christian thoughts about today's issues
TwitterTwitter FacebookFacebook RSSRSS

Fact vs. Propaganda: Looking Objectively at the Impacts of Family Structure in America

People suspend disbelief when they perceive it is to their advantage.  Hence the cynical reply often heard: “Well, you can believe whatever helps you sleep at night.” In other words, “What you are saying is nonsense, but if it enables you to live with yourself, I don’t care that you are deluding yourself.”  This happens all the time.  In fact, it is reflected in one of the first accounts of human conversation.  In the book of Genesis, Chapter 3, the Bible says: “Now the serpent [Satan] was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman: “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” And the woman said unto the serpent: “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”  And the serpent said unto the woman: “Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.”  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.”

Eve and then Adam suspended their disbelief of Satan’s words because Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired….” and that was all it took.  Everything, as they say, went downhill from there.  People often believe what they want to believe, as long as they can convince themselves that it might just possibly be true.  Those who are not trained to think critically, and trained to resist this impulse are led astray all their lives.  They are the willing victims of confidence (“con”) schemes, sales pitches, conspiracy theories, and swindles of various kinds throughout their lives.

As we rocket ahead into the 21st Century, we find ourselves deluged with a vast ocean of data, some of which is information, but the bulk of which is designed to persuade – not to inform.  And one sad aspect of this situation is that the entities who we formerly relied upon for rational and unbiased reporting of accurate information have almost all given way to two pressures: The pressure to produce a profit, and the pressure to advance a “politically correct” and increasingly liberal agenda – even at the cost of the truth.

A classic example is the recent avalanche of “information” slanted in a fashion so as to persuade the public that there is absolutely no meaningful and significant difference between children raised in a traditional “nuclear” family and children who are raised in non-traditional families such as single parent homes, and homes where both parents are of the same gender.  It is simply patently untrue, and because the people who produce this misinformation are intelligent and informed people, it cannot be a mistake – it can only be a deliberate lie.

One such case is the report produced recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics titled: “The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children”.  This report, claiming authorship shared by 10 medical doctors and attorneys, says: “There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families.”

This blog is not designed to rail against single parents, gays, or the homosexual life style.  God has made it abundantly clear from end to end throughout the Bible that homosexuality is a sin.  There is just no arguing with that unless one is determined to simply disregard what God said – as Eve and Adam did initially – or one believes that the Bible does not faithfully present God’s instruction to Christians.  However, God informs and instructs us as Christians that a LOT of things are sin – including lying, stealing, adultery, and gluttony.  I am in no position to throw stones here – I am as sinful as anyone else, and only the grace of God, flowing directly from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, stands between me and hell.

However, I really hate being lied to.  I hate it even more when my children, my family, my friends, and the American public are lied to in order to advance the agenda of social engineers attempting to move our nation further away from God and closer to destruction.  Especially when organizations with prestigious names and memberships foist such nonsense on the American people, it ticks me off.  And that’s exactly what is going on around this topic.  In order to reach the conclusion that “children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents”, the American Academy of Pediatrics was required to simply ignore many years of evidence to the contrary. Why would they do that?  The answer is that the Academy is making a concerted effort to advance a predetermined political agenda.  Perhaps the strongest evidence of this is found in their own statement at the beginning of their report: “This analysis explores the unique and complex challenges that same-gender couples and their children face as a result of public policy that excludes them from civil marriage.”  The bulk of their report is centered not on reporting facts, but on explaining the challenges experienced by individuals that have chosen alternative life styles.  Its purpose is to demonstrate that gay marriage should be fully legal and acceptable, in this case, because it has no adverse impact on children raised in this setting.

I realize that both sides in any debate, and especially the contentious ongoing debate about gay lifestyles have strong opinions and strong biases.  And I have no compunction about admitting that I am a pretty conservative guy, as well as a Christian, so I have my own point of view.  However, the level of structured bias that comes through some of these ostensibly scholarly reports is incredible – literally un-credible – and yet it is hammered like a bass drum by the popular media outlets.  In this case, where objective data is required in order to understand the differences between conditions, experiences, and outlooks for children of traditional two-parent heterosexual homes versus other less traditional family types, there is probably no more objective and authoritative source than an exhaustive study of US Census data performed by the United States Depart of Health, Center for Disease Control (CSD) titled: “Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States: Findings From the National Health Interview Survey, 2001–2007”.  This report – in it’s entirety – is available at: (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_246.pdf)

Before reporting on their findings, though, I’d like you to see some of their data – expressed in graphic form – because in this world of propaganda overload, a picture truly can be worth a thousand words.  This data reflects the collection of information spanning more than 84,000 children between 2001 and 2007.

The chart above presents clear evidence that traditional nuclear families typically have higher income levels than non-traditional families.

 

The charts above present clear evidence that children in traditional nuclear families typically have lower incidences of chronic illness, disabilities, and learning difficulties than children in nontraditional families.

 

The charts above present clear evidence that children in traditional families have fewer visits to emergency rooms and generally enjoy superior health care services versus children in nontraditional families.

 

The chart above reflects clear evidence that children in traditional families experience dramatically lower incidence rates of emotional and behavioral problems than children in nontraditional families.

And what are the summarized findings from years of hard data gathered by the US Census bureau and analyzed by the US Government?  To quote from the report:

“The findings presented in this report indicate that children living in nuclear families—that is, in families consisting of two married adults who are the biological or adoptive parents of all children in the family—were generally healthier, more likely to have access to health care, and less likely to have definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties than children living in nonnuclear families.

For example, children in nuclear families were generally less likely than children in nonnuclear families to …. have a basic action disability; or to have learning disabilities or ADHD. They were also less likely than children in nonnuclear families to lack health insurance coverage, to have had two or more ER visits in the past 12 months, to have receipt of needed prescription medication delayed during the past 12 months due to lack of affordability, or to have gone without needed dental care in the past 12 months due to cost. Additionally, children living in nuclear families were less likely to be poorly behaved or to have definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties during the past 6 months than children living in nonnuclear family types.

These findings are consistent with previous research that concluded that children living with two parents were advantaged relative to children living in other types of families. Using data from the Child Health Supplement of the 1988 NHIS, Dawson reported that children living with two biological parents were less likely to experience behavioral or emotional problems than children living in other family types. Dawson found small and inconsistent differences in prevalence estimates by family structure for most chronic conditions and indicators of physical health, but noted that children living in households with two parents were less likely to have had chronic asthma in the past 12 months than children living in households without fathers. Heck and Parker found that children in two-parent families were less likely than children living with single mothers to have unmet health care needs and more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance.

Bramlett and Blumberg reported that children living with two biological parents were more likely than children in single-mother or grandparent-only families to be in excellent or very good health and less likely to have asthma-related health issues during past year, to have ADHD, or to have moderate to severe emotional or behavior problems.

Relative to children living in nuclear families, children in single-parent families clearly had higher prevalence rates for the various health conditions and indicators examined in this report. However, when compared to children living in other nonnuclear families, children living in single-parent families generally exhibited comparable prevalence rates with respect to child health, access to care, and emotional or behavioral difficulties.

Children living in blended (i.e., stepparent), cohabiting, unmarried biological or adoptive, extended, and other families were generally disadvantaged relative to children in nuclear families, and were, for the most part, comparable to children living in single-parent families regarding most health status and access to care measures. However, few, if any, consistent patterns emerged in the prevalence estimates of children living in nonnuclear families. Interestingly, children living in unmarried biological families share some of the health characteristics of both nuclear and cohabiting families.

This report is based on 7 years of NHIS survey data that contain numerous child health and access to health care measures for a sample of nearly 84,000 children. In addition, this study incorporates a detailed indicator of family structure that takes into account both parental marital status and the nature of parent-child relationships (e.g., biological, step, etc.), making the identification of nontraditional families possible. Very few nationally representative data sources contain reliable measures of both family structure and child health. Thus, NHIS provides a unique opportunity to understand the complicated relationships that exist between family structure and child health in the United States today.”

I encourage everyone to read this report in detail, so satisfy themselves about its veracity.  But from my perspective, this is an unbiased, comprehensive, and scholarly presentation of the facts with no political agenda.  And it exposes the political agenda and willingness to propagandize of our current media, complicit with organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes