According to Jeffrey Satinover, M. D., a psychiatrist and member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, there is no more important reason to prohibit same-sex marriage than the effects it would have on children. And he doesn't say this for sentimental reasons. He says it because it's sound science. "In every area of life, cognitive, emotional, social, developmental ... at every phase of the life cycle ... social evidence shows that there are measurable effects when children lack either a mother or a father. ... The evidence is overwhelming. Mountains of evidence, collected over decades, show that children need both mothers and fathers."
(To view some of this evidence, go to the Family Research Web site and read the report entitled "Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples." The report lists 56 such studies, including research done by the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Department of Justice, University of Chicago and peer-reviewed publications that appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of Social Services Research, and the American Sociological Review.)
Exposure to both sexes is vitally important to the developmental needs of children because it helps them to form their sexual identity, but there are many more areas where children are affected by the parenting of a mother and father. Researcher Henry Biller, who has written several books on the subject, explains some of the key areas:
"Even if the father and mother behave in generally similar ways, they provide contrasting images for the infant ... Mothers and fathers have different verbal styles when communicating ... Involved fathers are more likely to stimulate the infant to explore and investigate new objects whereas mothers tend to engage their infants in relatively pre-structured and predictable activities ... The father and mother offer the child two different kinds of persons to learn about as well as providing separate sources of love and support. ..."
According to science, there are hundreds of nuances about men and women that even newborn infants can readily distinguish and that make a difference in the way the child develops.
But aside from these developmental and psychological effects, there are also significant peripheral issues that come with same-sex parents that place additional risks upon children. For instance, the ramifications of the health risks outlined in Part 3 of this series and concerns about the stability of the relationship.
The breakdown of marriage in America has already had devastating effects on society, especially on children, without delivering yet another blow to this most fundamental structure of society by eliminating it entirely. If heterosexual marriage is protected, children will at least have the benefits of its stabilizing influence in their surrounding familial relationships.
This is why Satin over stresses that society's compelling interest is to ensure not only the mere propagation of the species but humankind's well-being too, which is the whole purpose of heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual marriage is a societal structure and without it, society crumbles.
And yet this is precisely what the courts are about to do. "And they're going to do it without any impact studies," Satinover said.
The same courts that demand multi-million dollar environmental studies before allowing someone to so much as dig a hole in the ground "are going to massively reshape the social landscape" without a single study being conducted. And it will do so in spite of mountains of empirical evidence showing the negative effects on society that occur when the family structure breaks down.
The second point against homosexual marriage is that it doesn't just create a second societal structure, it actually "smuggles into existence ... two radically different social structures," Satinover explained.