The family is the foundation of society; moreover, it is what the Second Vatican Council calls the "domestic church." Healthy flourishing marriages and families are foundational to a flourishing Church and society. The New Evangelization will begin to be fruitful in broader society when a significantly large percentage of Catholic families understand and live out the Gospel. Yet, larger society also must be open to hearing the Gospel, that is a vast majority of the people in society must not already have prejudiced views of the Gospel. Perhaps the most potent threat to contemporary society's openness to the Gospel is due to confusion about human sexuality.
A prerequisite for this openness is an authentic understanding of the human person and family. Today the confusion about the human person, the meaning of human sexuality, marriage and family is widespread. Public opinion forming media have not only adopted destructive ideologies about the person and sexuality (e.g. Face Book's incorporation of 51 different gender options) they are actively promoting these ideologies and attempting to police any resistance to them even when it comes to internal Church matters.
The fundamental importance of the person and family, and the increasing threat to a proper understanding of them to which we are exposed today demands that much of MAI's practical efforts focus on promoting the work of scholars that correct the increasingly widespread anthropological errors with which we must now cope.
In a recent article, our January MAI Forum speaker Mark Regnerus, discusses more research that points out the perils our children face as society continues its attempt to redefine the human person, marriage and family. Moreover, he provides a very helpful analysis which helps us to understand the results of sociological studies the media continues to push; studies that tout the "normality" of so-called same-sex families. The article also helps to explain why we do not see as many studies published that show the real story of what happens to children in these situations.
The academy so privileges arguments in favor of same-sex marriage and parenting that every view other than resounding support—including research conclusions—has been formally or informally scolded. I should know. The explosive reaction to my 2012 research about parental same-sex relationships and child outcomes demonstrates that far more is at work than seeking answers to empirical research questions. Such reactions call into question the purpose and relevance of social science. Indeed, at least one sociologist holds that social science is designed “to identify and understand the various underlying causal mechanisms that produce identifiable outcomes and events of interest.” That this has not been the case with the study of same-sex households raises a more basic question. Is the point of social science to win political arguments? Or is its purpose to better understand social reality?