New Research on Children of Same-Sex Parents Suggests Differences Matter

Religion Today

New Research on Children of Same-Sex Parents Suggests Differences Matter


A number of studies and articles have suggested that research shows no difference in outcome between children whose parents have same-sex relationships and those raised by heterosexual parents, but two peer-reviewed articles published Sunday in the academic journal Social Science Research challenge the validity of the "no difference" assertion, the Heritage Foundation reports. One study, conducted by a Louisiana State University family scholar, concluded that data from previous research showing no difference in outcomes between children with gay parents and those with heterosexual parents was insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. To make a generalizable claim, many representative, large-sample studies are needed -- such as the one supplied in the New Family Structures Study, conducted by a University of Texas-Austin sociologist. The NFSS screened more than 15,000 young adults (ages 18 to 39) nationwide to identify nearly 3,000 participants, including 175 respondents whose mothers had a romantic same-sex relationship and 73 whose fathers had. The results showed that young adults whose mothers or fathers had a same-sex relationship tended to fare worse than their peers in intact biological families. Those whose mothers had a same-sex relationship were far more likely to report being sexually victimized, to be on welfare or to be currently unemployed, and those whose fathers had one were significantly more likely to have contemplated suicide, to have a sexually transmitted infection or to have been forced to have sex against their will.

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