Alternative Families A Look At The Samesex

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Alternative Families: A Look At The Same-sex Nest Essay, Research Paper Abstract This paper will introduce the “neonuclear” family, homosexual couples with children and attempt to present a brief overview of the unit. First the nature/nurture theories will be presented to explain the origins of sexuality; then discussing the formation of gay and lesbian families including the reasoning for legalization of marriage and the introduction of children to these lifestyles; including scaffolding and barriers to achieving stability within the family. This paper will then discredit some of the stereotypes associated with alternative families while listing repercussions of such stereotypes; then moving onto the issue of AIDS, harassment, and behavioral effects, ending with a

discussion of societal acceptance and educational affects. Alternative Families: A Look at The Same-Sex Nest Introduction As times have changed, there is a noticeable decrease in the traditional family structure of mom, dad, two point five kids and the family dog. This forces society to the realization that the modern family develops over the years into varying forms and that the “nuclear family” is degenerately less of the norm. Diversity of this structure is often the result of divorce, chosen single motherhood and other factors. However, in the more recent years, yet another family pattern is emerging: gay and lesbian couples with children. Gay and lesbian families are often viewed as deviant, immoral, and even dangerous to the development of children by some people. Such

beliefs in society will create more than just moral controversy; it will surface issues of legality, decisions of custody, and basic human rights. The Nature Nurture Debate: Biological vs. Cultural-based Sexuality Before one examines the issues of same-sex families, the reader should understand the two arguments behind the origin of sexuality. It is debated if sexuality is an innate biological process that takes place as a result of one’s genetic make-up or if it is a result of one’s cultural background and the environment in which one is raised. These two differing theories are known as the nature/nurture debate, nature representing the biological theory for one’s sexuality and nurture representing environmental influences for one’s behavior. The Biological Argument From

the point of conception, human beings are made up of 46 chromosomes, 23 male and 23 female. After insemination, paternal and maternal chromosomes fuse, this fusion determines the sex of the child. The amalgamation of two X chromosomes creates a female child, while the combination of X and Y chromosomes, leads to the development of a male offspring. Each chromosome contains thousands genes and each gene contains specific information about how part of the body will be formed. Genes are responsible for almost every aspect of the human body, from hair color to the development of our organs, organs like the brain and it is within the brain were the biggest changes take place when our bodies under go their sexual metamorphous, during sexual maturation. When we reach sexual maturity, we

have our first insight into our sexuality, an insight which is genetically programmed into our consciousness through our DNA, Whilst in the womb, it seems that our sexuality is being preprogrammed by our genes but there are other biological developments taking place, namely the formation of our hormones, hormones which will lie dormant until the onset of puberty.(Radford, T. 1993) Cultural Relevance The nurture theory, put simply, means that our sexuality is not the result of our biology (nature) but rather that our sexuality and characteristics are socially learned through experience. A study by Albert Bandura et al ( 197-) has shown how “children learn their roles from those influential models they observe around them, particularly their parents. If the two sexes are treated