Thursday, October 13, 2005

How `bout Those Gay Parents?

One study seldom means much. On the other hand, 15 pointing to positive same-sex parents may have some significance.

Our prejudices include disdain for medical and mental health professionals who grab the latest study or survey results and wave them. "Now we know!" is the cry. "Maybe," and "Duh," are the refrains.

The WebMD site has a piece on numerous studies of how having gay parents affects kids. A Tufts pediatrics professor, Ellen C. Perrin, M.D., presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference and Exhibition in D.C. a few days ago. A major conclusion is:
The combined data presented by Perrin showed that children whose parents are lesbian have no more problems than the rest of the children and actually may be more tolerant of differences, she says. There was suggestive evidence that there were more stresses due to the gender of same-sex parents, but the children also reported greater well-being, more nurturing, and a greater tolerance for differences.
She reported very consistent finding across the 15 studies. These are of over 500 children, evaluated for "possible stigma, teasing and social isolation, adjustment and self-esteem, opposite gender role models, sexual orientation, and strengths."

Findings include:
  • "(C)hildren of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way. In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures."
  • Comparing households with heterosexual and with lesbian moms after divorce, there was no difference in "intelligence, type or prevalence of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, well-being, peer relationships, couple relationships, or parental stress."
  • "Some studies showed that single heterosexual parents' children have more difficulties than children who have parents of the same sex. They did better in discipline, self-esteem, and had less psychosocial difficulties at home and at school."
Estimates for the nation are that there are between 1 and 6 million reared by homosexual couples.

4 comments:

jingyi said...

GREAT SITE!

Lynne said...

The combined data presented by Perrin showed that children whose parents are lesbian have no more problems than the rest of the children and actually may be more tolerant of differences, she says.

Isn't that what anti-gay people really scared of? I mean, all those "more tolerant" children might means less gay-hating people in the future! It's infiltration of the gay agenda into families!

It was never about the kids themselves. People who think that's their real concern are naive.

Rieux said...

In that last bullet point, what does "they" refer to?

I guess it must mean children of gay parents, but it's a confusing wording.

Mass Marrier said...

Yes, that's what it means and that is the quote from the article.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a full presentation from the proceedings for Perrin.

Of course, that would be amusing if the eventual consensus was that gay parents produced more mentally healthy kids, eh?

UpTweet