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Friday, March 16, 2007

Gary Becker: Anti-Gay agenda?

This week, Gary Becker discusses marriage subsidizing. He's against it as a means of "social engineering." I generally agree with his hesitancy. His other statement, however, I disagree with:
"A further question is whether all two parent households, or only households with two biological heterosexual parents, benefit children? The statement by Cameron at the beginning of my discussion says that 'families come in all sizes and shapes and they all need support'. I am persuaded that children raised by two gays or lesbians do worse than children raised by heterosexual parents, although the evidence is far too limited to be certain about this."

Now, Gary Becker is an microeconomic theorist. And much of his academic research is on the economics of families. He has contributed nothing, to my knowlege, of the study of gays, or their familes however. Yet, he is persuaded that gays make bad (or at least not as good) parents. Seeing as how the blog topic he writes is about marriage subsidies, I fail to see why he even mentioned that statement (since gays can't legally marry federally) other than to signal to his readers that he is a Bush conservative (or a Rove conservative - as I define as being both fiscally and socially conservative).

What is more shameful is that he notes that he has no evidence to back his prejudice up - he just is "persuaded." I was persuaded that Prof. Becker was an objective thinker, but now I think I might be persuaded otherwise.

Researchers, the APA, and others agree (as do countless studies) that: "gay parenting has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on children's mental health or social adjustment". And given that 'gay income' is more than 'straight income', on average, one could presume that children of gay families could be better off financially than their straight coutnerparts. So, I am persuaded to think that Prof. Becker needs to pull the wool from over his eyes.


Matt Howard said...

You should check out M. Lee Badgett's book Myths, Money and Change, on the economics of gay families. She makes a strong suggestion that that income of gay families is relatively the same as heterosexual families...

Garth said...

I'll definately check this out.


Ashtyn said...

You write very well.