Taiwan population decline

How would those be considered equivalent?

I didn’t say equivalent. I said roughly comparable in one specific way, viz., they’re lacking the perspective of one gender. Of course gay couples bring other things to the table, positive and negative, that a single parent doesn’t.

He doesn’t, because it doesn’t exist.

For what it’s worth I also have anecdotal evidence to the contrary. My kids have classmates that are adopted children of three gay couples and one lesbian and they are at least as well-adjusted and happy as the rest of the kids, if not more so.

If you (or @finley) want actual research, there are plenty of long-term studies now showing zero statistical difference.

Here is one of the larger ones:

So, yeah, outdated bullshit is outdated bullshit. :person_shrugging:

(Folks be slackin’, gotta keep up, science doesn’t stand still! :joy: )


But but but . . . straight couples are all totally cool and normal!



Aaaand there’s afterspivak demonstrating his unique superpower (a complete inability to hold two thoughts in his head at the same time).

We are all individuals, aren’t we. There are good parents and bad parents, and on the bell curve of aggregate human dysfunction, whether you are gay or straight probably doesn’t have a huge amount to do with it. To be clear, if you did a factor analysis, there are going to be other things that rank higher than your sexual orientation in terms of explanatory power for parenting skills. That doesn’t mean it’s of no relevance at all.

When society or science throws up ways of intervening in reproduction, we empower governments to regulate those things. They have to decide if the outcome of any given intervention is going to be positive or negative. Taiwan’s government restricts adoption and reproductive technologies to married couples. The original question from @tango42 and @nz was “but why would governments do this?!” (insert picture here of someone shoving a stick through a bicycle wheel). One possible answer, which I was offering, is that a government with conservative views may think it inappropriate to perform experiments with society when the outcome is unknown.

They might be looking at things like the recent survey of schoolchildren in the US, suggesting that 20%-40% of them identify as “non-binary” or as"not straight". They might look at the prevalence of single parents in Western nations, and the correlation-in-time with an epidemic of feral kids, and they might say “we do not want this to happen here, and we will therefore not support any policy that might lead to that outcome”.

I’m not suggesting that single parents or gay parents are the cause of every problem. I’m suggesting that the cultural zeitgeist that leads to gay parents or single parents being praised as stunning and brave - superior, perhaps, to those boring old straight couples - may also lead to a whole lot of children not knowing which end is up. It’s just a maybe. But it is entirely reasonable, I think, for a government to not want to take any gambles.

eeehhhh … well, look. The problem with flinging papers around is twofold:

  • 80% of research in the social sciences in bullshit. I mentioned before that my favourite module at uni was bullshit-spotting; I wish that course had been longer. It’s probably closer to 95% today. If something looks counterintuitive then there might be something wrong with it. Gay people score differently to straight people on various personality traits, and they have higher rates of mental illness and mood disorders (particularly men). That is going to affect their parenting skills.

  • There’s no such thing as “outdated research”. It doesn’t have an expiry date. The fundamental stuff - especially some of the results from the 1950s-70s - is still hugely relevant. Read all that first, and then get back to me on the value of papers like this, once you have some context. Of course some things can be proven wrong. But there’s an awful lot of observations that have stood the test of time. I would refer you, at least, to the seminal studies on attachment.

I’m just skimming the paper you quoted and it doesn’t seem to mention the particular issue I was referring to earlier - the ability of the child to find and keep a mate when they are of age, and to raise their own children.


It’s outdated when newer research proves it wrong, that is literally one of the foundational concepts of research. :joy: (Dude, seriously, what are you smoking?!? Should we be concerned?)

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The paper you brought up is a survey. It has no hypothesis, so there is nothing to “prove wrong”. It certainly doesn’t address the hypothesis I put forward, which was that children of single parents, and gay parents, are likely to have more trouble with gender identity and pair-bonding than children with two parents. I think this is plausible on the basis of what is already known about the way children establish gender roles.

A lot of stuff in the social sciences is of that form. That’s not to say it’s useless, but it doesn’t “disprove” anything to a degree that would be useful to policymakers.

In any case this is really a bit of a pointless tangent. My point was that, to the extent that being more “inclusive” may have an influence on birth rates, the government has more than enough circumstantial evidence from other countries to suggest it may be a negative influence on the intended outcome.

Yes, it is, but you managed to tie it in somehow and have now chosen it as a hill to die on. :person_shrugging: :rofl:

Back to the topic at hand, governments are even slower to change than people, (something-something-slowest-common-denominator), Taiwan’s no more nor less than any other. :smiling_face_with_tear:

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Good. That’s how it should be. I’m a firm believer in the principle of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, otherwise known as Chesterton’s Fence:

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

I don’t believe in changing stuff simply because something becomes fashionable, and I get annoyed when people do such things, cause a slew of problems, and then say “my goodness, I never could have predicted that. Now we’ll have to change a shitload of other things to fix the problems I just caused”.


There’s a Taiwanese couple with two kids in front of me in line at Chicago Midway. I would talk to them and ask them if they’d consider moving back to Taiwan, but I’m too tired. Maybe at the baggage claim.

I posted a Finnish study here that demonstrated to that extent.

I’ve heard US government radio ads promoting marriage before kids because outcomes are better.

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Maybe look in the mirror and ask the same question.