Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What is it like to be a donor-conceived child?

Marriage and family

Marriage and family

Yesterday, I wrote about children who are raised by same-sex parents. Today I want to link to an article written by two donor-conceived children.

The thing about donor-conceived children is this – the child’s natural father and/or mother’s absence has been bought and paid for by the adopting couple. One or both of the people who conceived the child is being paid by the adopter to go away.

From the article:

[M]y mother informed me of my true parentage when I was 14, and it was, as they say, irrevocable. My mother’s then-husband had waited until they divorced to permit her to tell me, and the revelation of his not being my biological father clarified an overwhelming amount of issues between us. For a multitude of reasons—his background, my personality and beliefs, our lack of biological connection—the cards were stacked against our having a conventional, loving father-daughter relationship. And we didn’t.

One of the greatest tragedies of donor conception is the loss of belonging: to family, to a culture. Essentially, one becomes malleable like an infant. I crave a home. I see myself as I travel in many directions—doing anything in order to find one.

Through the storytelling of other donor-conceived individuals, and scientific research pertaining to third-party reproduction and genetics, I have discovered that my situation is by no means unique, and I now understand the scientific explanations as to why my social father and I—up to a certain point—were unable to bond. It is natural for me to desire my father, for evolution has blessed those that secure such a bond with better survival rates.

The lack of my biological father’s presence is a devastating reality, a burden I will likely bare my entire existence. And now, knowing the truth of my conception, when I remember my past I remember everything that was absent from it.

The study she linked to in that paragraph says this:

It is on these grounds that we hypothesized, many years ago, that any and all sorts of abuse and exploitation would be seen to occur at higher rates in steprelationships than in genetic parent-child relationships, and that the differences would persist when possible confounds such as socio-economic status were controlled for… This hypothesis has since been abundantly supported in our own research and in that of many others. This differential (mis)treatment is what we refer to as the “Cinderella effect”.

[…][I]n several countries, stepparents beat very young children to death at per capita rates that are more than 100 times higher than the corresponding rates for genetic parents.

[…]The evidence for Cinderella effects in nonlethal abuse is much more extensive than that for homicides. Numerous studies from a diversity of countries indicate that stepparents perpetrate both nonlethal physical assaults and sexual abuse at much higher rates than genetic parents.

[…][S]teprelationships are difficult, and those who make it their business to help stepfamilies in distress are unanimous in cautioning that it is a mistake to expect that a stepparent-stepchild relationship is, or will with time become, psychologically equivalent to a birthparent-child relationship… Research tells the same story. Duberman (1975)… interviewed a select sample of well-established, “successful”, middle class, registered-marriage U.S. stepfamilies, and reported that only 53% of the stepfathers and 25% of the stepmothers felt able to say that they had any “parental feeling” (much less “love”) for their stepchildren.

It’s a well-known fact that mothers in particular have trouble treating their adopted children as well as their naturally-born children. This should be a caution to those women who want to put off marriage through their 20s and 30s, thinking that they can always adopt. Until you study the issues, it’s hard to know how to make a plan that takes into account the what children need in order to be happy, healthy and effective. Research should be consulted in order to make plans that will actually work.

More from the original article:

In the study “My Daddy’s Name Is Donor,” it was found that, “Regarding troubling outcomes, even with controls, the offspring of lesbian couples who used a sperm donor to conceive appear more than twice as likely as those raised by their biological parents to report struggling with substance abuse,” an alarming result displaying the reality of being raised without both genetic parents.

Some suggest that spending more money on making children means that they are more loved. Our children are definitively wanted, they say.

“The baby doesn’t care anything about the money,” says marriage and family therapist Nancy Verrier, regarding the issues surrounding surrogacy. “That’s not what hurts the baby. The baby is hurt by the separation, by the loss of that mother that it knows.” This ever-present realization of loss remains with both mother and child throughout their lives. Nature has ensured that mothers and children attach to one another, as it is a trait necessary to our survival; without motivation to love or instinctively care for her child, why would a mother protect her children from potential danger? She wouldn’t, and that would have heralded the end of our species. With this biological connection so immediate and meaningful, why doesn’t society view maintenance of that connection as more imperative?

The answer is that we are becoming more secular as a society as belief in God and therefore in objective morality declines. We are elevating the need to pursue happiness in this life over respect for objective morality. That’s why laws are changing to promote adult selfishness over the needs of children. Abortion, no-fault divorce, same-sex marriage… these are all elements of the secular worldview which wants to avoid the demands that children place on us. We want to have fun – not be saddled with moral obligations to others, that diminish our fun. We as a society have decided – whether we admit it or not – that the universe is an accident, that morality is an illusion, that responsibilities must be avoided, and that this life is all we have.

It’s amazing how widespread this attitude is, not just among atheists, but among Christians as well. Usually, the Christians just put a little spiritual spin on it though – “God told me to pursue my calling, so you can’t assess the feasibility and destructive impact of my choice”. That works to fool many “spiritual” people who put more faith in feelings than competence, but it doesn’t work to prevent the destructiveness of not thinking things through.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

New study: domestic violence is twice as likely for two-income couples

From Psych Central. (H/T Stuart Schneiderman)

Excerpt:

Intimate partner violence is two times more likely to occur in two income households, compared to those where only one partner works, according to a new study.

Conducted by Sam Houston State University researchers Cortney A. Franklin, Ph.D., and doctoral student Tasha A. Menaker and supported by the Crime Victims’ Institute, the study looked at the impact of education levels and employment among heterosexual partners as it relates to domestic violence.

While the researchers found that differences in education levels appeared to have little influence, when both partners were working, intimate partner violence increased.

“When both male and females were employed, the odds of victimization were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership, lending support to the idea that female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship,” said the researchers.

The study was based on telephone interviews with 303 women who identified themselves as either currently or recently in a serious romantic relationship.

[…]The study found that more than 60 percent of women in two-income couples reported victimization, while only 30 percent of women reported victimization in cases when only the male partner was employed.

[…]The study is scheduled to be published in the journal Violence Against Women.

Dr. Schneiderman comments:

To the best of my knowledge the research does not show whether the wives in question were  using their income as a way to diminish and disrespect their husbands.

Feminism has long been claiming that the male role of provider or breadwinner is a social construct designed to oppress women. If, however, the role is instinctive, and if it is intrinsic to male pride, then the feminist derogation of it is a losing fight.

In my own case, I would never, ever ever marry a woman who expected to work at all if there were children under 5 in the home. What a woman does in marriage is care for her husband and her children. If she is dismissive of the needs of men and children, then marriage is not for her. That’s why it is so important to talk to women about what they believe marriage is, why they want to get married, and why they want to have children. Ask them what the needs of men are in a marriage. Ask them what the needs of children are through their development. What is her plan for her husband and children? How does she intend to achieve those plans? What decisions has she made to prepare? What actions has she performed to show where her priorities lie?

Marriage is not just whatever people decide marriage is. It’s the joining together of two opposite sexual natures, and there are rules and guidelines about how to do that. It is a tense, close-quarters situation that requires that both parties understand that the sexes are different and have different needs. A man has to make certain choices and perform certain actions to fuel his wife and keep her engaged. And a woman has to make certain choices and perform certain actions to fuel her husband and keep him engaged. You can’t have a real marriage with a feminist who repudiates sex differences and the obligations that natural marriage imposes on each partner. It’s fine if a woman says things like “I want to keep working after I get married” or “I will put my children in day care a few weeks after they are born”. All that means is that she isn’t qualified for marriage. Cohabitation is a better option, or maybe just hook-up sex, divorce, single motherhood and spinsterhood. Those are the options – either marriage or feminism.

By the way, please note that research shows that women are as likely to commit domestic violence as men. That’s not my opinion, that’s what studies by the Canadian and UK governments show.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Do men commit domestic violence and child abuse more than women?

Before we look at the statistics, here’s a news story about the issue.

Excerpt:

Police say a man was struck and killed by his girlfriend after a heated argument in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia.

At approximately 1:52 a.m., police received a call concerning the incident at Morris and Ringgold streets.

Upon arrival, officers observed the male victim, identified as 28-year-old Tyrone Taylor, lying against the wall with a woman standing next him.

The woman, 30-year-old Keisha Jones, identified herself as Taylor’s girlfriend and stated to the officers that she struck him with the vehicle.

Medics were called to the scene and pronounced Taylor, who was pinned against a home, dead.

Police say Taylor and Jones were involved in a verbal altercation which continued inside the vehicle.

Taylor was driving the vehicle at the time of the altercation; he then stopped and exited the vehicle at 2400 Morris Street.

After Taylor exited the vehicle, Jones told police she jumped in the driver’s seat and struck him.

The investigation continues and charges are pending.

Now let’s see the numbers.

What do the government studies say?

First of all, let’s see what’s happening with domestic violence rates in the UK.

Excerpt:

Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

Similar or slightly larger numbers of men were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-09, Home Office statistics show.

The 2008-09 bulletin states: “More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims.”

In addition, “6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.

And you see similar results in Canada.

Canada numbers:

An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004, according to a comprehensive new report on family violence.

So it’s pretty even. Women are about as likely to commit violence as men are. And in lesbian relationships, the rate of domestic violence is extremely high, from 17% to 45%, depending on the study. I think in general, women are more violent when there is no man present, because they have more difficulty restraining their emotions and resolving disagreements with rational arguments instead of fist, feet and weapons.

You also see higher rates of violence by mothers against their own children, than with fathers. Mothers are more than twice as likely to abuse children as fathers. Biological fathers are programmed to protect children – it’s the stepfathers and live-in boyfriends who harm children.

So it’s not clear to me at all that men are the only ones who engage in violence and abuse. And we haven’t even talked about verbal abuse. I would imagine that women have a huge edge in that department.

A recent study

And things are not getting better. Consider this recent study on domestic violence. It surveyed 2,500 students at the University of Florida.

Excerpt:

Women are more likely than men to stalk, attack and psychologically abuse their partners, according to a University of Florida study that finds college women have a new view of the dating scene.

“We’re seeing women in relationships acting differently nowadays than we have in the past,” said Angela Gover, a UF criminologist who led the research. “The nature of criminality has been changing for females, and this change is reflected in intimate relationships as well.”

In a survey of 2,500 students at UF and the University of South Carolina between August and December 2005, more than a quarter (29 percent) reported physically assaulting their dates and 22 percent reported being the victims of attacks during the past year. Thirty-two percent of women reported being the perpetrators of this violence, compared with 24 percent of men. The students took selected liberal arts and sciences courses. Forty percent were men and 60 percent were women, reflecting the gender composition of these classes.

In a separate survey of 1,490 UF students, one quarter (25 percent) said they had been stalked during the past year and 7 percent reported engaging in stalking, of whom a majority (58 percent) were female.

Strangely enough, though, there is no Violence Against Men Act – just a Violence Against Women Act. And virtually no government funding goes to men’s shelters – it’s all for women. How can that be? And what incentives does this inequality create for men to either marry or not marry? When you put that together with the leniency shown to women who commit violence, it really starts to push marriage-minded men away from marriage.

Excerpt:

The Federal criminal sentencing guidelines struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 required that males and females who commit the same crime and have the same prior criminal record be sentenced equally. Using data obtained from the United States Sentencing Commission’s records, we examine whether there exists any gender-based bias in criminal sentencing decisions. We treat months in prison as a censored variable in order to account for the frequent outcome of no prison time. Additionally, we control for the self-selection of the defendant into guilty pleas through use of an endogenous switching regression model. A new decomposition methodology is employed. Our results indicate that women receive more lenient sentences even after controlling for circumstances such as the severity of the offense and past criminal history.

Finally, I want to point out that the out-of-wedlock birth rate is increasing, and that means more children raised without fathers. But children raised in fatherless homes are more likely to be violent. I expect the rate of violence among women to increase as more of them are raised without fathers. Fathers restrain the emotions of their wives and daughters – they act as a stabilizing influence. Even boys raised without fathers are more likely to be violent and to have run-ins with the police. You can’t replace a father with a welfare check from the government.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on marriage at Stanford University

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Stanford University is one of the top 5 universities in the United States.

Details:

Dr J gave this talk at Stanford University’s Anscombe Society on the reasons for marriage, and the ways in which it shapes society and the next generation. After Dr J’s talk at Stanford University, she took questions and answers from the students in attendance.  They had quite the lively discussion…  Please be advised–some of these questions may be overly explicit for very young listeners.

The files:

Here’s her biography:

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the founder and President of the Ruth Institute, president of the Ruth Institute a project of the National Organization for Marriage to promote life-long married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.

She is also the Senior Research Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

She is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World, (2005) and Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn’t Work (2001), recently reissued in paperback, as Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.

Dr. Morse served as a Research Fellow for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1997-2005. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester in 1980 and spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago during 1979-80. She taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University for 15 years. She was John M. Olin visiting scholar at the Cornell Law School in fall 1993. She is a regular contributor to the National Review Online, National Catholic Register, Town Hall, MercatorNet and To the Source.

Dr. Morse’s scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Political Economy, Economic Inquiry, the Journal of Economic History, Publius: the Journal of Federalism, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Social Philosophy and Policy, The Independent Review, and The Notre Dame Journal of Law Ethics and Public Policy.

[…]Her public policy articles have appeared in Forbes, Policy Review,The American Enterprise, Fortune, Reason, the Wall Street Journal, Vital Speeches, and Religion and Liberty.

She currently lives in San Diego, CA. She and her husband are the parents of a birth child, an adopted child. From March 2003 to August 2006, Dr. Morse and her husband were foster parents for San Diego County. During that time, they cared for a total of eight foster children.

Her talent is to apply the economic way of thinking to social issues like marriage, family and parenting.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MUST-HEAR: Jennifer Roback Morse on contraceptives, divorce, cohabitation, SSM and ART

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

I often tease women for being too focused on happiness and feelings, but Dr. J isn’t like that at all. She is all about economics, incentives, and moral boundaries. She thinks about the big issues. She once chastised me in an e-mail for being too emotional. I think she has had it with the feelings-based arguments from the socially-liberal left.

This lecture does not repeat much from her previous lectures.

Anyway – DO NOT MISS THIS LECTURE!

The MP3 file is here. (93 minutes, 43.5 Mb)

Keep in mind that this speech was given to Wisconsin Catholic seminarians, so there is a lot of rah-rah Catholic stuff. I’m an evangelical Protestant, so I just smile when she talks about that. At least there was no Mary in it. Yay!

SUMMARY

Contraception:
– contraception does not reduce the abortion rate
– contraception is bad because it makes sex a recreational activity
– contraception fails, which leads to the need for abortion
– 80% of abortions are done on unmarried women
– teenagers do not think that contraceptives will FAIL for them
– they don’t understand that the probabilities is PER ACTION – more actions increases probability
– the more you rely on something that has a small chance of failure, the more chance you will get a failure
– more sex, means more chances for a person to get a failure
– older women are naturally less fertile, so they skew contraceptive effectiveness figures higher
– contraceptives are most likely to fail for the young, the poor and the unmarried
– contraception means that women cannot ask men to promise to marry them before sex
– the pressure for a man to marry if the woman gets pregnant is gone
– the presumption is that the woman will have an abortion
– women who want to get married are at a disadvantage to get male attention now
– because men will prefer women who are willing to have an abortion if they get pregnant
– when people argue for these social changes, they don’t accurately assess consequences
– they think that they can have the happiness-making freedom without damaging anything else
– they think that no incentives will be created so that others start to act differently
– example: no-fault divorce – there were terrible consequences that were minimized by the social engineers

Divorce:
– people who wanted this believed myths in order to get the happiness-making freedom for the adults
– they said that divorce would be less harmful for children than if the parents stayed together
– they argued for no-fault divorce because they wanted happiness and didn’t care about children
– in a low conflict marriage, it is better for children if the parents stay together
– in a high-conflict marriage, it is better for children to divorce
– but for high-conflict divorce, you could have gotten a divorce for cause
– what people pushing no-fault divorce really wanted was to divorce to pursue happiness elsewhere
– there is also a financial incentive to divorce for no reason – alimony, child support, property
– but divorce really disrupts the lives of the children
– the VAST MAJORITY of divorces are in low-conflict situations
– the social norm was that low-level conflict meant that you stayed married for the sake of the kids
– a pregnancy after a re-marriage is devastating to children of the first marriage
– not being able to have a normal relationship with both biological parents is devastating to children
– what often drives people into co-habitation is the fear of screwing up their own marriages
– pro-divorce people want women to re-marry afterwards to provide kids with a “father-figure”
– the presence of a stepfather increases bad behavior in the kids, as well as risk of abuse
– but actually, stepfathers spend little time with kids, and draws mother away from the kids
– biological fathers spend the most time with the children
– disciplining the children is more complex with a non-bio dad
– normally, dads wants the kids to behave, and moms want the children to be happy
– often, the woman will forbid the father from disciplining the children
– the father will just drop out of parenting completely when his authority is not respected

Co-habitation:
– social engineers understate the risks of co-habitation and overstate the risks of marriage
– but research shows that co-habitation makes no positive contribution to marriage
– feminists love to say that marriage is very risky, but without comparing it to alternatives
(feminists don’t like marriage because of the “unequal gender roles”)
– when compared with the alternatives, like co-habitation, marriage is better on every measure
– feminists say that married women do not report abuse in marriage, that’s why marriage LOOKS better
– but murders HAVE TO BE reported, and co-habitation results in NINE TIMES more murders than marriage
– children are killed FIFTY TIMES more with co-habitation with an unrelated adult than with 2 bio-parents
– the live-in boyfriend is the culprit in 85% of these cases

Same-sex marriage:
– alternatives to marriage change rules and incentives, it is NOT the same thing as marriage
– necessarily, one of the parents will not have a close relationship with one bio-parents
– social engineers say that mothers and fathers are interchangeable – but they are different
– SSM undermines the presumption of paternity, and substitutes state-ordered parenting
– the public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers to fathers, and parents to children
– SSM elevates private purposes for marriage over and above the public purpose of marriage
– SSM will lead to fathers being marginalized from the family
– the state will have to force people to equate SSM and natural marriage

Artificial reproductive technology:
– it is the next substitute for marriage
– highly educated career women do not have to prepare for a husband to get a baby
– her behavior through her life changes because she doesn’t have to care about marriage

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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