Mothers and Fathers Are Not Interchangeable


"If same-sex marriage is constitutionalized, the message the law will send is that the gender of parents becomes valueless, since any two adults will do." - Jenet Erickson 

In marriage and parenting, both mothers and fathers (as a couple) are necessary for the creation and rearing of a child, as well as for the health of the marital relationship. Redefining marriage to include same-sex marriage threatens to strip marriage of its two essential purposes: unity and procreation.

In the late 1970s, Azim Surani tried to create new life using two sets of genes from only a mother, or a father. Everything then known about genetics suggested that with the right number of chromosomes, life would develop normally, even if all of its genetic material came only from a female or a male. But the eggs with only the mother’s genes could not survive. A similar fate met the eggs implanted with two sets of father’s genes.”

Mixed Race Young Family with Newborn Baby

As science reporter Paul Raeburn describes, Surani discovered that mothers and fathers each contributed something in their genes that was critical to sustaining life. These “paternal” and “maternal” genes appeared completely indistinguishable in every way, yet expressed themselves differently depending on whether they came from the mother or the father. And both were essential to the survival of the egg.

The essential need for both a mother and a father to provide genetic material for survival parallels what social science tells us about the importance of mothers and fathers in children’s development. Fathers and mothers bring similar, even indistinguishable, capacities that enable healthy child development. But like the complementarity of the left and right halves of the brain, they also bring distinct capacities that provide complementary, irreplaceable contributions to children’s healthy development.
. . .

“In each of these developmental areas, the natural complementarity between mothers’ and fathers’ parenting strengths is surprisingly precise. Whereas mothers are biologically prepared to nurture, teach, and provide care that is especially important for foundational development, fathers are predisposed to take a facilitative approach to parenting, fostering self-reliance, achievement, and healthy peer relationships in ways that are particularly important especially as children begin to transition to adult life. Both mothers and fathers are needed to create life, and both are needed to best facilitate the nurturing of that life. Mothers do not father, and fathers do not mother. Each emerges as a unique source of distinct and critical nurturing in the development of children. Indeed, evidence of these distinct contributions confirms a long assumed proposition: namely, that the direct, continual involvement of both a mother and a father in the home is ideal for the child’s development.”

Full article is available via The Public Discourse.