Tue Jun 12, 2012, 01:40 PM
pnwmom (56,203 posts)
Debate on a new study of gay vs. straight parents [View all]
Some groups are alarmed at a new study that is depicted as showing poorer outcomes for adult children of gay parents. They shouldn't be. This study has no relevance for today's push for marriage equality.
The children in this study (now adults) were raised by single parents, or by parents in TRADITIONAL gay marriages -- in other words, in mixed- orientation marriages, gay people married to straight people, who went on to divorce.
Furthermore, the study included adult-children up to the age of 39, so the difficulties they experienced with their parents' divorce and subsequent coming-out would likely be greater than would be true today. (Although I don't want to minimize this -- in any situation where it is hard for an adult to come out, it is also hard for the spouse and children.)
But, in any case, the outcomes of these children would not be predictive of children raised openly, from the beginning, by committed gay spouses who don't bring their children through a divorce and coming-out process.
If anything, this study is an argument FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY. It shows that traditional gay families, i.e. gay people having children with straight people (and eventually getting divorced), result in poorer outcomes for children.
Young adults from broken homes in which a parent had had a same-sex relationship reported modestly more psychological and social problems in their current lives than peers from other families that had experienced divorce and other disruptions, a new study has found, stirring bitter debate among partisans on gay marriage.
The study counted parents as gay or lesbian by asking participants whether their parents had ever had a same-sex relationship; the parents may not have identified themselves as gay or lesbian. Gay-rights groups attacked the study, financed by conservative foundations, as biased and poorly done even before its publication on Sunday in the journal Social Science Research.
But outside experts, by and large, said the research was rigorous, providing some of the best data yet comparing outcomes for adult children with a gay parent with those with heterosexual parents. But they also said the findings were not particularly relevant to the current debate over gay marriage or gay parenting.
About half the study participants with a gay parent, as defined in the study, were born out of wedlock and half into a traditional family that broke up. Many lived with the gay parent sporadically.
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