Burnham, T.C., et al. “Men in Committed, Romantic Relationships have Lower Testosterone.” Hormones and Behavior. (2003). 19 February 2007
Based on the compilation and summaries of the results of 45 human studies, a consistent, positive correlation exists between aggression and testosterone, which seems to foster success in competitions over dominance.
While testosterone also facilitates libido--and thus possibly encourages mate-seeking behavior--long term romantic relationships and fatherhood would seem to reduce such behavior, and thus lower testosterone levels. However, prior to this study, there had been little exploration of this tendency in academic research.
Whether married or not, men in committed, romantic relationships tend to have lower levels of testosterone than those who are single or unfaithful.
Researchers collected questionnaires and saliva samples (from which to test testosterone levels) from 122 male Harvard Business School Students between the ages of 23-24. The subjects varied in status, including married with children; paired, committed, and unmarried; and unpaired.
To control the experiment's conditions, the researchers collected all samples between 10 and 10:20 am over a 9 day period during Sprin 2002, from the students, who were all on the same schedule of classes and in the same seating scheme over the time period and gave each a stick of sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
During the collection, each student also filled out a short questionnaire regarding relationship background and other demographic data.
Testosterone in the fathers, all married, had 28% lower levels than did married, childless men in the sample; but the researchers point out that their small sample size for that group (9 married with children) did not yield enough statistically significant weight, although the results were still consistent with results of previous studies exploring that particular question.
The data, researchers note, does not address the question of causation--whether partaking in such relationships is responsible for lowering testosterone levels, or whether naturally lower testosterone levels indicate a heightened tendency to engage in committed relationships.
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Pawelski, James G., et al. “The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children.” Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (2006). 19 February 2007
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed an analysis in 2005, based on their core philosophy of family as the principle caregiver and center of strength and support for children. They recognized and explored, in their analysis, the complex challenges that are unique to same-sex couples with children that result from public policy excluding them from civil marriage.
Civil unions emerged as a legal mechanism intended to grant same sex couple legal status somewhat similar to civil marriage; but they have only been established in Vermont and Connecticut, and are only recognized there. Outside of those states, the same couples are denied the same rights, benefits mad protections as heterosexual couples. The rights are state based and the U.S. federal government does not recognize civil unions. As a result, over 1000 federal rights, benefits and protections are unavailable to same-gender couples joined by civil unions.
Opponents of same-gender civil marriages often suggest that the legal recognitions afforded by civil marriage for same-gender couples is unnecessary, noting that all of the rights and protections that are needed can be obtained by drawing up legal agreements with an attorney. In reality, same-gender partners can secure only a small number of very basic agreements, such as power of attorney, naming the survivor in one's will (at the risk of paying an inheritance tax, which does not apply to heterosexual married couples), and protecting assets in a trust, (358).
Public policy in America aiming to promote stable and secure families disregard families headed by same-sex couples, thus placing them at a significant disadvantage. This is also the case in regard to unmarried heterosexual parents, single parents, and extended familial guardians. Therefore, children of these groups--of particular focus in this study, or same-sex parents--often face insecurity in the economic, legal, and familial realms.
Since there is more than 25 years of ample evidence documenting that children raised by same-gender parents develop as well as those raised by heterosexuals, then public policy should not deny the parents of their children the rights, benefits and protections that civil marriage offers other parents. Rights, benefits, and protections that civil marriage offers would only serve to further strengthen those families.
The researchers summarized Census 2000 findings to conduct an in-depth exploration of individual state treatment and perspectives of trends, advancements, and their basis in regard to recognition, bans, declarations, attempts, reasoning, arguments, and respective effects from state to state, regarding both same-sex marriage/unions and adoptions.
About 1/4 of all same-sex couples are raising children. 41.1% of same-sex couples raising children have been together 5 years or longer compared to only 19.9% of heterosexual unmarried couples have stayed together that long.
Comparisons of children raised by heterosexual and homosexual parents fail to document any differences between them on personality measures, peer-group relationships, self-esteem, behavioral difficulties, academic success, or warmth and quality of family relationships.
Children raised by homosexuals may offer some advantages, as one study described them as more tolerant of diversity and more nurturing toward younger children than children of heterosexual parents. These children did, however, face more teasing from their peers than children of heterosexual parents.
Parents who raised children alone reported greater stress, more severe parent-child conflicts, and less warmth, parental satisfaction and imaginative play than did coupled parents, whether heterosexual or homosexual.