Wente Watch

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wente Family Values

Wente thinks traditional, heterosexual married, non-adoptive families are best for children. Exactly how she knows this she doesn't say. The only actual study she cites compares Ozzie-and-Harriet style families to divorcees and single-parent families. What relevance does that have for adoption or same-sex couples?

None, of course. And Wente's penchant for junk science is here in all its glory. Biological parents share half their genes with their kids. That means they're hard-wired to look out for them. It means nothing of the sort. Humans in general are hardwired to take care of children they believe are theirs. Usually this is through biology, but it can just as easily be adoption. Or does Wente (who, it should be noted, has no children of her own) think adoptive parents don't truly love their children?

The nuclear family is often painted by social conservatives as the mainstay of human society for millenia, but as usual the truth is more complicated. In fact, the model of man as breadwinner, wife as stay-at-home cook/maid is a largely twentieth-century invention. For most of history, entire extended families lived together. A child might be raised as much by grandmothers and aunts as by his or her own mother. Men and women (and frequently, children too) worked side by side in the fields. Nor were family arrangements always benevolent; biological parents regularly sold their children into slavery or abandoned them in times of famine or other hardship. (Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? It didn't come out of a vacuum.)

The implications of Wente's argument render it absurd. For if children need to be raised by their biological parents, then any form of adoption or divorce becomes something to be discouraged. The results are clear; shotgun marriages, broken homes, wife and child abuse, pointless suffering.

There was a time when, indeed, millions did live this way. But we have moved beyond that kind of life, and recognize that people should be free to choose the family structure that works for them, not have sanctimonious busybodies like Wente dictate one.


  • I don't mind if adoptive parents raise a child, but I do believe in children being raised by heterosexual parents, or at least a couple representing both masculine and feminine parental figures to grow up with. I feel that having both a mother and a father is extremely important for a child. Homosexuals simply cannot substitute what is inherently lacking by their union of the same sex. It's not that the child won't be "normal", it's just that I feel they miss out on an essential rite of life.

    By Anonymous Adrian MacNair, at September 30, 2006 11:01 p.m.  

  • "Humans in general are hardwired to take care of children they believe are theirs. Usually this is through biology, but it can just as easily be adoption."

    You evidently know nothing about evolutionary biology.

    Is this blog a grade 12 social studies project?

    By Anonymous Aaron Unruh, at October 01, 2006 5:55 a.m.  

  • You evidently know nothing about evolutionary biology.

    Oh, Jesus. Another closet case intern from that troll-breeding program The Politic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 01, 2006 11:43 a.m.  

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