Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
By Denny Burk, 14 February 2014.
VIDEO LINK: Click here or play the video at the end of this post.
The video above may well be the most powerful pro-life movie you’ll ever see. It is not produced by Christians. In fact, it was produced by a lingerie company. Nevertheless, it reveals the inherit value of every human life—a fact that is written across every person’s conscience. I don’t want to spoil the end, but I will say this. It is worth seven minutes to watch. Very powerful.
“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” – Bible Gateway
A 20 page report published by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) this week has provided substantiation for the statements made by Senator Cory Bernardi that the best environment for a child is in a family with their two biological parents – mother and father – who are married to each other.
Dr Jeremy Sammut, a Research Fellow at CIS, addresses the issue of child sexual abuse – and the impact of family breakdown. Perhaps the most stunning finding from the data he analyses is this:
“Children who lived with a single parent with a partner in the home were 20 times more likely to be sexually abused”.
A short article has been published in The Australian – PLEASE read it!
The REPORT: The New Silence: Family Breakdown and Child Sexual Abuse
Overview page at the CIS website – click here.
Article in The Australian (at CIS website): Abuse a bigger danger in non-traditional families
Jeremy begins his report by discussing the current Royal Commission, noting that the terms of reference, which limit investigation to institutional child abuse, “ignores the 70% to 80% of cases of child sexual abuse in which the perpetrator has a ‘familial relationship’ with the abused child.”
“That the vast majority of child sexual abuse occurs within the family setting obscures a larger and more significant truth.
“Numerous studies have found that children who do not live with both biological parents, irrespective of socioeconomic status, are far more likely to be sexually abused than their peers in intact families. In particular, girls living in non-traditional families are found to have been sexually abused by their ‘stepfathers,’ either the married, cohabiting or casual partner of a divorced or single mother, at many times the rate girls are sexually abused by their natural fathers in intact families.”
A note about Australian data
In the report, Jeremy notes that the data collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the ABS does not specify WHO is the perpetrator of the child sexual abuse.
We have regularly analysed the abuse statistics published by the AIHW and done comparative percentages for the types of abuse and family type. The current AIHW Child Protection report states that there is a higher number of abuse cases involving intact families - the current report states 36% of abuse substantiations are from intact families while single parent families make up 29% of substantiations.
But we need to remember, as the AIHW report states, that 'intact families make up 73% of families with children aged 0–17, with 19% in one-parent families and 7% were step or blended families (ABS 2011a).'
Thus there is a much higher RATE of abuse substantiations from one-parent families.
Latest AIHW report: Child protection Australia 2011-2012
Professor Parkinson - and child sexual abuse
Professor Patrick Parkinson, of Sydney University, in his 2011 report ‘For Kids’ Sake’, came to the same conclusions. He stated, “Children, and especially girls, are at much greater risk of sexual abuse from the presence of men living in the household who are not biologically related to them than from their own fathers, ” (p 59) and “Girls in particular are at much greater risk of sexual abuse from the mother’s new partner than from their own father.”
Jeremy refers to Professor Parkinson's report in his analysis.
USA - Fourth National Incidence Study of Abuse and Neglect
Jeremy states that the US data is much more comprehensive and goes on to analyse the 2010 US Fourth National Incidence Study of Abuse and Neglect.
The study found:
Compared to peers in two biological parent married families
- children who lived with a single parent with no cohabiting partner were five times more likely to be sexually abused;
- children who lived in a step-family (with married biological and non-biological parents) were eight to nine times more likely to be sexually abused; and
- children who lived with a single parent with a partner in the home were 20 times more likely to be sexually abused.
The introductory comments about the report are compelling:
“Despite family breakdown exposing children to greater risk of sexual abuse, the issue receives scant attention in this country. Child sexual abuse is not fully and frankly discussed because the public discourse is self-censored by politicians, academics, social service organisations, and the media in compliance with politically correct attitudes towards ‘family diversity’—the socially ‘progressive’ and ‘non-judgmental’ fiction that says the traditional family is just one among many, and equally worthy, family forms.”
Jeremy concludes the Executive Summary with a call to promote the protective benefits of marriage for children:
“Greater community awareness is needed of the impact the relationship and reproductive choices of adults have on child welfare. This could be achieved by a government-commissioned, anti-child sexual abuse public information campaign, modelled on pro-marriage campaigns in the United States.
The campaign should emphasise that the two-biological parent married family is a protective factor that prevents child sexual abuse. It should also publicise how divorce and single-motherhood endangers children by increasing the risk of sexual abuse for the more than one in four Australian children who currently do not live with both natural parents.
Governments already conduct advertising campaigns—such as anti-smoking and anti-drink driving campaigns—to educate citizens, promote certain values, and change attitudes and behaviours. A public information campaign that advertises the risks associated with family breakdown, and promotes the array of benefits marriage bestows on children, would end the new silence that hides the culturally inconvenient truth about the modern family.”
The New Silence: Family Breakdown and Child Sexual Abuse
Overview page at the CIS website – click here.
A printed copy of the Report can be purchased for $5.95.
Article in The Australian (at CIS website): Abuse a bigger danger in non-traditional families
Summary – provided by Australian Institute of Family Studies – click here
Yet another research study has been published claiming that children raised by lesbian or homosexual couples don’t suffer any disadvantage. The report, written by Melbourne academic Dr Deborah Dempsey, was commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), and it found "there is now strong evidence that same-sex-parented families constitute supportive environments in which to raise children'' (Conclusion, P 19).
The 26 page Report was published in December 2013, but only hit the mainstream media this week. Perhaps not surprisingly, the media report in the Sun Herald used the study to criticise Senator Cory Bernardi, writing, “The findings are at odds with Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi's recent comments that the "gold standard" for children's development is having a biological mother and father who are married.”
Dr Dempsey claimed that ''It's not the family structure that matters so much as the kind of care; that children know they are loved, and are taken care of."
The Conclusion acknowledges that there are some differences, stating, “Although numerous scholars now agree it is not possible to sustain a claim frequently made in the earlier literature that there are no differences between children raised in same-sex and heterosexual parented families” but then adds the claim that "there is now strong evidence that same-sex-parented families constitute supportive environments in which to raise children'. It goes on to state, "Indeed, with regard to children raised from birth by lesbian couples clear benefits appear to exist with regard to: the quality of parenting children experience in comparison to their peers parented in heterosexual couple families”.
Really? But what does the research really say?
And is Deborah Dempsey totally objective?
In summary, this latest ‘study’ is more of the same – citing research that supports Dr Dempsey’s own view about parenting by homosexuals.
First, the links, then a Discussion of some key aspects...
Media report: Study finds same-sex parenting is not harmful for children, The Age, 1/2/2014.
Media interview at 4ZZZfm – click here.
Overview page - http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/pubs/papers/a145197/index.html
Does Dr Dempsey have a conflict of interest?
In the study she does not mention her own sexuality – however, she was on the steering committee of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) when it was set up in 1997 (source)!
I don't think heterosexuals were lining up to form that organisation!
She also wrote the VGLRL's report on 'Discrimination', titled 'Enough is enough' in 2000 (source).
Why doesn’t she declare her position? Or a conflict of interest?
And why does the Australian Institute of Family Studies commission someone with a particular view to write such a Paper?
The latest ‘study’ is mostly a review of research done by a range of people. The review has been written by Dr Deborah Dempsey, a sociology lecturer at Swinburne University in Melbourne (source).
The report cites various studies on same-sex parenting that have been done by lesbians, such as Charlotte Patterson. Last year we reported on the analysis of those studies by Dr Loren Marks, highlighting methodological flaws, self-selection of participants and the fact they are often asked to comment on their own situations.
Dr Dempsey also favourably cites the study being done by Dr Simon Crouch at the University of Melbourne – we have previously reported that Dr Crouch is an advocate for homosexual families and is himself in a relationship with a man and they have a child. Read our report on that study.
The review is critical of Mark Regnerus, the researcher who conducted the Family Structures study in the USA and found children do best with their biological parents.
She has also cited some of the many papers and studies she has conducted herself. Dr Dempsey did her PHD on lesbian and homosexual families, where she interviewed 20 lesbians, 15 homosexual males who were parents or donors, and 7 others.
The title: Beyond choice: family and kinship in the Australian lesbian and gay 'baby boom', PhD thesis 2006, Latrobe Uni.
Dr Dempsey did her PhD at Latrobe University, as part of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society.
Reading through her list of publications shows an emphasis on matters relating to homosexuality and homosexual families. Some of her research papers have been done with Dr Ruth McNair, a lesbian with a daughter who has also done research on lesbian families.
Back in 2002, they published (along with two other writers) a feature article in the AIFS Journal ‘Family Matters’ titled ‘Lesbian parenting: Issues, strengths and challenges’.
Another article is ‘Gay Male Couples' Paternal Involvement in Lesbian-Parented Families’.
For a list of Dr Dempsey’s publications, click here.
In this provocative challenge to the left, the former New Statesman deputy editor Cristina Odone argues that liberalism has become the new orthodoxy – and there is no room for religious believers to dissent.
By Cristina Odone Published 14 January 2014 NEW STATESMAN.
"I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to discuss traditional marriage – and the state was trying to stop me.
Incredible, in a 21st-century European country, but true. I was invited to speak at a conference on marriage last summer, to be held at the Law Society in London. The government had just launched a public consultation on changing the law to allow same-sex marriage. The conference was a chance for supporters of traditional marriage to contribute to the debate. The participants included a retired philosophy professor, a representative of the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster, the chairman of the Tory party’s oldest pressure group, the Bow Group, Phillip Blond (another Tory adviser) and spokesmen for various Christian organisations. The title, “One Man. One Woman. Making the Case for Marriage for the Good of Society”, could hardly have sounded more sober. I accepted without a second thought.
A few days before the conference, someone from Christian Concern, the group which had organised the event, rang me in a panic: the Law Society had refused to let us meet on their premises. The theme was “contrary to our diversity policy”, the society explained in an email to the organisers, “espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same-sex marriage”. In other words, the Law Society regarded support for heterosexual union, still the only legal form of marriage in Britain, as discriminatory. . . ."
Click here to read the full article.
The subject of homosexuality is one of the major issues being pushed at present in society. Homosexual activists are unrelenting in their pursuit of 'full acceptance', and much of secular society, especially the media, supports their cause.
Christian groups are under particular pressure, and there is a movement around the world to try and stop Christians from counselling people who want help to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction. This report deals with a key Christian counselling association in the UK that has given in to the pressure and directed its members to stop providing this type of counselling.
Those who object to the normalisation of homosexuality are often called bigots or homophobes.The current program on ABC by Stephen Fry about people around the world who oppose homosexuality (and homosexuals who suffer from this) is the most recent example - that's hardly surprising given Stephen Fry is openly homosexual.
We were reminded today, in reading Proverbs 1 (v 20-23), that we need to continue presenting the Biblical view on the issues confronting us.
The passage reads, "Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke!"
In the UK, the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) has just given in to the demands of the homosexuals - they have released a statement this month that says they've decided that their members cannot provide counselling assistance to people who want to deal with their unwanted same-sex attractions.
Statement: An ACC statement to its members January 2014
Did they take this step because they really believe counsellors shouldn't help people deal with unwanted homosexual feelings?