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Conflict Theories: Gay Marriages and Feminism


The information provided by research and theories usually work to intimidate certain groups; for instance, the minorities like gay and feminists. Because of such daunting perspectives on research and theory, many people do not trust research and theory as they feel that such works function only to perpetuate unpopular policies. This notion is decidedly rife despite the fact that many aspects of life are explained by theoretical perceptions or research. For one to make better judgment of a given situation, s/he must be well informed. Marriages, and more specifically gay marriage, have been an issue for debate and to understand or have rational thoughts on it, a person must understand marriage and family, as well as theories, which influence social science research.

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Conflict theories purport that, families can take different structures and do not view change as a clash or dysfunctional. Therefore, conflict theorist view gay marriages as only normal and inevitable as the society is not always friendly or stable. Rather they view the society as a system full of inequality where individuals or groups of people compete for resources and services. This theory has been a catalyst for gay marriages and feminism.

Feminist theories hence focus on the manner in which a society is structured in terms of sex and gender roles and how these structures define the relationship between man and woman. Structural-functionalist theory, on the other hand, studies the connection and interaction between a family unit and the society. Under this construct, any issue that seems to diverge from normal or natural fulfillment of societal function is considered dysfunctional.

Is Same Sex Marriage Feminist Matter?

The context of this paper is shaped by the fact that, gay marriages have spurt debates across the world, and this brings up contradiction in national identities. Supporting gay marriages and adoption of children in such families would mean that the normative status of the natural heterosexual nuclear family is threatened (Kitzinger, & Sue, 2004, p.129). Nonetheless, when these marriages are not recognized, it would be an issue of undermining the rights of gay and lesbian people (Ferguson, 2007, p. 42). This issue is, hence, a platform for the discussion of the feminist dilemmas. The discussion dwells on whether feminists should rally in support of the gay marriage to demand basic human right for such individuals, or whether to take issue with the idea and criticize it as an issue, which is against society or a system that is oppressing women (Kitzinger, & Sue, 2004, p.134).

Theorists agree that the increased same-sex marriages have been causing increased polarization of perceptions and designing of a dichotomy which where people have to take a stand for or against (Ferguson, 2007, p. 44). This has to happen without making the marriage itself look like a problem in the society or economic setting. In reality, there seems to be no room for taking a stance, which is not absolute support or total rejection of the same-sex marriage.

When gay/lesbians came out strongly to fight for their recognition, it was a political statement. They thought other people would not dwell so much on this issue of marriage. Nonetheless, this political position is complex because of the real life situation. Gay people are denied fundamental rights, which are supposed to be inalienable (Ferguson, 2007, p. 46). Feminists have increased their campaign for this dichotomy and perception that people must enthusiastically accept or refuse the momentous critique of this institution.

Feminism should not be hell-bent to show that marriage is not a social conduct but equality. Having access to equality has not prevented heterosexual people from opposing it and making it appears as a threat to traditional marriage. Lesbian feminist will continue radical support of family in a ‘democratic’ way and push for gender and sex relational rights. The goal of feminism seems to be set on introducing serious restructuring of society, reciprocated and equal participation of men and women and especially appreciation of what women do.

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Do they Mind the children?

Same-sex couples are at risk people for psychological problems. Even research has shown that, homosexuals have higher rates of suicidal ideation, substance abuse among other psychological problems. Most of them, on the other hand, suffer multiple disorders. Besides, these couples suffer domestic violence at a higher rate compared to normal heterosexual couples (Meezan, & Rauch, 2005, p.92). Men couples have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases like hepatitis, HPV and HIV. These problems affect of adopted children negatively (Ferguson, 2007, p. 47). When it comes to heterosexual couples, agencies have been particularly strict on their ruling of risk factors but somehow lenient on gay couples.

Children naturally ask questions like, “why was I given up for adoption?”, “Why was I given a fatherless family?” and so forth. These concerns define and shape a child, and if not well addressed, the child suffers stress and social isolation. Same-sex parents are likely not to answer these questions well because if they were born and lived with heterosexual families (Meezan, & Rauch, 2005, p.92), they will be in denial and will not want to admit that they have denied a child a father or a mother.

Children have rights too. Later they blame the society or ‘homophobia for their own problems. The children tend feel that there is something wrong with them by wanting a natural family, father, and mother (Meezan, & Rauch, 2005, p.92). A natural desire for a father is seen as a rejection by a lesbian couple. This notion is a tremendous burden for the adopted child.


The worldwide political, religious, and social debate on gay marriages is heightened and already destabilized climate for gays and lesbians. There is increased societal intolerance, rejection, and lack of support for gay marriages based on the idea that gay couples cannot provide psychological physical health and safety to a children and society.

Reference List

Ferguson, A. (2007). Gay Marriage: An American and Feminist Dilemma. Hypatia, 22(1), 39-57. Web.

Kitzinger, C., & Sue, W. (2004). The Re-Branding Of Marriage: Why We Got Married Instead Of Registering A Civil Partnership. Feminism and Psychology, 14(1), 127-150. Web.

Meezan, W., & Rauch, J. (2005). Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, And America’s Children. The Future of Children, 15(2), 90-113. Web.

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