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THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD: DUAL GENDER PARENTING



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WORLD FAMILY POLICY FORUM 2000 THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD DUAL GENDER PARENTING A Dean Byrd research and staff development Brigham Young University I APPRECIATE DR WILLIAMS SCHOLARLY review of the research on homosexual parenting and its implications for children May I begin with a bit of history A few years ago I received two booklets in the mail An anonymous letter accompanied the booklets The booklets were Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy s Roommate At first I thought they were a joke Then as I read them I realized they were serious Those two books served as an impetus for my interest in parenting and differential effects of children an interest that was heightened last year with an article in the American Psychologist the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association I share with you here a few quotes from that article entitled Deconstructing the Essential Father The authors argue that neither mothers nor fathers are essential to child development and that responsible fathering can occur within a variety of family structures Silverstein and Auerbach The article came on the heels of another politically motivated article in the APA approved journal whose conclusions indicated that adult adolescent sex may fall within the normal range of human sexual behavior and that sex abuse may not be as harmful Among other things the authors suggested that a willing sexual encounter between an adult and a child be labeled simply adult child sex a value neutral term instead of child sexual abuse or molestation Rind Tromovitch and Bauserman A firestorm of controversy erupted at the American Psychological Association APA Headquarters where they received 27 000 petitions The article was condemned by both houses of Congress and the APA came close to being censured by both houses of Congress an unprecedented event Although the article on deconstructing father did not generate quite as much controversy it added to the erosion of the APA and psychologists in general



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