all better be paying attention to, especially lawmakers and other government officials. Our future depends on getting this one right.
It’s not really that hard of a question. People just don’t always like the answer. Social science research shows repeatedly and conclusively that the very best environment for children is to be brought up in the homes of their married moms and dads.
It really doesn’t matter what characteristic you look at. Children from intact mom-and-dad families do better than their peers in other household arrangements and avoid many of the problems that those children frequently encounter.
Children from married mother-father homes are less likely to experience poverty, do better in school, are more likely to finish high school, have better health, are less likely to be physically or sexually abused, are less likely to develop drug or alcohol addictions, are less likely to become sexually active at early ages, are likely to earn more, are more likely to go on for higher education, and are less likely to themselves divorce. That’s just a sampling of the conclusions social science again and again and again determines from their studies.
Extrapolating from this information, we can properly assume that children from intact, married mom-and-dad homes grow up, on average, to be good citizens, givers more than takers, strong contributors to their own families and communities, and skilled and good workers.
If government is concerned about anything, it should be concerned about the next generation of workers, taxpayers, leaders, entrepreneurs, creative geniuses, teachers and more. It’s the next generation that will one day pay the bills—and the debt—that government generates.
Apparently, however, government is willing to ignore the data that continues to pour in regarding what is best for children. Their policies and positions certainly would indicate that is the case. For instance, while no reliable study and data show that children brought up in the homes of two men or two women do as well as children brought up in the homes of married men and women, the government, including judges, keep touting that this household structure is just fine for children.
Some argue that given enough time, the data will change and will show what they want it to show—that children in same-sex households do just as well—or even better—than children in married mom-and-dad families. I don’t believe that reliable, reputable research will ever show that; but beyond that, I don’t think we should be doing yet another social experiment on children. Haven’t we learned the hard way from no-fault divorce?
I guess not since there continues to be an aggressive push to make all forms of households equal when it comes to children.
At the State Republican Convention a couple of weeks ago, a resolution entitled “Family Values and Sanctity of Human Life.” In that resolution, there were some excellent statements made about life and about religious freedom. Also included was this statement: “Be it further resolved, that marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment to raise children and to teach them the values and morals required to maintain a free society.”
When the resolution came to the floor, a delegate rose and identified himself as being a representative from the Log Cabin Republicans, the pro-homosexual subset of the Republican Party. He wanted to amend this part of the resolution to say, “a household with two parents in a committed relationship is the best environment to raise children.” It’s pretty obvious what he was trying to do—have the party endorse same-sex relationships and same-sex adoption. An interesting debate ensued. Some rose to support this delegate’s amendment, but many others rose to voice their opposition.
Fortunately, in the end the amendment was defeated and the resolution was resoundingly passed and is now part of the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s official party platform. However, it’s the first time I know of where the Log Cabin Republicans were that visible and vocal at the convention and also the first time there has been an overt, from-the-floor attempt to change the state Republican Party’s position on this foundational issue. I’m grateful the majority of the delegates stood strong, recognizing that what is truly best for children, but I do consider this a shot across the bow that some in the state GOP are pushing hard for a very dangerous change to the party’s position.
What shows up in a party platform is meaningless unless those who are elected wholeheartedly agree and enact policies that strengthen, preserve and promote the kind of family structures that are truly best for our future because they are best for children.