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View Diary: Marriage is meant to protect society from the threat of Bristol Palin's out-of-wedlock baby (129 comments)

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  •  Then it isn't "marriage" (2+ / 0-)
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    lgmcp, UnaSpenser

    that is protecting these children of married families, it is the dual, or in most cases, significantly higher male incomes that is protecting them.

    By that logic, married gay male couples would make the best and most "protected" families for children because statistically a marriage between two men has a much higher chance of having two high income earners in it.

    As I have long argued (even long before I became a single mother), maybe it isn't that childrn need fathers, (male surrogates abound in our world of wildly diverse families) what they need are access to fathers' incomes.

    What children really need is stability: economic, emotional and social stability.  That often travels with 2 parent families, for socio-structural reasons, but not always.  And there is nothing about the gender of those two parent families that suggests it must be a mixed-gender pair that's needed for stability.  It's just that many, many, many people are uncomfortable thinking outside of traditional boxes and therefore read data through those eyes.

    There are alternative ways to provide children with economic, emotional and social stability that don't rely on the rather limiting structure of a two parent, mixed-gender family.  (And many two parent, mixed-gender families are still not in a position to provide said stability, particularly in contemporary economic and health-care deprived circumstances).

    Extended families can provide that kind of stability. Communities can (and have in the past, see African American Communities under Jim Crow).  Support networks and infrastructure (and living wages for all workers) can help to support single parent families, regardless of the gender of the single parent.  Wealthy, no children families could "adopt" a single parent and assist him or her.

    The possibilities for imagining how to make it possible for families to provide stability for children are endless.  But we as a society like to pretend that we don't need to do that, since we harbor the belief (and work very hard to create the data) that simply having a two parent mixed gender family will do it and we don't have to think beyond that point.  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:03:25 AM PST

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