Monday, March 21, 2005

The argument from inequality of sexes

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll quickly realize that homosexual marriage doesn't bend me out of shape. However, I've been thinking about homosexual parenting for a while. I know it exists. One of my students is being raised, in part, by his lesbian mother and her partner. I'm not sure I'm against it, but if homosexuals are allowed to use IVF treatment to get have a child, aren't we saying that their is no difference between a man and a woman in raising a child?

The London Times had this article about the genetic difference between men and women. I am not a genetic scientist and I'm sure there is more to this story than I can gleam, but the main point (and the common sense point) is that men and women are fundamentally different.

Let's go back to homosexuals having children via IVF. Can I offer what I will call the "argument from inequality of sexes"?

  1. The first premise is that men and women are fundamentally different.
  2. The second is that due to this fundamental difference, men and woman contribute differently to the raising of a child
  3. If men and women are fundamentally different and each adds it's own special contribution then a child is best served by having both a man and woman raise them because the child will have maximum opportunity to develop into the best person they can become.
  4. If a child is best served by having a man and a woman raise them, then the state should do everything it can to ensure these conditions exist.
  5. Therefore, the state should discourage IVF treatment for homosexuals.

It appears that on this logic, single men and single women (regardless of sexual orientation) should also be barred IVF treatment, but I can accept that for the sake of this argument.

Can anyone see problems here? How much of a hypocrite am I? Where am I spot on? Where am I way off the mark? I don't know the answer to this, sure to be upcoming, next culture war battle. Use the comments to set me straight.

On a sidenote: I recognize that their are plenty of children in orphanages or in foster homes that need a solid family and parents that care for them. In those instances it is a no brainer that a child in a stable homosexual household is a better option than foster care or an orphanage. As my reader can tell, I'm all tied up in knots on this one.