Anthropologists on Gay marriage

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Sayhey, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #1
    The American Anthropological Association has issued a statement on the validity of Bush's and other's claims about marriage as a heterosexual institution.

     
  2. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Great post! This is precisely what we need -- comments from institutions that are not solely religious in nature.
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    thanks for posting that. i'd never considered that such a group would issue such a strong statement so early.

    it's academia's equivalent of "we call bull****"
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #4
    I'm glad we are hearing some scientific opinions. Maybe biologists and social scientists can teach us something useful, since politicians and activists on either side of the issue are making assumptions that haven't been proven.

    If we take the approach of a research scientist, we should devise further experiments. How 'bout if we make gay marriage fully equivalent to standard marriage in one state, legal but limited in another state, allow only civil unions in yet another state, and ban both completely in another state. Then we stand back for a year, wearing visors and holding clipboards, and see what happens to the social fabric.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Yeah, but when have scientific findings made any difference to this WH?
     
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #6
    Even the cynical among us know that politicians look after their own interests, so when facts become known to a large part of the public, they have to deal with it. For example, the WH had to update their statements about the Iraqi WMD issue when more and more reliable information found its way into all the newspapers.

    Smoking is an issue where interested parties (tobacco companies) denied the facts until the scientific evidence overwhelmed them. Now we have issues like CRT emissions and second-hand smoke, where both sides are going to continue arguing their case, and studies now in progress will help guide us toward using more reliable statistics to confirm/refute their arguments.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    I predict that the White House will appoint a special panel to investigate the impacts of same-sex marriage. It'll be stacked with Southern Baptist ministers. When they can't conclude that any measurable harm will be done to society by allowing gays to marry, the report will be quietly shelved and the President's policy will continue as before.

    Okay, so I'm not actually predicting this. It could never happen. Right?
     
  8. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #8
    Well, considering that the exact same thing happened during the Nixon administration, I wouldn't be so sure. Nixon commissioned a study to find out the "real" effects of marijuana on society and individuals who use it. When the commission submitted a report which showed that marijuana had little negative effects to either the individual or society, Nixon shelved the report and ignored its findings.

    There will always be those administrations who have predetermined positions on issues. Often those administrations will ignore any and all evidence which promote a position contrary to the administration's positions. And still people vote for these clowns.

    Man, I'm so sick of people. :D

    Taft
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Just some people, I hope.
     
  10. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Apparently they need to modify the definition of anthropologists to be "the people who study and attempt to influence the culture they are observing."

    I thought anthropologists were *almost* like scientists -- you know, observing, recording unobtrusively, not going out of their way to influence the outcome.

    Guess I'm not an anthropologist.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    would you feel better if the message came from sociologists?
     
  12. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    Zimv20, thanks for not flaming me (yet). I had expected to be immediately drawn and quartered.

    I have no problem with their statement to the effect that the scientific data do not support Bush's "thesis". Of course I would have no problem with individual anthropologists expressing their personal opinions on this issue.

    But for a professional association of anthropologists to go the next step and issue a statement of "strong opposition", effectively rendering judgement on a cultural issue such as this seems, well, inconsistent with my perceived role of anthropologists as "scientists". (Besides, I would think that their preceding statements would have implied their opposition to an amendment to any intelligent individual, without even having to "spell it out" for the LCD.)

    Of course, I've been wrong before...
     
  13. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Excuse me, should have written "for the executive board of a professional association, appearing to speak for its members as a group..."
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #14
    i think that's exactly their role. i'd like to see what various sociological groups have to say about it. don't forget that these groups are part of the social sciences, if a name counts for anything.
     
  15. Neserk macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    In my experience, Sociologists and Anthropologists are the best ones to help diffuse the issue. They seem to be just about the only people that realize how things are done in the Western World is not the *only* way things are done. A lot of other people have problems with that concept.
     
  16. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Boy, was I ignorant of what the field of anthropology is all about! After some Googling, it's apparent that to call the field as apolitical as "Doonesbury" would be an understatement.

    Not at all what I remember being taught about it way back in HS.

    Now that I have some context, I won't be surprised to hear next week that the executive board of the AAA has declared Bush is, in fact, the anti-Christ.
     
  17. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Sorry, Antichrist. (Think before you type, think before you type...)
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Sure, many societies have had many forms of family groupings.

    But, what does that have to do with us, with the U.S.? If you want to limit it to the idea that homosexual "marriage" does no harm, fine by me. If you take the view that Bush is mistaken, fine by me. But let it end there.

    The majority of the people in the U.S. have some degree of dislike for homosexuality. For some, it's mild. For the more religious within Islam or Christianity, it's anathema. Are these latter to be sneered at, as though their views were irrelevant to our society?

    Personally, I don't have a lot of use for organized religions. It strikes me as arrogant to the nth degree, however, to sneer, to "put down" religious people.

    'Rat
     
  19. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    You have a "right" to dislike anyone you want. You do not have a "right" to discriminate against that group. It is a simple concept.

    The idea that marriage is "owned" by hetrosexuals is crazy. There are no separate rights spelled out in the Constitution for straight people. Are we to have separate drinking fountains for gays? Are gays going to be allowed to own drivers' licenses?

    Sure marriage is "traditionally" between a man and a woman. So what? I don't get the argument. It has no legal standing. In many traditions marriages are arranged. Should we put that into the law? In many traditions there must be a dowery. Should we put that into the law?

    Tradition is what people believe because of their background, ethnicity, etc. It is a belief, not law. Just because you believe in arranged marriage doesn't mean you can prevent two people from marry because of love. (Some people marry for money, right? I believe its morally wrong -- but create a law outlawing it?)

    If you do not "believe" in gay marriage. Fine. Your beliefs do not trump people's rights.
     
  20. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #20
    Whatever the out come. It is probably a good time to start a world wide recognised ceremony for the promotion an celebration of the male and female procreational union. It will be a blessing for the commitment to a sexually reproductive partnership within the human species.

    I believe people who enjoy this tradition of family structure will enjoy celebrating it regardless of whatever sudo science can be accumilated in the nutralisation of this universally recognised system.

    You could tell me that every child born to a male female parental family structure is more likely to be a depressed crack addict and I'd still want to celabrate the magnificent biological soul carriers that humans are. I want to recognise our inbuilt system of reproduction and subsequent nurturing of those reproductions, successful or not.

    You can still be gay and be recognised by this ceremony, it's just that you'll have to be commiting to a sexual partnership with the opposite sex.

    I have a right to this and I have a right to defend it. There is no compromise to this simple request of human right.
     
  21. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #21
    The WH likes a sure thing.

    They'll find an obscure report based on research that's already been conducted in a faulty and half-assed manner and comes to the conclusions they want, trump it up in a big speech so everyone will hear it but few will know of the later recant when it's scrutinised. Then they'll blame the report to deflect any negative attention.

    Think African Uranium.
     
  22. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #22
    If you believe that we should keep the institution of marriage solely to heterosexual relationships based on the fact that these are the only relationships that can be "sexually productive", then do you oppose granting marriages to the elderly or to the impotent?
     
  23. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Exactly there is no empirical standard by which one kind of marriage can be logically discarded as illegitimate or immoral. On this issue, like so many before, science will kick the conservatives' butts, and they'll again be forced to dismiss science as the maliciously deceptive, hidden-agenda posturing of a pack of pointy-headed loonies. :rolleyes:
     
  24. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #24
    There is no argument to win, so stop wriggling. :)
    Of course I don't oppose granting marriages to the elderly or to the impotent, and you know I don't. Trying to make me look stupid in front of as many people possible does not change the point of this ceremony. It is symbolic of an ideal situation. If you require a ceremony that recognises other features, then go and do it. Please do not try to break that which is already designed for a different set of circumstances. :)
     
  25. Sayhey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    You are under the mistaken belief that someone is trying to break something. The whole point of the AAA letter is that there has always been other types of relationships than what is currently recognized in 21st century US marriage law. No where has any one called for changing the relationships that exist between heterosexual couples - only for allowing same-sex couples to have their relationships recognized with the same rights and benefits that already exist for heterosexual couples. To suggest otherwise is to engage in fear mongering.
     

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