An Australian anti same-sex marriage group has marked Father’s Day by releasing a video warning of the dangers of children growing up without Dads.
The 60-second long Marriage Alliance commercial uses American statistics to back its claims that children without fathers are more likely to drop out of school, run away from home, be involved in crime and end up in prison.
It describes fathers as “a girl’s first love” and “a boy’s first hero”, and ends with the message: “Australia is facing same-sex marriage which rejects the necessity of fathers. Some children will never celebrate Father’s Day.”
Marriage Alliance had urged supporters to share the clip as it wasn’t certain TV stations would broadcast it.
Spokeswoman Sophie York said same-sex couples were deliberately denying children their fundamental right to have a male and female role model.
“Allowing same-sex marriage legitimises social engineering and promotes dysfunction and suffering for kids,” she said.
“The powerful and well-funded LGBT rights lobby is so focussed on their cause, they either forget about the rights of children who are the innocent victims of an unnatural parental union.”
A Google search for the phrase “statistics on children without fathers” brings up a link to an American blog called Fatherhood Factor, which lists many of the same statistics used in the Marriage Alliance ad.
One statistic – that 80 per cent of rapists came from a fatherless home – is credited to a 1978 study that found “80 per cent of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes”.
While the video did not mention divorce, death and other circumstances that might result in a child growing up without a father, Marriage Alliance said in its statement it did acknowledge those factors.
“But deliberately putting a child into fatherless parental arrangement as occurs with a same-sex relationship or a legalised same-sex marriage means putting that child at extreme risk,” it said.
“It legitimises an increase in fatherless kids.”
However a 2014 review of social science literature into child wellbeing in same-sex parent families prepared for the American Sociological Association found “a clear consensus… that American children living within same-sex parent households fare just as well as those children residing within different-sex parent households over a wide array of well-being measures: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity, and substance abuse.”
It further stated: “Differences that exist in child well-being are largely due to socioeconomic circumstances and family stability.”
A 2013 study on same-sex parented families by Child Family Community Australia (part of the federally-funded Australian Institute of Family Studies) concluded that research to date challenged the notion that they were harmful to children.
“Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families,” the report stated in its key messages.
“Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity.”
Neither the Marriage Alliance commercial nor the media release made any mention of whether children who grew up with two male parents would receive extra benefits from having two fathers.