I hope Charles Murray’s gay friends also have some better friends

Charles Murray still thinks legalizing homogamy is a “dangerous thing in a philosophical sense,” although he acknowledges that the political train has “left the station” and urges Republicans to stop fighting it for practical reasons.


Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he described his “number of gay and lesbian friends” and how they surprised the social scientist in him by being not just responsible parents, but “excruciatingly responsible parents” (See, “some of my best friends are…” and “aren’t gays hilariously fastidious?”)

But Murray’s gay friends should beware, because when he is acting as an (alleged) social scientist, he’s not so kind. In a section of his book Coming Apart that has received disappointingly little attention, he wrote:

I am predicting that over the next few decades advances in evolutionary psychology are going to be conjoined with advances in genetic understanding, leading to a scientific consensus that goes something like this: There are genetic reasons, rooted in the mechanisms of human evolution, why little boys who grow up in neighborhoods without married fathers tend to reach adolescence not socialized to the norms of behavior that they will need to stay out of prison and to hold jobs. The same reasons explain why child abuse is, and always will be, concentrated among family structures in which the live-in male is not the married biological father. The same reasons explain why society’s attempts to compensate for the lack of married biological fathers don’t work and will never work.

There is no reason to be frightened of such knowledge. We will still be able to acknowledge that many single women do a wonderful job of raising their children. Social democrats may be able to design some outside interventions that do some good. But they will have to stop claiming that the traditional family is just one of many equally valid alternatives. They will have to acknowledge that the traditional family plays a special, indispensable role in human flourishing and that social policy must be based on truth.

3 thoughts on “I hope Charles Murray’s gay friends also have some better friends

  1. What is the state of the art on the influence of “father figure”, or lack of such a figure, on development of boys? I have read several papers which seem to indicate that the consequences are negligible for girls, but there seems to be correlation between undesired behaviours in boys and lack of father in home. Also, Moynihan report comes to mind…


  2. Embellished with some social sciencish but usually weak research, Murray has been making the “the problem with xxx is that xxx is not a ‘traditional family'” (insert, ‘people who receive government subsidies’, gays, women raising children, family violence, etc) since before 1985, when I began studying and working in social/family policy. He unites some ground-level ‘findings’ with symbol-laden grand generalizations, and watches while social scientists scramble to unscramble his work and put the reality and complexity back into the argument. How much easier it would be if there were, or had ever been a ‘ the traditional family’ machine churning out healthy, happy, productive children without any need for collective thought or action!


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