Studies challenge widely held assumptions about same-sex parenting

Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

"We find that critics continue to make claims that simply aren't supported by the research," he said. The need, he noted, is not so much tracking negative outcomes — "I think most scientists are reasonably satisfied that a gay parent can be damaging, as can a straight parent" — but finding what supports or undermines a child's positive development.

While Brodzinsky said some studies show young adults raised by same-sex parents are more likely to acknowledge same-sex curiosity and even experimentation, there is not evidence they are more likely to self-identify as gay or lesbian. "Even if they did, is that an adjustment difficulty? Not according to the APA," he said. "It does not translate to risk for depression or other kinds of adjustment problems." Research has found no different outcomes based on parental sexual preference in the cognitive development and social success of offspring, he added. The same is true for delinquency and victimization. What is a fair criticism of the literature on same-sex parenting, he said, is that it has looked almost exclusively at middle-class families. "A lot of research on single parenting is confounded by the fact they have fewer resources." People who choose to parent as singles, gay or straight, tend to be middle or upper-class and the data looks quite good for the children, he said. "Single parenting is as much about resources as it is about the quality of parenting."

The Regnerus study is unusual, as well, because it questioned the children, now adults, themselves, instead of asking the parents to report on how they thought their kids were doing.

In our opinion: Family structure counts

Email: lois@desnews.com

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