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I can’t argue with Adrienne’s feelings that her emotions can’t be explained by biochemistry. But I disagree with her implication that the group marriage disrupted its progeny’s future. She writes:

I’d like to point out as well that none of the four children from that group marriage have not gone on to raise their own biological children with a partner. I don’t think that can be coincidence.

The traditional nuclear family — father, mother, children living as a separate unit — is the minority among US households, and a third of kids live under some other arrangement. As Darby herself has said, her alcoholism predated the group marriage by months if not years. And it was this struggle with addiction that prevented her from marrying and raising children with their biological father (assuming that’s what she wanted to do). Current studies show about a 50-60% genetic basis for alcoholism.

Ivor’s marriage ended after he discovered his homosexuality, or stopped resisting it. Not very many people still argue that child rearing determines sexual orientation. Increasing evidence suggests that genes and other biochemical influences, such as prenatal exposure to steroids, play key roles.

Penny and I have made the decision not to have children in order to focus energy on our work.

Adrienne can best explain her own decision not to have children until it was too difficult to have them biologically. But she is certainly not the only person who finally finished medical school, residencies and specialty training deep in debt and already past her prime childbearing years. So I’m sure these factors affected her decision to adopt, rather than bear her own biological children, more than her upbringing with multiple parents.

So it just may be a coincidence, but it’s not a very surprising one.

One response to “More on group marriage and child rearing”

  1. Adrienne

    Ivor is gay??!

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