RESEARCH: CHILDREN RAISED BY SAME-SEX PARENTS ARE AS HAPPY & HEALTHY AS CHILDREN RAISED BY STRAIGHT PARENTS
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows children raised in same-sex-parented families do as well as children raised by heterosexual couple parents.
The study further puts to rest homophobic theories that imply that children raised by same-sex parents are at risk.
This recent research involved 25-year-olds with sexual-minority parents and was conducted by Nanette Gartrell M.D, Henny Bos Ph.D., and Audrey Koh M.D. The researchers compared relationships, educational/job performance, and behavioural, emotional and mental health problems in the two samples and found that there were no significant differences in measures of mental health.
Nanette Gartrell started recruiting families for the study in 1987 and followed the children’s development into young adulthood. When she began her study there was considerable speculation about the future mental health of children raised by sexual minority parents. Mental health was the focus of the research because the peak incidence of many psychiatric disorders occurs during this phase of adulthood.
Ryan Light, a Sociologist at the University of Oregon said in an interview with the LA Times that the study corroborated the “overwhelming scientific consensus that children of LGBTQ families experience no differences relative to children raised in heterosexual families on outcomes related to mental and emotional well-being and education, among others.”
A similar research conducted by Susan Golombok, Lucy Blake, Gabriela D. Roman (from Cambridge University) and Jenna Slutsky, Elizabeth Raffanello, Anke Ehrhardt (Columbia University) focused on children being raised by gay fathers vs lesbian mothers.
The study focus group consisted of 40 gay father families created through surrogacy and a comparison group of 55 lesbian mother families created through donor insemination with a child aged 3–9 years. The format used was a standardized interview, observational and questionnaire measures of stigmatization, quality of parent-child relationships, and children’s adjustment to be completed by parents, children, and teachers.
The study found that children with lesbian mothers and children with gay fathers both had low levels of emotional or behavioural issues. Gay fathers reported even less internalization of problems among their children than did lesbian mothers, further countering the idea that children with two fathers may have adjustment problems.
So there you have it.
These studies are ongoing, and as same-sex parents are growing in number this is an awesome starting point to put things into perspective.