Do gay parents have happy children?

lesbian_parents.jpgThe American Psychological Association’s flagship publication Monitor on Psychology summarises the research on gay parents and finds their children are generally healthy, happy and well adjusted, despite occasional homophobic teasing.

Patterson‘s and others’ findings that good parenting, not a parent’s sexual orientation, leads to mentally healthy children may not surprise many psychologists. What may be more surprising is the finding that children of same-sex couples seem to be thriving, though they live in a world that is often unaccepting of their parents.

In fact, an as-yet-unpublished study by Nanette Gartrell, MD, found that by age 10, about half of children with lesbian mothers have been targeted for homophobic teasing by their peers. Those children tended to report more psychological distress than those untouched by homophobia.

But as a group, the children of lesbian moms are just as well-adjusted as children from more traditional families, according to the data from Gartrell’s National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study.

Link to article in APA monitor.
Link to Patterson’s full report “Lesbian and Gay Parenting” from the APA.

2 thoughts on “Do gay parents have happy children?”

  1. Without necessarily disputing these results, I am skeptical of the ability to establish them scientifically with any degree of confidence. Happiness or emotional well-being are subtle things which are difficult, if not impossible, to measure, except in extreme cases. To assume otherwise is a common fallacy in the social sciences. It needs a name. How about “the fallacy of misplaced empiricism”?
    For the same reason I am skeptical of studies which purport to “show” that divorce or extended daycare of enfants do not have negative impact on children’s emotional well-being and happiness both in childhood and later on. I look forward to the day we can detect the presence generalized anxiety and related emotional states in the brain, rather than relying on surveys that assume people’s willingness to answer extremely personal questions honestly.

  2. I think gay parents can show children a postive roll model. I have 2 older children that has started the university and are doing quite well.
    Kendal Nite (gay author)
    I have just recently started writing some fairy-tales that will be published soon. These are written with the encouragement of my children. They said they wished they had gay characters in their books when they were younger.
    (for those who are curious, the question is, they are straight) Seems to be the question I always get…

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