The idea of the time-honored definition of family – a married mother and father with biological or adopted children – has increasingly become not just passé, but repugnant to society’s elite.
The most recent evidence comes from the editors at the New York Times, who just published an opinion piece by a Harvard professor extolling the joys and wonders of the “poly” family and the overthrow of the natural family of mom and dad, married for life raising their own biological or adopted children.
Of course, this is not surprising to those of us who have been watching with great concern the decline of the family, which has been aided and abetted by a hostile media, entertainment industry and academia. The newest threat on the horizon is the development of IVG, or in vitro gametogenesis. Conceptually IVG could allow two, three, or four women to produce their own baby who would be the biological child of each of them without any involvement from a man (creating a “poly” family).
Any grouping of men could do the same. They would just need to find a woman’s womb to grow the child.
IVG. has only been successful in mice since about 2017, but human use is the goal of some scientists. Essentially, it would also enable men to produce their own egg cells and women to produce their own sperm cells, all from a mere skin cell.
The essay’s author, Debora Spar, professor and senior associate dean at Harvard, notes this new technology “changes everything we’ve ever known about sex and babies and marriage.”
She fully understands the implications of this and seems to celebrate them, noting, “Once we no longer need the traditional family structure to create children, our need for that traditional family is likely to fade as well.”
Dr. Spar commits the logical fallacy here of assuming that just because something can be done with new technology, it should be done.
What we call the “traditional family” – a married mother and father raising their own biological or adopted children with grandparents, aunts and uncles helping out here and there – is traditional for a reason.
It’s because it works.
In fact, it was Aristotle who wrote of the necessity of the “nuclear family,” which he described as “those who cannot exist without each other,” and procreation is not the only reason here. It is this basic human configuration that serves as the factory of humanity and the foundation of society.
Over the last 50 years, we have seen great changes with family formation, more in this relatively short time-span than since the dawn of humanity. Very few of these changes, if any, have enhanced the well-being of children, women and even men. The social science research on this matter has been robust and conclusive.
The sexual revolution of the ‘60s, aided by the widespread availability of birth control, told us married sex and parenting were now things of the past. Love was what mattered. But Diana Pearce, director of the Center for Women’s Welfare at the University of Washington, recognized it actually created what she termed “the feminization of poverty.”
Legal abortion and the pill, giving women supposed control over their own fertility, also released men from their responsibility to “do right by the woman.” Rather than stepping up and marrying the mother of their child, men started to walk away and thus plunged millions of women and their babies into poverty and welfare dependency.
This also produced the experiment in fatherless families, which has been a dramatic disaster. Princeton’s Sara McLanahan, one of the world’s leading sociologists of the family, has made a distinguished career of carefully charting the measurable fall-out from fatherlessness.
She and other researchers have found that the child who grows up apart from her father – regardless of how loving and caring the mother and any partner are – faces an uphill battle throughout life. That child is less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to suffer lower overall adult mental health, including higher levels of physical and emotional aggression, inability to stay on task, anxiety and depression and increased substance abuse.
On the whole, fatherlessness helps nothing and makes nearly everything else worse.
The divorce revolution of the 1970s was widely celebrated as a positive step in family evolution, assuming that if husbands and wives could leave unsatisfying marriages, this would make for happier and more fulfilled parents. And then we’ve had the unmarried cohabitation revolution where we assured ourselves that it’s not “a piece of paper” but love itself that will keep us together.
Neither of those turned out as promised either. Nor will the newest iteration, that of same-sex households.
God’s design for the family is still the gold standard and the one that provides, by far, the best opportunity for health and happiness for children, women and men.
Yet culture continues to offer up increasingly novel imitations that promise freedom but bring heartache and pain. The “poly” family is certainly not going to be any different.
Photo from Shuttserstock