Same-sex couples’ parenting

Today’s NY Times has a discussion of the parenting of same-sex couples.  It looks at Abbie E. Goldberg’s new book, “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children,” which  is an analysis of more than 100 academic studies, most looking at groups of 30 to 150 subjects.   Most of the focus is on lesbian parenting, since gay men parented much less until  recently.  The news is all good for the cause of same-sex marriages.  And some is  intriguing. 

First of all, the children are the same as children of heterosexual marriages on all the standard measures of doing well socially.  They are popular, make friends and don’t have gender identity problems – at least all in the same measure as other children.   And this is interesting:

More enlightening than the similarities, however, are the differences, the most striking of which is that these children tend to be less conventional and more flexible when it comes to gender roles and assumptions than those raised in more traditional families.

Girls in particular are more likely to be interested in jobs like being a doctor over being a nurse, and they’re more likely to play with “boy’s” toys.

Of course, when I first read it, I thought of all those studies that claim that within a few days of birth gender interests are showing up.  Could the environment of same-sex parents show that’s not innate?  But I now suspect not.  After all, supposing an interest in Barbie is innate, it’s just the sort of thing one might think lesbian parents lack and so don’t pass  on. O dear!  

I guess we’re just back to the basic implausibility of 20th century gender markers being carried by those pesky old genes.

Universal Health Care Coverage

So the US is getting closer to something approximating universal health care coverage.  I haven’t looked to see just what’s happened to, for example, legal foreign visitors, still less illegal ones, but it looks a lot better than the status quo.  And there are even provisions for same-sex couples that make their situation more equitable.

There is also a huge and horrible problem, one that Roman Catholic Church and of course many others apparently worked very hard to bring about.  And that is the complete lack of coverage for abortions except in the case of the mother’s life gravely threatened, incest and rape.

The RC Church bishops demanded that letters denouncing the bill and requests for actions and contributions to fight it be read out at  masses across the country.  This was an action with all sorts of political ramifications, not just about abortion, and it is a puzzle to me how they keep their tax exempt status.  

So what do you think about the compromise?  Pelosi is a strong abortion rights advocate and accepted the restrictions when it seemed either that or the bill will fail.   She’s said to be counting on the senate to have a better bill.  I think that’s the “right” decision, but that’s in large part because I’m worried that the possibility of no bill at all is very much alive still. 

What do you think?