Bill Muehlenberg

The War Against our Children

Late this week two major events were announced in the media concerning the Brumby Labor Government. These two major Victorian decisions will have implications for us all.

First, the Victorian Parliament voted through controversial legislation which will allow singles and lesbians access to IVF and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Second, the Brumby Government has announced a crackdown on youth violence, disrespect and hooliganism. The two stories are in fact closely related.

The call to instil good values, responsibility and respect in our students is to be welcomed. Most parents are concerned about the increase in violence, loutish behaviour, disrespect and drunkenness. But ideally the teaching and modelling of such values and behaviours should first begin in the home.

If it is learned at home, then it can be supported and complemented by the schools. Parents should be the first port of call for such character training and development. And the research tells us quite plainly that the best way to instil good values in children is to ensure that they grow up with their own biological mother and father.

Some four decades of social science research has made this abundantly clear. Children raised by their own natural two parents do better on every indicator – on average – than in any other household structure. They are less likely to be involved in crime, in drugs, in suicide, and in anti-social behaviour. They will do better academically and will be more socially adaptable.

That is the overwhelming message of over 10,000 international and Australian studies. Certainly there will be exceptions, but on the whole, children raised in a heterosexual two-parent family with their own mum and dad will have much greater advantages than those raised in other family structures.

Of course children are already being raised in families without both parents, it will be argued. Sure, parental divorce means that many children are growing up without the ideal environment. But we do not need to compound the problem by deliberately creating more such households.

Again, the social science data on this is as clear as it is overwhelming. Allow me to cite just two pieces of evidence. Bryan Rodgers of the Australian National University has been extensively studying how children suffer as a result of parental divorce. Says Rodgers:

“Australian studies with adequate samples have shown parental divorce to be a risk factor for a wide range of social and psychological problems in adolescence and adulthood, including poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, psychological distress, delinquency and recidivism, substance use and abuse, sexual precocity, adult criminal offending, depression, and suicidal behaviour.”

He concludes: “There is no scientific justification for disregarding the public health significance of marital dissolution in Australia, especially with respect to mental health.”

Professor David Popenoe of Rutgers University puts it this way: “In three decades of work as a social scientist, I know of few other bodies of data in which the weight of evidence is so decisively on one side of the issue: on the whole, for children, two-parent families are preferable to single-parent families and step-families. If our prevailing views on family structure hinged solely on scholarly evidence, the current debate would never have arisen in the first place.”

But what the Brumby Government wants to give with the right hand it is taking away with the left hand. By introducing, and passing, the new ART Bill in Parliament, the Government has declared war on the well-being of children. Indeed, it is unleashing a whole new stolen generation. It will allow children to be deliberately created and raised without their biological mother and father.

And as the research shows, this is a recipe for disaster. All the problems Brumby wants corrected in schools – drug abuse, disrespect for others, anti-social behaviour, violence, reckless partying, drunkenness, and gang activities –  will now all be exasperated and compounded, because this Government is more concerned about appeasing the radical social engineers and the minority group activists, than in looking after the well-being of children.

Why is this Government so captivated by the radical lobby groups, and so uninterested in the fundamental right of every Victorian child to have his or her own biological mother and father? The radical social engineers in the Brumby Government have declared war on our children, and no amount of concern about juvenile disrespect will be offset by allowing this social engineering to take place.

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