Texas Tech University community toward gay adoption: How age groups, gender, and political orientation affected its support for gay parenting
The gay adoption issue, with its currently uncertain status in some states, including Texas, will be chosen as a focus of the following paper. In accordance with the purpose of the writing class, this paper aimed to figure out what the Texas Tech University (TTU) community thought about gay adoption. By collecting and analyzing the data of 145 surveys on campus, we learnt that overall, the TTU community approved of gay adoption; the Millennials were more likely to favor gay adoption, the females supported this gay right more strongly than the males, and the Republicans here were less favorable to gay parents. In addition, we were excited to learn that the proponents of gay rights at TTU were less likely to identify a difference in parenting between heterosexual and homosexual couples. (Nam)
Key words: Gay adoption, Texas Tech University, Millennials.
People’s Perception about Gay Marriage & Related Issues
This paper explores people’s perception about the issue of gay marriage and adoption, particularly those who are studying or working on the Texas Tech campus. Since the legalization of gay marriage by the Supreme Court in June, 2015, the topic of gay marriage has gained a lot of limelight with the people and the media talking about it more openly. As a result, we decided to survey the people on the Texas Tech campus regarding this issue in order to understand how they felt about it. A total of 145 Americans were surveyed where we asked them about their opinion regarding gay marriage, gay adoption, and stability in the lifestyles of the homosexual couples and the children adopted by them. Many hypotheses and assumptions were made while constructing the survey questions and some surprising yet important results were obtained from this survey.
Keywords: gay marriage, gay adoption, survey, stability. -Harnoor
The perception of same-sex marriage and adoption from TTU members
Since the U.S Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in June 2015, many conflicts have happened. There was a clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage, and there was a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The argument about allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children has become more serious. We in the ESL class made this survey to find the perception of TTU members of these problems. We collected data from 145 TTU members with about the same amount of males and females. Most of them were Americans. We found many interesting relations among support for same-sex marriage and adoption, genders, ages, religions and political party.
Keywords: same-sex marriages, adoption
Gay marriages and its related issues – a perspective of TTU community
Subsequent to the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriages, numerous articles reported varying opinions of the people regarding gay marriage legalization and its related problems. In a similar attempt, a survey was conducted by us on Texas Tech University (TTU) campus to map people’s perception on the same issue. This report clearly expounds the motivation behind such a survey and also draws a correlation between different factors such as political and religious orientation of the people and their effects on people’s opinions on gay marriages. The key findings were that the political and religious orientation of the people play a minor role in their decision regarding gay marriages. Also, people tended to support or oppose gay marriage related issues based on their effect on their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. (Sriramvignesh Mani and Thomas Leverett)
Keywords: gay marriages, political and religious orientation, freedom of speech
Gay Marriage & Issues Survey (Elliot)
With the aim to obtain an overview about the opinion of Texas Tech Community in relation to gay marriage issues, a survey was conducted. 145 people were interviewed between students, faculty and workers of the campus. Several sources of information were consulted with the aim to construct a preview scenery about the feeling in relation to gay marriage. Four central topics were identified: Kim Davis’ refusal, baker’s rejections to serve, children’s adoption by gay couples and familiar stability of gay couples. In relation to these central topics, five hypotheses were made which establish a relation between the information previously found and the hypotheses formulated.
The objective of the survey was to get the opinion of Texas Tech Community in order to probe the five hypotheses, but also it was of interest to understand the profile of people who were in one position or another in relation to these matters.
It was possible to prove that millennials were the group that more strongly supported gay marriage. This group also rejected the behavior of Kim Davis when she declined to serve a gay marriage. In this direction, people who supported gay marriage consequently rejected Ms. Davis’ behavior. In this study also a classification by gender was made. The purpose in this type of study was to recognize differences between males and females in issues related with family, but more specifically related to children’s adoption. Suddenly results were found in this part of the study. The woman’s opinion was in opposite direction of the hypotheses formulated. Woman strongly supported children’s adoption and men’s position was mostly neutral.
Last, the right to refusal was studied. Six types of services were recognized and the survey sought to get the people’s opinions in relation to the right that servers could have to refuse each of these services. The results showed a direct relation between services related to religion and the right to reject to serve; particularly a very high support to reject serving was found for pastors and religious agencies of adoption. On the other hand, the right to refuse serving by basic services like access to doctors was strongly rejected.
A deeper and extended discussion of the data found is offered in this study. This part of the study made a contrast between the five hypotheses formulated and the results, and also quantitative records are registered. Finally, an objective analysis of this study was made. In this part of the study the limitations in the representation of the results was exposed. These limitations were based mainly on the small quantity of people interviewed, the poor care that was taken in order to get representative samples of students, faculty and workers from all sections and departments of the campus.
The Americans' Opinion on Gay Marriage Legalization
This research is about same-sex/gay marriage and its relevance to America. Gay marriage means marriage between partners of the same sex. On June 26th 2015, The Supreme Court of the U.S.A legalized gay marriage. Even after The Supreme Court verdict on gay marriage, still there is a difference in opinions among American people about accepting the gay couple in the society. As per the statistics, the political orientation and religion of people deeply affect their opinion on gay marriage. Another important factor which affects overall opinion is that most of the people in one age group (millennial Americans, age 18-34) accept gay marriage compared to the older Americans. So due to this reason, as part of a class project, we decided to conduct a survey to understand the change in opinion among various students in Texas Tech University. The main purpose of the survey is to distinguish the opinion between male and female undergraduates, graduates and faculty, Americans and international students. Texas Tech University is a good place to collect the data as it contains a good mixture of people. Before conducting the survey, four hypotheses were introduced and a questionnaire was created in such a way that from the analysis of the results, all of the hypotheses could be proved. A total of 145 of surveys were conducted, out of which 70 were males and 75 were females. Over all opinion shows that most of the millennial Americans support the idea of gay marriage. (Sankar Manalilkada Sasidharan)
Gay marriage survey report
Gay marriage became legal recently, but many problems occurred which were out of government’s expectations. Same-sex adoption was one of these issue. Lots of social scientists had investigated the social perception about gay marriage and they had published plenty of their work online. Noticing that people of different ages, races, religions, genders, and political parties might have different opinions on this issue, we made a survey to investigate the perceptions about gay marriage of Texas Tech community and compared them to the poll results made by the social scientists. To better illustrate the data, we plotted charts in Excel as showed in the appendix. From the result we found that with regard to the gay marriage issue, people were more intended to support it instead of oppose it. (Jieying Wu)
Investigating real opinion about gay marriage among the young students in Texas Tech University
This study shows how Texas Tech University students think about gay marriage. This research paper was written after a survey was done with 145 students. In the survey, 88% of the students were Americans; the others were international students. The survey form contained 17 questions about gender, age and nationality, and several questions about gay marriage and issues. We found that Texas Tech students supported the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage and didn’t support Kim Davis's refusal. At the same time, the TTU students supported children’s adoption by gay couples and agreed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. Meanwhile, the TTU students thought that gay couples were as stable as the heterosexual couples. We believe that this study will lead the way to further studies about gay marriage. (Songhe Li)
Keywords: gay marriage, TTU, American
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Gay marriage survey report
Gay marriage became legal recently, but many problems occurred which were out of government’s expectations. Same-sex adoption was one of these issue. Lots of social scientists had investigated the social perception about gay marriage and they had published plenty of their work online. Noticing that people of different ages, races, religions, genders, and political parties might have different opinions on this issue, we made a survey to investigate the perceptions about gay marriage of Texas Tech community and compared them to the poll results made by the social scientists. To better illustrate the data, we plotted charts in Excel as showed in the appendix. From the result we found that to gay marriage issue, people were more intended to support it instead of oppose it. (Jieying Wu)
June 26th, 2015 was a big date for same-sex couples since gay-marriage legalization was extended to all states in the United States. This decision was certainly a revolution to LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) because they no longer needed to hide their status from the society. However, the law ruled by the Supreme Court did not always represent the public will. A series of problems occurred after that, such as religious objection and the gay adoption issue. Gay adoption had attracted increasing attention recently. Currently there were 49 states that allow gay adoption; nevertheless, some people were still concerned that this might have negative effects on children who were raised by same-sex couples, and there was a survey indicating that gay adoption still had the lowest acceptance of U.S. citizens (The Millennial Generation and the Future of Gay and Lesbian Rights, 2011). However, the trend of LGBTs’ acceptance was growing generally, and young people tended to be more hospitable to it. We were in the Texas Tech University community, and from the materials we had read we found there were differences based on ages, genders, political parties, and religions when facing the gay marriage issues. What we were interested in was how our community thought about this issue. As a result, we made a survey and collected samples on the Texas Tech campus to study their perceptions towards LGBTs and tried to figure out whether it would be different from the poll results we found.
The approval of gay marriage gave a great joy to LGBTs. However, legalization was just the first step; this news also brought the conflict between gay supporters and opponents into the spotlight. The religious opposition was one of the issues. Kim Davis was famous for her refusal to license gay couples (Holpuch, 2015). She thought that the government changed her job, and she could not stand in line with gay people as a Christian. Kim Davis is not alone; similar conflict happened in Colorado. A Christian baker named Philips was sued because he refused to bake a cake for a gay couple (Green, 2015). In the end, the Colorado Court forced the baker to comply with the law, which caused dissatisfaction among the gay opponents. Besides this, heated debates and arguments about gay adoption were also very popular. According to the report written by Lewin, the state of Mississippi allowed gay adoption in 2000; but now it had become the only state to forbid it (Lewin, 2015). The gay adoption opponents were worried that same-sex couples will bring negative effects to children; children might be more likely to be gay or have distortion of personality after they grow up. On the contrary, the supporters thought that homosexual couples were the same as heterosexual couples; they were able to provide a healthy environment for children’s growth. The truth was, even though gay adoption became legal, same-sex couples would still meet a lot of inconveniences when they adopted children. An article published by Bagnall indicated that the healthcare market was just a beginning to LGBTs; when gay couples were facing the issues such as choosing schools or visiting doctors for their children, the process would be more complicated than for others (Bagnall, 2015). There was a survey supporting this point; it pointed out that gay adoption still had the lowest acceptance of U.S. citizens (The Millennial Generation and the Future of Gay and Lesbian Rights, 2011). There were many other surveys which investigated the social acceptance of LGBT. A survey named “Growing support for same-sex marriage” showed that supporters of LGBT increased rapidly and exceeded the number of opponents in recent decades (Growing support for same-sex marriage, 2013). The other survey presented an increasing trend of LGBT supporters similarly, but it figured out that there were differences based on ages and political parties (New poll proves national majority support same-sex marriage, 2013). This survey points out that Democrats are most hospitable to gay people while the Republicans are comparably conservative to this issue. For the surveys we have read they all make a same conclusion: that young people are more accepting of gay relationships; and Millennials (born after 1980) present the highest favor to it.
From what we have read so far, we can make some basic hypotheses about the social attitudes towards LGBTs as below:
1. People born after 1980 are more likely to accept gay marriage;
2. People born before 1980 might be more likely to keep silent on this issue or be objective about it; if they are gay supporters, they are very likely have been the opponents originally and changed their mind from the past for some reasons;
3. If people do not approve of gay marriage, then they are more likely to disagree with gay adoption as well;
4. Democrats are more likely to agree with gay marriage; independents might share a similar view; but Republicans are more likely to disagree with this issue;
5. Religious people might have lower acceptance of gay marriage and gay adoption than non-religious people.
We were interested in what the perception of the Texas Tech community who would respond to our survey was and whether their answers would be concordant to our hypotheses.
In order to investigate the Texas Tech community’s perceptions of gay marriage, we discussed a survey to collect samples from students or staff working in Texas Tech University. As mentioned in the hypotheses above, we were interested in the differences based on ages, genders, religions and political parties. Therefore, in our survey, we asked people about their genders, ages, religions and political parties at the very first beginning. Also, according to our reviews of news and literature, we noticed that old people were more likely to disagree with LGBTs. However, since the world became more and more accepting of this issue, some of the gay marriage opponents would change their mind afterwards. The reasons for them to change their mind, which would be asked in the survey, were also one of our interests. To better illustrate people’s feeling towards gay marriage and gay adoption, we provided the Likert scale (from 1 to 5 as strongly disagree to strong agree) to the respondents to see how much they agreed or disagreed with these two issues. Moreover, in our point of view, people who accepted gay marriage were more likely to agree with gay adoption, too. In the gay adoption part, respondents would be asked questions about what the most important thing was when finding an adoptive home, and whether they thought gay parents would be different from others. Considering the religious reasons, Kim Davis and the Christian bakers are well known, because of their refusal to give services to gay couples; we asked people their attitudes towards them, and in what situations they felt people would have the rights to refuse to serve gays. Based on the questions above, we had an agreement to collect samples; all of the samples must be in the Texas Tech community; they could be students or faculty. At the end, we collected 145 samples in total; one of them forgot about the back of the survey, and that one was discarded. All of the data was input into Excel to tabulate the results. In general, the survey was not representative in some reasons. First, the number of sample was very small compared to the population of Texas Tech community. Second, most of the respondents were undergraduate students, so we could hardly compare the acceptance differences based on different ages. Moreover, the data was not collected randomly in the campus, some of them were collected in the church group or in specific departments, which might skew the data trend. Also, people from different majors would probably have different perceptions of gay marriage. For example, it was reasonable to know that students who majored in art would be more likely to support gay couples, since many of the famous designers and artists were gay. However, in our survey, we did not track this information, so it might be one of the factors that affected the data accuracy. For the survey itself, some of the questions were not clear to the respondents; and they would skip questions if they did not understand, which led to surveys that we not completed. For instance, not all the people knew Kim Davis, and since they did not care who she was, they would just give a random answer or leave it blank on the sheet. What’s more, we designed some short questions for the respondents to answer, such as the reasons they agreed or disagreed with gay adoption. Based on the answers, many of the respondents would put ‘No difference’ on the sheet, but we did not think that was always valid because they might be too lazy to give an illustration. Next time, we should put all the questions as choice questions and try to make the questions as brief as possible. Overall, this was the first time for us to do survey on campus. With all the experiences we had, I believe next time our survey will be more comprehensive.
In our survey, we collected 145 samples in total; 70 respondents were male and 75 were females. Since we intended to study Americans’ perceptions of gay marriage in the Texas Tech community, we made an agreement to collect data from Americans who worked or studied on the campus. At the end, 80% Americans took part in the survey, but the range of the ages was uneven; the number of respondents who were younger than 30 years old occupied 90%. Therefore, our study in people of different ages would have different views towards gay marriage might not be very convincible. In the end, we inputted all the data into Excel and made chart to compare the data. Here were some of our results with respect to the previous hypotheses.
1. We made a hypothesis that people born after 1980 might be neutral or disagree about this issue. If they were gay supporters, they might change their mind from the past. Based on the figure 1, 21% of people who were older than 60 years old admitted that they were gay opponents before, while 17% of people who were 50 to 59 years old had changed their mind. However, people younger than 50 years old who had changed their minds just occupied less than 10% to the total amount of the sample. Therefore, it was true that older people were more likely to be gay marriage opponents before and they were more likely than other generations to change their minds.
2. As shown in figure 2, for the relationship between gay marriage to gay adoption, we could see that if people were strongly disagreed with gay marriage, they would show similar opinion towards gay adoption. The respondents were required to choose how much they agreed or disagreed to gay marriage and gay adoprtion in the Likert scale. The result shown that 35% of people who were strongly disagreed with gay adoption were strongly disagreed with gay marriage, and 38% of people who slightly disagreed with gay adoption strongly disagreed with gay marriage. However, the percentage decreased if people accepted gay adorpion (choose 4 or 5 in the Likert scale), no one strongly disagreed with gay marriage when they chose 3 in the Likert scale of gay adoption, and only 8% of them who strongly agree gay adoption were strongly disagreed with gay marriage. From the survey, people who approved with gay adoption would think that gay couples had no difference to homosexual couples. But people who disagreed with this issue would more likely to have the points that children raised by gay couples would be different than other children.
3. With respect to the policital parties’ perception of gay marriage, we also had a valid suspicion. From figure 3 we could see that Democrats (83% acceptance) was the most friendly political party to gay marriage while Independents (71% acceptance) shared the similar trend with it. However, Republicans (17% acceptance) still stuck on their views and more of them were opponents to this issue.
4. Figure 4 shown us the effect of religions. It was obvious that religion did effect people’s view of gay marriage. The more people’s were involved into their religion, the more likely for them to disagree with gay marriage. But people who disliked religion would be more accepting of this issue than people who had no religion. 38% of people who were very seriously involved into their religions were strongly disagreed with gay marriage, and 6% of people who were slightly into their religion were slightly disagreed with gay marriage. 7% of people with no religion were strongly disagreed with gay marriage. But no one who were disliked religion was disagreed with gay marriage.
5. We suspected that people born after 1980 were more likely to accept gay marriage. As shown in figure 5, we could see the percentages of people cannot accept gay marriage (red part) would go up by the ages getting older. But as we just had seven people who were older than 40 years old, the data could hardly be representive. However, overall we could tell younger people were more hopitable to this issue than older people.
After all, even though we have flaws in our data that the ages’ distribution of samples was uneven, which led to the result that in the older ages our data was not representative, we did have valid evidence to prove our hypotheses. To sum up, the result shown that ages, religion, polictical parties did have great effect on people’s opinions towards LGBTs, and the perceptions of the Texas Tech community on the gay marriage issue were concordant to the trend of Americans.
From the results, our major findings were the following:
First, if people were born after 1980 and they were gay supporters, they were more likely than the younger generation to have changed their minds in the past. As gay marriage issues have become more and more popular nowadays, I learned that most of them changed their attitudes because their friends or families’ members were gay. This was reasonable, since we all loved our family and friends, and although they were homosexual, it did not change the way they treated us. In fact, gay opponents were the ones who hurt the gay supporters. In our research, even though the number of people older than 35 was not a lot compared to the Millennials, over half of them indicated that they had changed their minds in the past. To some extent, I thought our suspicion was valid.
Second, if someone agreed with gay marriage, he or she would be more likely to accept gay adoption as well. Based on the results, most people thought that the most important thing to children was the parental love. In the survey, respondents were asked questions about the reasons they supported or opposed gay adoption. The results showed that in gay supporters’ perspective, they thought that there was no difference between LGBTs and heterosexual couples. Compared to single families or unstable families (such as domestic violence, low income, etc.), they believed gay couples were able to give a healthy family to children. Actually, there are thousands of orphans in the world, having a warm family was their dreams. People thought that it was unfair to prevent them from being adopted.
Third, political parties had different opinions about gay marriages. The result showed that Democrats were the friendliest ones to this issue, and independents exhibited a similar trend; but Republicans were more conservative to this issue. From the data, about half of the samples were Independents, and their voice was consistent with what we studied from the other research.
Fourth, the result proved that people who were involved in religions would be more likely to disagree with gay marriage. However, the ratio of religious people who accepted gay marriage was greater than what we expected. In fact, many of the respondents who regarded them as Christians in this survey supported gay marriage, which was kind of opposite to what we thought about the religions. As we known, some religions were against gay marriage. For instance, in the Bible, it was written that gay couples were not allowed by God, and they should not be blessed for their relationships, let alone allowing their marriages. Therefore, people involved deeply in Christianity, like Kim Davis, should be opposed to gay marriages, but the fact told us this was not true. Also, one point we needed to highlight here was that we had collected data from a Christian group, and since the students discussed when they were answering the questions, they might hide their true voice about the questions. For example, if a student saw his friends were all hospitable to gay couples, even though he disliked the LGBTs, he would lie to the survey in order to please his friends. As a result, in the future we should collect the sample randomly and separately to increase the data validity.
Fifth, we found out that people who older than 35 years old would be more likely to be opposed to gay marriage. Nevertheless, we had trouble to find elder people in campus, thus the number of people born after 1980 was much less than the number of Millennials. The result and analyses of this hypothesis might not be representative. Nevertheless, if we took a look for their opinions towards gay marriage and gay adoption, we did found some valid points. The percentage of elder people to change their mind from gay opponents and gay supporters was greater than younger generations, and they were actually more accepting of this issue than what we thought. Based on the results we got so far, the reason was mainly because their friends or family members had once admitted that they were gay, as the world became more and more opened to this issue.
Considering this was the first time for us to make a survey, we were not prepared perfectly and had a lot of deficiencies to improve. However, each of us learned a lot in this experience, and we all felt excited to prove our hypotheses. Talking about the lessons we learned, at the very beginning, we just considered the genders should be even in the data, and neglected the other elements such as ages, religions, race and political parties. We admitted that the ages were not even, which led results to be unrepresentative, but the gender ratio in our survey agreed well with that of Texas Tech’s. Moreover, some of the data were not collected randomly and separately which might skew the data trend. For example, people majoring in engineering might be more introverted and therefore became relatively conservative towards gay people, but people majoring in art or music might be more opened to it, since many of the artists and designers were gay. As a result, next time we should expand the sample number and try our best to get more elder people involved into our survey. What’s more, in order to increase the authenticity of the result, we need to separate the participants, making sure that they will not discuss with each other. We admitted that this survey was not perfect, but it did not mean that we were not working hard on it. In order to prepare well for the survey, we spent weeks reading the reports and literatures to make the assumptions. Besides that, we made two drafts for the survey and discussed the way to collect data. To better illustrate the data, we learned how to draw plots and charts from Excels. Although we were not perfect, we have tried our best.
Based on the results and data analysis, our major finding was that Texas Tech community’s perceptions about gay marriage and gay adoption were basically followed the trend of the United States, which indicated that Texans were not introversive as what we thought. Moreover, we were surprised to learn that elder people were actually quite opened to gay couples; the reason for that may have been that their family members or friends admitted they were gay in the past. In fact, media provided a great impetus to this issue. If you turned on the television, gay was no longer strange to us; we could meet gay couples on the TV shows and newspaper. As a result, many of people announced that they were gay and tried to have normal lives as others did. If one of our family members or friends became gay, it was nearly impossible for us to cut our relationship to them. In this case, we had to accept gay couples. According to our lecture reviews and the survey result, we found that this was the most effective way to turn a gay opponent into a gay supporter. Another surprise we found was that some of people involved deeply in their religions, such as Christians, would accept gay couple as well. Of course, we had to admit that our data was not enough to make this conclusion very confidently, but based on what we got so far, half of the Christians would support gay couples, which means that they would go against the Bible to support gay couples. In this case, it seemed that religion was not as oppose as what we thought towards LGBT. Moreover, many of us notice that the trend of gay acceptance became larger and larger nowadays, many of the young people did not regard that gay couples should be an issue. In their mind, the difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples was as natural as the genders’ difference. In the gay adoption part, most of the gay supporters also agreed with gay adoption; they thought that gay couples were able to offer financial and mental support to children. Compared to the violent families or bankrupt families, gay couples were better than all of them. People who supported gay adoption thought that it was unfair to deprive thousands of orphans’ chances to enter in a warm family. Overall, all of the classmates and the teachers in our class made a lot of efforts in this survey, and we did have some valid hypotheses. This was a very interesting experience for all of us since we had never made a survey before. To better give a survey, we read a lot of reports and lectures to learn what factors would affect a person’s attitude towards gay issues. We made summaries and commentaries before making the hypotheses. Under the guide by our teacher, we made two drafts for the survey sheet and discussed the way to collect samples. Actually, it was very exciting to see how people responded to our survey, especially when their answers were different from what we thought. In this process, we were not just getting the skill for making a survey. More importantly, we developed team working skills; and data analysis skills, all of these would be very helpful to our future careers.
Almond, M. (2015, August 16). Adoption rights: The next frontier for gay Alabama couples two months after marriage ruling. Al.com. Retrieved on September 10, 2015 from:
Beitsch, R. (2015, August 19). Despite same-sex marriage ruling, gay adoption rights uncertain in some states. USA Today. Retrieved on September 1, 2015 from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/08/19/despite-same-sex-marriage-ruling-gay-adoption-rights-uncertain-some-states/31992309/
Green, E. (2015, August 13). Christian bakers gotta bake, even for gays. The Atlantic. Retrieved on September 25, 2015 from:
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Holpuch, A. (2015, September 1). Defiant Kentucky clerk summoned to federal court over gay marriage refusal. The Guardian. Retrieved on September 25, 2015 from:
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Swift, A. (2014, May 30th). Most Americans Say Same-Sex Couples Entitled to Adopt.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
This study shows how Texas Tech University students think about gay marriage. This research paper was written after a survey was done with 145 students. In the survey, 88% of the students were Americans; the others were international students. The survey form contained 17 questions about gender, age and nationality, and several questions about gay marriage and issues. We found that Texas Tech students supported the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage and didn’t support Kim Davis's refusal. At the same time, the TTU students supported children’s adoption by gay couples and agreed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. Meanwhile, the TTU students thought that gay couples were as stable as the heterosexual couples. We believe that this study will lead the way to further studies about gay marriage.(Songhe Li)
Keywords: gay marriage, TTU, American
The numbers of gay marriages are escalating at a rapid rate, have become important nowadays, and are impacting all aspects of our social life. Gay marriage looks like a small village under the big country, but it also brings some advantages and disadvantages in the daily life, along with the issue about the gay marriage itself.
Since gay marriage became legal in 2015, gays have become able to get licenses from 50 states for same-sex marriage (Green, 2015). The government allows people to comment and watch in full freedom that the same-sex license can help show the human right. Many people disagree with giving the license to the same-sex couple. For example, Kim Davis, a clerk in Kentucky, refused to give licenses to the same-sex couple citing "God's authority" (Dunkin, 2014). Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, and she was thrown into jail. And there was a debate about religious liberty versus the civil rights afforded to all U.S. citizens.
There are several researchers who also discuss the relationship of gay marriage among students. Anna Twite (2015) says, “I don't understand why gay marriage and marriage equality is even an issue. People should just accept that not everyone feels the same way about love.” In fact there are several differences between male students and female students and American students and international students; moreover, there are differences among graduate students and undergraduate students. The argument about gay marriage will continue between different kinds of people, and that is a natural issue.
In the fall 2015 semester, the class of ESL 5301 conducted research about Texas Tech students’ opinions of gay marriage. Since this social phenomenon is enormously popular, we thought it would be useful and interesting to investigate how Texas Tech students thought about the same-sex marriage. In this research, each student took the same survey research about some topics, in order to get the real opinion among the students in Texas Tech University. I will provide information in the methods section about how this research was conducted.
Gay marriage is an important part of our social life. After gay marriage became legalized in 2015 (Green, 2015), most Americans supported gay marriage legalization and felt that gays should share the same rights as others (Bagnall, 2015). And Americans thought the reason for gay marriage is because they love each other just like the heterosexual (Levy, 2015). Especially among students, they also thought that love should be free, and people should not be bullied over whom they love (Twite, 2015). On the other hand, a few Americans have negative opinions on gay marriage (Jones, 2011, July). One of Kentucky's Clerks, Ms. Davis, refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because of "God's authority” (Dunkin, 2014). This has become an issue in the United States (Clements, 2011). Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her and she was thrown into jail (Dunkin, 2014). And there was a debate about religious liberty versus the civil rights afforded to all U.S. citizens (McCarthy, 2015).
Gay adoption has become another famous issue along with gay marriage. Most American states such as Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio and South Dakota now have given permission for gay couples to adopt (Somashekhar, 2015); others such as Texas and Michigan have been “creating new roadblocks to gay adoption”, by allowing religious groups to intervene in gay adoption (Beitsch, 2015).
Most Americans supported adoption by same-sex couples (Pew Research Center, 2013), and this number has been increasing, according to a survey (Jones, 2011); it also shows the highest support age-group was 18-29(it was 77%); and the lowest support age-group was 65 and older (it was 51%) (Swift, 2014).
It was hypothesized that male students would support gay marriage more than female students, because male students, are more open than female students; moreover, the male students sometimes will express the real emotions more open mindedly than female students. On the other hand, we thought that Texas Tech students would believe that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. This research showed how Texas Tech University students felt about the effects of gay marriage.
-Texas Tech students would support the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage.
- Texas Tech students would not support Kim Davis's refusal
- The TTU students would support children’s adoption by gay couples.
- The TTU students would agree that the gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing.
- The TTU students would think that the gay couples were as stable as the heterosexual couples.
Texas Tech University students were used in this research. Texas Tech University is a research university located in Lubbock, Texas, the southwest part of the USA. The university has 13 colleges and more than 150 courses(TTU, 2015). The current enrollment of students is about 35,893, including approximately 91% of Americans and 9% international students. Most of the students come from Texas (TTU, 2015). As we knew, TTU is a fairly typical public American university and its students are a fairly typical sample of American university students. Moreover, most Texas Tech University students are young people. Therefore, the opinion of TTU students could be showing the idea of the students in American universities, even in particular young people.
We collected data about gay marriage and issues related to it. Thomas Leverett, who teaches ESL 5301-1 course in fall in 2015, created the questions for this survey; these questions were written by students who were in the 5301-1 course. The survey form contained 17 questions about gender, age and nationality, and several questions about gay marriage and issues. The survey form had 13 simple multiple-choice questions, 2 complex multiple-choice questions and 2 simple answer questions. In the survey form, there were two questions that were of most interest. The first one was to ask the participants whether they agreed with adoption for the same sex couple. And the second one was to ask whether they thought the gay couples were more stable than heterosexual couples. The first question was to find out people’s attitudes toward the adoption of children, while the second one was to find out people’s attitudes toward the real relationship of gay partners. These two questions helped us to explore people’s real ideas on the same sex couple.
For conducting surveys, there were some rules and all of the students followed them. These rules were: Our classmates consisted of nine persons; each of us collected twelve or more sample surveys of Texas Tech University students, including at least six female and six male students from the U.S.A. It did not matter if they were undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. students. Since this research showed the survey was used by the American young student population, we kept asking the questions to those who were born in the USA. Pollsters could take the survey with some international students. All the answers must depend on the participants themselves; the surveyors couldn’t give any suggestions or advice to fill them out; at the same time, the surveyors couldn’t give any pressure on the participants if they left some questions blank, unless they forgot to fill out the back of the survey. Most of the participants were very glad to take these questions and felt interested.
Totally 146 surveys were taken in Texas Tech University. Finally 145 surveys were tabulated; one survey was incomplete. Thus, we obtained 145 surveys in total as original data for our gay marriage and issues survey research. 75 of them were females and the other 70 were males. Another point was that the survey included 127 American students and 18 international students.
Each surveyor had to write a short story or process about how they conducted the surveys and what difficulties they encountered during investigation after they finished the survey.
We built an Excel file to collect the data. The Excel was made by one of our classmates, Elliot Geikowsky, who collected our survey and data together and then sent us the final data result. The Excel included all the information about gay marriage and the issues survey.
In total 145 surveys were filled out. The numbers of female students were slightly more than those of male students who filled out the survey; however, they were very close to the same number. 75 of them were females and the other 70 were males. It also means 51% were female and 49% were male in the survey. The people who filled out the survey were mostly Americans. Fewer of them were international students. 127 students in total were Americans; it was about 88%. On the other hand, 18 of the total students were internationals; it was about 12%. In the American students’ group, 90 Americans, almost 71%, came from Texas, and the others, about 29%, came from other parts of the U.S.
Our first hypothesis was that the TTU students would support the Supreme Court’s decision about legalizing gay marriage. The results of the survey indicated that most of the students strongly supported the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage. 73 students reported they had a strongly agreeing attitude about this decision, which meant it got 50% in the survey. 50 students stood for neutrality, or at least they would not choose against this policy. This meant 35% in the survey. This supported our hypothesis. However, 20 students reported they had a strongly disagreeing attitude about this decision, which meant it got 14% in the survey. Only 2 students who filled out the survey said they did not know if the Supreme Court’s decision was right or not, which means it got 1% in the survey (Chart 1).
The second hypothesis was that “Texas Tech students will not support Kim Davis's refusal”. We wanted to know what Texas Tech students thought about that. The survey indicated that Texas Tech students would not support Kim Davis's refusal. 86 students reported that they thought Kim Davis should do her job; this means 59% of students didn’t support Kim Davis’ refusal to issue the license to the same sex couple. 22 of the students thought Kim Davis should follow her conscience. This also means 15% of students supported Kim Davis’ refusal to issue the license to the same sex couple. Our study also indicated that the number of students who had no opinion about this event was 32; this meant 22% in the survey. 5 students who filled out the survey reported that they did not care about this event; it got 4% in the survey (Chart 2).
Our third hypothesis was that the TTU students would support children’s adoption by gay couples. For this information, it was asked whether students believed gay couples should be able to adopt children. The result that we received from our survey was more than a half of the students agreed the gay couple should be able to adopt children. 48 students strongly agreed with gay adoption; it almost got 33%. 19 students agreed slightly with the gay adoption; it got 13% in the survey; that attitude is less common than strongly agree. This supports our hypothesis. 29 students were neutral; it meant 20% students neither support nor disagree with gay adoption. But 10 students were strongly disagreeing and 39 students disagreed with this action. The percentages were 7% and 27% respectively (Chart 3).
We also had another hypothesis about children’s adoption. The hypothesis was that people would agree that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. Another result we got from our surveys was that most of the students believed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. This supports our hypothesis. The result indicated that 97 students believed that there would no difference between the children in the gay couples’ family and in the heterosexual couples’ family; it meant that 67% of students in the survey thought that there would not be any effects between these two different families. 26 students thought there would be some slight difference between these two kinds of couples’ families, it almost got 18%. Only 13 students indicated that the same sex family would affect children’s upbringing; it was 9% in the survey (Chart 4).
Lastly, our hypothesis was the TTU students would think that the gay couples are as stable as the heterosexual couples. In the survey, we asked the students what they thought about whether the gay couples were more stable or less stable than heterosexual couples. According to our survey, more than a half of the students believed that both the gay couple and heterosexual couples have the same stability in general. 93 students indicated that these two kinds of couple would be equally stable in social life; it means 64% of students thought the relationship between these two kinds of couples would be the same. This supports our hypothesis. But 17 students, about 12% in the survey, said the gay couple would be less stable than the heterosexual couple. Only 7 students thought that the gay couple would be more stable than the heterosexual couple; this means 5% of students would prefer the heterosexual family to the same sex family (Chart 5).
We created some hypotheses before we started our survey. In total 145 surveys were filled out, so we could follow these statements and come up with the results. The survey showed that this sample was from students in TTU; 88% of students in total were Americans; 12% of the total students were internationals. In the American students’ group, almost 71% students came from Texas, and the others, about 29%, came from other parts of the U.S. That result came like that because most TTU students were from the United States, which meant they had American nationality. Also, the survey showed that 51% were female students and 49% were male students in the survey. This also showed that the number of males was very close to the number of females.
According to the survey, 73 students, 50% in the survey, reported they had a strongly agreeing attitude about this decision. 50 students, 35% in the survey, stood for neutrality or at least they would not choose against this policy. This meant that means it is easier for students to accept the new policy or new things. Normally, younger people study in school and they obtain the advanced knowledge and ideas from school or society, so it is easier for the younger people to accept the policy about supporting the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage. At the same time, I think there is a relationship with younger psychology, because it is common that younger people are more social. The behavioral psychology of younger people makes it easier for them to obtain new ideas. This is just trying to explain the younger people’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage. We cannot make a good comparison between younger people and old people, since we didn’t take enough old people in the survey. So we can only conclude that younger people tend to agree with the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage.
We focused on whether Texas Tech students would not support Kim Davis's refusal. We noted that Texas Tech students would not support Kim Davis's refusal. The survey reported that 86 students reported that they thought Kim Davis should do her job; this means most of students had thought Kim Davis should do her job; this means these students didn’t support Kim Davis’ refusal to issue licenses to the gay couples. The reason for this percentage was the idea from students who had thought that everyone should have their own right in the U.S. Both the gay couples and heterosexual couples should have the same right by law. From this point we can learn how important the rights are in the U.S.! However, we know that American students have more open ideas than other countries’, so we still need do some surveys to international students. On the other hand, we also noted from the survey that 15% of students supported Kim Davis’ refusal to issue licenses to gay couples. We can learn that there are some students who preferred heterosexual couples.
On the other hand, we tried to find out whether TTU students would support the children’s adoption by gay couples. For this information, the survey indicated that more than a half of the students agreed that gay couples should be able to adopt children. Only 10 students were strongly disagreeing with this action. In the United States, everyone should have the equal rights and obligations in society. So the students thought that gay couples should be able to enjoy having children. At the same time, they have an obligation to look after children and bring them up.
One of the hypotheses stated that people would agree that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. What we found after the survey was that most of the students believed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. The result indicated that 97 students indicated that there would be no difference between the children in the gay couples’ family and in the heterosexual couples’ family; it meant that these students in the survey thought that there would not be any effects between these two different families. Our study showed that we were right at the beginning. The reason people agreed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing was that education for children’s upbringing includes several factors, such as school education, society education and so on. Family education is only a small part of children’s lives.
Also, we believed that TTU students would think that the gay couples are as stable as heterosexual couples. According to our survey, 64% of students indicated that these two kinds of couples would be equally stable in social life; it means these students thought the relationship between these two kinds of couples would be the same. The relationship should be built based on the common efforts of each one in the couples, friends and other social relationships, so the gay couples are as stable as heterosexual couples if each one in the couple tried their best to build their relationships.
Finally, we could say that we have gotten any information we needed by collecting the surveys. All of the data were useful to reach the results. However, we still have some limitations in our survey, such as the attitude of the international student or the elder people. Sometimes, international students and elder people are maintaining less open opinions than American young students, so we may get different results if we take the international students and elder people into account. I think we still need to do some more surveys to show more results or information about gay marriage.
Gay marriage has become very important in our social life. To discover this information, we take 145 students of Texas Tech University into our survey; 88% of students in total were Americans; 12% of the total students were internationals. The study showed that Texas Tech students supported the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage, and they didn’t support Kim Davis's refusal. It also indicated that The TTU students supported children’s adoption by gay couples and they agreed that gay adoption would not affect children’s upbringing. Meanwhile, we can know from the survey that the TTU students thought that the gay couples were as stable as the heterosexual couples. However, we still have some limitations in our survey; for example, this gay marriage study of TTU students was a small sample, which included only 145 TTU students. The sample of TTU students should include at least 3000 TTU students to get ideal results. On the other hand, we only concentrated on the opinion of American young students; we also need to pay attention to the international students or the older people. I think we still need to do some more surveys to show more results or information about gay marriage.
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