Monday, September 14, 2009


While listening to Dr. Laura the other day, I had a thought about the "ideal parenting couple."

Those of you who are familiar with Dr. Laura know that she holds a very strong stance that a boy needs a male father to show the child how to become a man, a girl needs a female mother to show the child how to become a woman, and a child needs both a male father and female mother to show the child how one should interact with the opposite gender.

In other words, role models are essential to a child, and (according to those like Dr. Laura) such role modeling, ideally, should come from a child's parents.

Now, I would agree with the former statement, "role models are essential to a child."

However, if we stick to "role modeling, ideally, should come from a child's parents," we may run into a few problems -- gay children, for example.

If we stick to this 'ideal' that a child's role model should, ideally, be his/her parent, then all gay children should be removed from any straight parents and place in the homes of gay parents (even if we stick to the belief that a gay person should marry heterosexually -- a gay child, therefore, should be raised by a gay parent of the same gender heterosexually married to have the ideal role model).

Children in wheelchairs ideally should be raised by parents in wheelchairs.

Children with cancer ideally should be raised by parents with cancer.

Ah, but, we're talking about the most core characteristic of humanity: our gender... right?

How a young boy deals with cancer stems from said boy's identity as a male... right?

Get a young girl strong in her identity as a female, and she'll be able to handle anything... right?

... or would they still need a role model?

So, let's say that a role model is ideal for any given situation.

The question, therefore, is whether or not being a parent superlatively enhances the effectiveness of being a role model; therefore, making a parent the ideal role model. If so, and if we are, truly, fighting for the ideal situations for children, then should we not be fighting to pair up children with their ideal role models for each child's personal situation?

Or, perhaps, an ideal role model is merely one in the same situation as the child, be she a parent, he a neighbor, or they a community of those in the same situation?

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