Gay Parents As Good As Straight Ones
MED prof’s finding comes as Supreme Court weighs same-sex marriage
When the Supreme Court took up the issue of gay marriage last month, Justice Antonin Scalia claimed that experts debate whether same-sex parents are bad for children.
“There’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences are of raising a child in a…single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not,” Scalia declared.
Benjamin Siegel says Scalia’s contention is—not to get too technical—baloney.
Siegel, a School of Medicine professor of pediatrics, coauthored a report, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics the week before the court case, arguing that three decades of research concur that kids of gay parents are doing just fine.
“Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents,” Siegel writes with coauthor Ellen Perrin, a Tufts University professor of pediatrics and director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics.
In an interview with BU Today, Siegel acknowledges the limits of all this research: none of the studies has been a randomized, controlled trial—the Holy Grail of scientific investigation—and all studies of gay parenting are necessarily small, since there aren’t many gay parents. The report cites estimates that gay couples and single parents are raising almost two million American children.
Those caveats notwithstanding, “the preponderance of evidence” says Scalia’s fears are groundless, Siegel says. Does he expect the report to influence either the high court or state legislatures debating gay marriage and adoption? “That’s my hope,” he says, “and I must say, it’s not a political hope. It’s a scientific hope.…That it will put an end to questioning that people who are homosexual cannot raise children or be foster or adoptive parents.”
Siegel says in the Washington Post, one of several major media that picked up his report, that “we’re never going to get the perfect science, but what you have right now is good-enough science. The data we have right now are good enough to know what’s good for kids.”
The best study so far, Siegel tells BU Today, is the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, begun in 1986. The study has followed 154 lesbian mothers and recently checked in on 78 adolescent children, comparing the mothers’ and kids’ self-reported status against national standardized samples.
The lesbian mothers’ reports of their children “indicated that they had high levels of social, school/academic, and total competence and fewer social problems, rule-breaking, and aggressive and externalizing behavior compared with their age-matched counterparts,” Siegel and Perrin write. If you might expect parents to say that, consider their kids’ testimony: “The self-reported quality of life of the adolescents in this sample was similar to that reported by a comparable sample of adolescents with heterosexual parents.”
Siegel and Perrin’s report also cites three studies done in the United States and Europe—two involving lesbian mothers and the third one involving men and women whose adult children reported they’d had a parent involved in a same-sex relationship. Those studies similarly found no difference in outcomes for the children as compared with children of heterosexual parents.
A dissenting Australian study, Siegel and Perrin write, interviewed teachers of 58 children who’d been raised variously by married heterosexuals, unmarried heterosexuals living together, and gay parents living together. Even that study found mixed results (the children of gay parents did more poorly in language and math, but better in social studies and attitudes toward learning, for example). Moreover, most children in the study wound up with gay parents because their straight birth parents had divorced, “potentially adding to the children’s stress,” Siegel and Perrin write. And the Australian researchers suggested the gay couples’ children “were severely stigmatized in their schools and communities,” adding stress.
Siegel cites another antigay parenting study by a University of Texas researcher that has also been criticized for its methodology. The researcher compared children in happy heterosexual marriages with children whose parents divorced after a gay affair. The researcher has admitted that his scientific work and Catholic faith are inseparable; Catholic teaching denounces homosexual acts as sinful.
A university investigation cleared the researcher of scientific misconduct while sidestepping the question of flawed methods, leaving it “to debates that are currently under way in the academy.”
The great thing about same-sex parents is that you know they truly want to have children and have thoroughly thought about the commitment it takes to raise them.
If you truly believe this, then you’re utterly misguided.
It is true. You’re misguided for not acknowledging it.
Gay parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents,” said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. “That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.”
If you haven’t noticed, the desire for Gays to have families has been very recent.
There is not the length of time to make the claims the studies are making.
And they are not comparing the gay couples to similar straight couples.
They are not comparing 40 year old professionals to 40 year old professionals ….
Wayne, this is not true at all. The desire for homosexuals to have families is not some new phenomenon. The only thing that is new is the public talking about it, and more couples being open about their desires and families instead of hiding it. My fiancé was raised in a same sex family and I know a myriad of other adults who were raised in similar families. Almost all of them are heterosexual by the way, but are open minded.
On the other portion on your comment, you are correct in that the studies cannot EXACTLY match the sample. They are not all blue collar or white collar on either side, and the reputable studies use equally diverse and un-bias sample groups and control groups. It is nearly impossible to conduct a study that would match age, socioeconomic status, profession, and marital status while such prejudice exists in this country. Far too many couples who want families are afraid to because of it, far too many gay individuals remain in the closet to the public because they risk losing their professions etc. Additionally, the vast majority of same sex couples cannot marry, nor benefit from numerous financial and social perks, which also affect the families. Until the close-mindedness stops and homosexuals are treated equally, the studies that have been done are as fair and un-bias as they can possibly be – and by no means should their results be up for debate, as the children in same sex families clearly get the short end of the stick from society, and yet still are as well adjusted as those children raised in traditional families, if not more so (on average).
Ridiculous. Homosexuality has only achieved a greater degree of accpetance after the 70’s or 80’s and can only be studied within a generation. So they could have still wanted families and by law were not allowed to because of orientation and the laws changed. Many of my gay acquaintances want children and you can’t say oh that’s a new thing for most cases it’s the human condition to want children and to raise them. Even though in a great degree that is in decline as in general fewer couples desire children.
What you are arguing here is not gay vs. straight but bio vs adopted.
A totally different subject in which you must examine heterosexual adopted kid vs kids adopted by gays.
So kids are “accidents” then?
Kids can only be “accidents” to heterosexual couples. I think that’s the great thing about same-sex parents. If they adopt you, they really want you. They didn’t have you and then decided they should probably keep you which often happens.
and to Kody,
Jenna’s assumption that all hetero couples kids are accidents and none of the gay\bi couples kids are not is an interesting concept. On the other hand, no child has ever been born to a gay couple without a member of the opposite sex or scientific interference.
Except that’s not what jenna said.
She simply said that, due to the nature of things, there is little-to-no chance of a same-sex couple having a child be accident, which is fact. Not “ALL”, just that it’s something that can ONLY occur in hetero couples.
I live in a small town, and 80% of the marriages here are due to pregnancy occurring during or right out of high school; by definition, these are all accidental pregnancies, and a strong majority of these marriages end up being unhappy and cheating (In fact, due to the religious homophobic attitudes in this town as well, a good majority of the people end up being gay/bi and cheating on their spouses due to accepting these desires later in life, or marrying out of duty alone.
People always seem to make an assumption that children being born by accident go on to be unwanted and unloved. This isn’t an inevitability and I think the very large majority of parents of accidentally conceived children go on to want them and love them very much.
On the other hand, it is entirely possible that, while gay parents may want children, they can want them for the wrong reasons or end up not wanting them as much after having them.
To assume wanting/not wanting children makes good/bad parents is flawed reasoning and leads to flawed conclusions.
So not true
I say if you love someone wither you’re a girl and you like girls or you’re a boy and you like boys it shouldn’t matter nothing should stop you from having a family. I mean think of it this way if you were in the “Gay” couples shoes you wouldn’t want some to tell you that you can have a kid because you’re different than the others. I don’t believe that people are gay, lesbian or whatever what I see is that people in love with other people.
Im 15 and in society’s eyes I’m conceder bisexual but when I’m older I would want to live in a world here I would feel comfortable and my soon to be kids too and I would want to adopt a kid wither its with my husband or wife and no be turned down because who im married with. Yes research shows that children in same sex families tend to less aggressive and more understanding ut who cares that child that kid has a family who loves them a lot and isn’t what adopting all about to give a child a nice stable home for them to stay in. I come from a man and a women relationship and I turned out “Bi” but my brothers and sister didn’t so that show you don’t just become “GAY” because your parents were and it should be this big of a problem They’re more important things that is going on in our world and we always tend to ignore it cause we just don’t want to deal with it. Anyways what I’m trying to say id it shouldn’t matter who or what you are no one should stop you from having a family and creating you new found happnise because they think its wrong.
I completely agree with you Stephanie, people should be able to raise a child whether they’re gay or straight.
I can guarantee no gay couples have an unwanted pregnancy however One out of every 10 women aged 15-19 becomes pregnant each year in the United States. Of these pregnancies, five out of six are unintended–92 percentof those conceived premaritally, and half of those conceived in marriageo soyes gay couples do desire a family but for some reason are denied that right to adopt in the United States and still are required to pay School taxes so closed minded individuals like yourself can send your child to school…why is it so important to people what goes on in other people’s lives? I’ll tell you why because your unfulfilled Y
your own …get a hobby.
Being a good parent has nothing to do with how/whom you chose to have sex with.
However there some implications with gay parents. Parents influence is huge in children, especially in early years. Its impossible to say (yet) how being part of a gay family will affect an individual. I can only imagine the confusion in a childs mind. It will also be cruel to the child while growing up, with other children making fun of it, his/her 2 moms and especially his/her 2 dads.
Personally I think its not fair to the child to have a gay family and that when you chose to make your own gay family you have to accept the fact that same-sex people can’t physically make a child. You can’t have everything, thats just selfish.
I also think that there are too many children in the world who are starving, getting abused, sold to companies like Nestle for $200, fighting our oil wars and so on.. And all they need is a little love, don’t matter if its from a gay or straight couple.
My mom is a lesbian and has been for as long as i can remember. There is nothing wrong with it and i am a more understanding and nicer person because of it. I am a freshmen in college and doing so on a full academic scholarship.
So you never have wanted a father to do things with? Never wished you had someone to show you how to do certain masculine things? Of course you did – you have wondered what it would have been like and it is traumatic for a child – no different if there was a divorce or death. Gay marriage and child rearing is wrong and it will manifest itself after the first generation is allowed to do so.
happy42xxx you don’t really know that Kyle hasn’t had the childhood he wanted. you don’t necessarily need a FATHER, just a father FIGURE. you don’t need you father to teach you how to do those things, just someone to do that, and this situation is the same for all kids who don’t have fathers for whatever reason
Why do you ask this young man a question and then just answer it for him? Rather rude!
I never had a father, my mom is straight but I never wanted a dad or a father figure or a male figure at all in my life
I was raised by two wonderful loving mothers. I am more open-minded, because of it. I am a successful college student today, and my moms are amazing parents. They had a right to create their own family. I did not suffer any confusion as a child. Rather, I had a more broad definition of family.
I agree that being a good parent has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation. I fortunately was raised in an accepting environment and did not suffer the bullying many do, but arguably this type of bullying can occur with many other family types, making the argument that it’s cruel to raise a child in any non-standard family. I don’t agree with that. Hopefully the world will become more accepting in the future.
I love Sara’s answer very much. As far as confusing as a child .. I’ve never meet a child who doesn’t get or accept same sex love (other then if they are raised in a homophobic household). It’s not confusing it just as Sara mentioned shows more definition of family .
I think same-sex couples shouldn’t be barred from adopting kids, but the phrase “They had a right to create their own family” is, I believe, an incredibly dangerous attitude to have towards this issue. I feel that people throw the word “right” around to easily. No one has a “right” to raise a child that is not theirs….just saying.
Lou, by saying that nobody has a “right” to raise a child that is not theirs, what give people the “right” to kill their children before they have a chance to be developed, or to give away their children because they decide they didn’t want to have them. If you don’t want children, you need to take the precautions and realize that there will always be a possibility of having a child because of sex. If you have the “right” to choose to have sex, does that give you the “right” to avoid your consequences?
So, if two same sex parents don’t have the right to raise a child, whose parents made the decision to give them up, then you expect them to live a neglected, parentless life? That statement in and of itself is extremely contradictory, because you’re saying that two normal human beings aren’t allowed to raise a child in which they themselves cannot bear on their own, simply because the child was at one point someone else’s property? Call me uneducated or whatever you want to say via another comment, but I honestly don’t understand your thinking. I find it intriguing that you think gay parents have no right to raise a child that was previously forfeited by their birth parent, solely because the child does not “Belong” to them? I don’t understand that and I doubt I ever will, but I deeply appreciate your opinion and look forward to your response, if you choose to, that is. But thank you, for opening my mind to intensive thought and curiosity, I’m sure it will benefit me in the years to come.
that is exactly like telling a heterosexual couple that can’t have kids “it’s not your right to raise this child that would not have love otherwise
Children have a right to be born to people who love and support them. I think gays can make good parents but the child IS denied the support and love from one of the opposite sex /gender that was required to make them. A child is naturally in product of a man and a woman and should be raise by a man and a woman.
Hello Sara, I am doing a project on Physical and Emotional effects on children being brought up by same sex parents, I was wondering would I be able to use your comment as evidence for my article which I am doing for the project.
I also want to add on to all the other comments…if having a child in a family with homosexual parents will confuse the child….what about all the children that are LGBT? Then wouldn’t it technically be just as confusing for heterosexual parents to have kids?
The over-ridding influence on the children is my concern. People can claim that a sexual orientation is from birth, but I have seen people cross over who are young, and that means that the influence of the parent would be instrumental toward that lifestyle. Check the figures, because today most of our youth who are not religious are all sexually cross overs.
I came from what you’d call a bad family. When I was 5 years old, my lesbian aunt took me in. My father (who is an alcoholic ad drug addict) decided to take my four younger brothers with him. I am now 15 years old, living with all my brothers and happier than most teenagers. I have never experienced being bullied or being depressed. I think my Mom and her girlfriend are doing just fine, thank you.
Personally I think that if a child is waiting to be adopted, they won’t care who their parents become or who their parents love. They will just be thankful to have parents. Comments like yours Jerry, no offense because I don’t know you, usually come from people who have had it pretty good their whole life and don’t know controversy or not having a family. If my dad were to tell me he was gay, I would love him the same because today, the most important thing is BEING WHO YOU ARE. And instead of teaching kids to be ashamed of their gay parents, or teaching kids that gay marriage is wrong, we should be teaching them that being who you are is 100% okay. Because that is all same-sex couples are doing. And if this makes them wrong of anything, than obviously the majority of society that disagrees with their love of each other is messed up.
It’s amazing what you just said. so you think is fair for those children who are born from straight families to be abandoned, or worse abuse by their own parents? You are calling it being selfish, when in reality all they are doing is to nurturing and loving a child that some straight parent didn’t want.
a child for adoption can’t choose!!!!! I don’t judge gays, but in my opinion is “no natural”
It occurs in nature and has been observed in no less than 1500 species; among those occurances, a good number take in and raise abandoned offspring of dead of disinterested parents.
It has a genetic or developmental origin from within the womb
By all of these things, it is natural.
i think the same too
It’s not about sex, sure, but parenting is about being a mother and a father, what same sex couples just can’t be.
Depending on your sense of values, you might argue that accepting same sex couples as parents is positive a step forward. It’s exposing the truth about something that was once taboo and it helps our children learn fairness and acceptance in their formative years. I’d say the real fear from those opposed is that their personal prejudisms could be exposed. Since many racist, sexist and religiously biased individuals use antiquated pseudo-morality as a tool to spew their hate of anyone different, this should come as no surprize! The fact that the younger generation is more accepting gives me hope for a better future for everyone.
“Antigay” study … Why don’t you label the others “progay” since most were funded by pro same-sex marriage organizations and gay researchers…
This article is a joke
Diddly….there’s no indication that Siegel or Perrin have any reason to be pro-gay. The study is as unbiased as any I’ve ever seen. Actually it’s your bigotry and close-mindedness that blocks any acceptance. You obvious haven’t read all the comments of people who lived it and none of them are negative. BTW I’m a heterosexual with three children, two of whom were adopted. I just happen to see through the glass clearly now that I’ve shaken most of my bigotry.
I think Diddly’s point is that Siegel pulled data from a Lesbian Family study run by a lesbian couple and giving it accolades while calling the Texas study biased because it is done by a Christian. Seems he is not being objective whatsoever.
Just because they “want” them more (which in itself is a ridiculous notion) what about the lose of one parent as an influence? If it is not an important factor why do so many single parent families have problems? To say that gay parents don’t love or want kids (although some will do it just because they think they should) ignores the fact that the child will lose out in the end
there’s plenty of points to be made with the single-parent studies being skewered due to not accounting for financial status. Stable single-parent households have shown some good results in child-rearing, but studies often include or focus on low-to-poor income single-parent households, which obviously would have more problems.
I feel this is a very ironic statement given the fact that practicers of homosexuality are eager to have children but not envelope in the act that makes children. It makes me angry that people feel it is completely justified to let the gay populace “have it’s cake and eat it too”.
there are many kids who need a home and many homosexual parents that would love to be their families while most straight families want to have their own kids so they don’t want to adopt
You are ignoring the basic premise which is bio-logical. You can’t be a parent without a heterosexual union. You can’t even exist as a human – gay or straight – without the union of a man and woman. You can’t change God’s design anymore than you can ignore gravity. If gay couples make better parents, then should we end heterosexual unions and parenting? Where would that leave us?
Oh my GOD it’s not a competition people. This is not pitting gay couples against straight couples, it’s saying that gay couples make equally excellent parents! With all the children in foster care, unwanted babies, child abuse, etc we don’t have a need for loving, stable homes?! Really?!
How about you climb off your high horse, pack up your judgmental nonsense, think about the LOVING and giving nature of GOOD people and take a long hard look at the suffering out there and the fact that here are wonderful homes available to children who have been REJECTED by their own ‘biological’ parents. Biology doesn’t select for excellent parenting, it just allows heterosexuals to BIRTH children.
And sidebar: in Biology, if you want to get biological… there is homosexuality, hermaphroditic mating, asexual reproduction, patricide, eating of young, rearing of young by groups in a ‘communal’ atmosphere, multiple partners, single parenting, etc. Nature runs the gamut, don’t turn to biology for a strict ‘one way’ of doing things.
If we ended hetero unions we’d run out of gay folks before too long. your deity is a piss poor designer.Besides, what leads you to believe you can discern your deity’s design. You can ignore gravity all you want gravity will always levy the penalty.As opposed to people wanting to decide the penalty.You mean you can’t have a child without the sexual union of male and female. This is not quite completely true.You can,however, be a parent.
The funny thing about straight parents is that a lot of the time, children are born unintentionally. And parenthood is forced upon a straight couple who might not have made smart decisions. If a gay couple are parents, it would have been very difficult for them to accidentally become parents, which is not the case with straight couples. So you’re comment is false.
I say if you love someone wither you’re a girl and you like girls or you’re a boy and you like boys it shouldn’t matter nothing should stop you from having a family. I mean think of it this way if you were in the “Gay” couples shoes you wouldn’t want some to tell you that you can have a kid because your different then the others. I don’t believe that people are gay, lesbian or whatever what I see is that people in love with other people, but then again that’s my opinion
What makes you think that being a same-sex parent makes them better than heterosexual parents? This is NOT a fact. A study published in 2016 using data from the US National Survey of Children’s Health for 2011-12 compared outcomes for children aged six to 17 years in 95 female same-sex parented families and 95 opposite-sex parented families.
The study found no differences in outcomes for children raised by lesbian parents compared to heterosexual parents on a range of outcomes including general health, emotional difficulties, coping behaviour and learning behavior.
And another thing. I swear this world has become so accepting of gay and lesbian rights that they have the nerve to suggest that a man and woman can’t do the job of raising well adjusted children better? Unbelievable. Society has everyone messed up.
straight outta south park
This article confirms that there are disagreements. Isn’t that Scalia’s point?
I think that the article attempts to show Siegel’s opinion that much of the scientific research today shows no negative effect of children raised by gay parent(s), and that those scientific articles which have found the opposite have been biased, and not scientific in many ways. It seems that he is arguing that while people may have varying opinions on the topic, science does not.
No, because Scalia’s point was to try to assert that there is SO MUCH disagreement among researchers that we cannot yet draw any conclusions about children raised in LGB families.
But Siegel and Perrin’s report concludes that the “preponderance of evidence” is the such children are doing just fine. A “preponderance” is much more than just a majority.
Yes there are “disagreements” because, after all, this is science and there is rarely unanimity about any scientific conclusion in new areas of research.
But Scalia is twisting what is no more than a fringe minority opinion into a he-said-she-said “who knows” position. It is dishonest on its face and Scalia knows it.
Calling it a fringe minority opinion is twisting.
There is such a small pool of comparison for Social Scientists to work with it is downright silly to draw such certain conclusions with such a small sampling.
It is like comparing 5,000 years and ten trillion examples of one thing to 10 years and 5 examples of another and drawing a definite conclusion. This is not good “science”.
Further there is good science on how children fair if the lack a mother or a father. Something else not considered.
I agree with Jay here, there will always be disagreements. And I am sure that even 40 years from now, even with more data about children that were raise by gay parents the same disagreements will be going on.
Wait, are we being trolled here? “A morally-confused child is more susceptible to evil and perversion than one who is confident in his knowledge of right and wrong. Evil-doers know this, and will thrive in a society that indoctrinates its children to see no inherent evil in disregarding Natural Laws. Alas, those who support same-sex marriage have apparently fallen too far into the depravity of tolerating licentiousness themselves to realize or acknowledge the harm and injustice same-sex marriage imposes upon our children and thus our society.”
Who writes like that? I feel like I’m reading John Locke.
That being said, I’ll take 21st century empirical studies out of a med school over your passionate appeal to my emotions. Perhaps not having parents of both genders does present a challenge to some kids. But one could make similar arguments to argue that having parents who are poor, members of some other minority, or stay up late writing passionate posts on PR outlets of universities gives one a disadvantage. Nonetheless, we clearly aren’t going to deny those parties the right of marriage.
For a more comprehensive account, I refer you to the empirical studies referenced above, but I have some friends who are doing an absolutely AMAZING job of raising some children they adopted out of extremely challenging circumstances. And my mother had a terminal disease when she had me. Should she not have been allowed to marry.
Of course not. We live in a country based on freedom and the proposition that all people are created equal. The only reason that this is even an issue is that some people just get freaked out by the fact that other people are gay. In a couple of decades, this won’t even be an issue. It will be like biracial marriage. Many of your exact arguments could have been made about that, after all.
My comment was in response to someone posting as “Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui,” who has since deleted their post.
I amend my earlier sentence to read, “But one could make similar arguments to argue that having parents who are poor, members of some other minority, or stay up late carefully writing passionate posts on PR outlets of universities but then delete them the following morning gives one a disadvantage.”
Wrong… Apples and oranges… Man-man or female- female is inherently different unlike race which is mostly socially/culturally man-made differences…
It’s also important to note that the Regenerus study, that is cited at the end of the article ONLY studied two intact gay couples-only two because the author claimed those were the only ones he could find! All of the other gay stats are of divorced parents in which one was gay and one straight-of course a child in such a relationship would be troubled!
Two mothers can never replace a father, and two fathers can never replace a mother. There is no need to create any sort of “study” to show this. It is downright cruel and unnatural to purposefully bring a child into this world by separating them from their mother AND father. A child isn’t an object of rights, he or she is a subject of rights. A gay child does not have a right to a child; rather, a child has a right to a mother and father. It is in the child and society’s best interest to ensure this natural relationship.
This is out of love for the child and does not contradict the dignity homosexuals deserve. We should treat homosexuals with compassion as we treat all human beings. This does NOT mean we should fundamentally restructure family and society due to sexuality which cannot naturally produce life out of love.
“The researcher has admitted that his scientific work and Catholic faith are inseparable; Catholic teaching denounces homosexual acts as sinful.” – Can we have an actual quote from the Catholic researcher on this? It’s doubtful that he actually said “oh, I’m Catholic, so please don’t take my work seriously.” The question is, really, was his study biased or not? Isn’t it possible that the researchers of the studies mentioned in this article had a pro-gay agenda from the outset? These researchers may have consciously or subconsciously developed their methodologies to show the results they wanted to see.
Your argument always overlooks the single parent or the infertile parent who raises a child just fine. Many children have only one father and one mother. Is it so reprehensible to have two?
Further, how are we fundamentally restructuring family and society when the vast majority of family and society will go on having families in exactly the same way they always have been?
I will say I agree that the catholic faith/scientific work comment needs…work to not feel abrupt and out of place in the article.
“Your argument always overlooks the single parent or the infertile parent who raises a child just fine.”
His comment doesn’t touch upon single parents. And it’s been shown that single parents are not as effective, given all things equal.
John, I am sorry to disappoint you but you cannot categorize all products of a certain type of household to fit with statistics.
I was raised by a single mother. My father has not contributed a single act to my upbringing. And I’ve come out perfectly fine. I made it through private high school on a full academic scholarship. I’m a student at BU who has maintained a GPA significantly above the average at the university. I have had internship experiences and the sort i had a much happier upbringing living with my mother than i know i would have had had my parents stayed married for the sake of raising me in a nuclear family setting.
Therefore if a same sex couple want to raise child, we are no one to judge them. And the child can easily seek a mother or father figure from a family member. All that matters is that they are raised in a loving environment, not what is considered a social norm.
How does an infant, toddler or 5 year old “easily seek a mother or father figure”?
While my father was not in the picture, I looked up to my great uncle and often called him papa when I was only 3 and 4 years old. He clearly was not my father but I felt a stronger connection to him. No one encouraged or forced it upon me either. Love and nurture is what matters when raising children. If the love does not come from social norms (i.e. mom AND dad), we instantly negate the love. Love is love regardless of who provides it.
And my earlier post was meant for J’s comment, not John’s
“And it’s been shown that single parents are not as effective, given all things equal”
John: you write as if there aren’t any children being raised in same-sex parent homes. Your academic postulate about a child having a “right” to a mother and father is irrelevant on two fronts.
First, there is no such right. If there were, divorce would be illegal.
Second, there already are kids being raised by same-sex parents. There are 40,000 children right now as we speak being raised in California by same-sex couples. Some maight be from prior marriages, some adopted, and other ways that children end up in any particular home. Who knows… perhaps some loving same-sex couple took in a child after their violent and abusive father finally got put in jail.
But, missing from the lives of these 40,000 children are the legal protections they would have if their parents were allowed to marry.
Denying marriage equality to LGB people is not going to prevent them from living the lives to which they were born or from raising the children that they have. But denying marriage equality will harm the children.
“Your academic postulate about a child having a “right” to a mother and father is irrelevant on two fronts.”
I believe he was implying that it’s in the child’s best interest to have both a mother and a father. The debate should not be about the right of same-sex partners having a child, but rather the interests of the child. With all things equal, do same sex-partners offer the same as a mother and a father? Without a question no, and studies have shown this.
On the other hand, this isn’t the reality. With the large number of kids in the state’s control, same-sex couples would be more beneficial to the child than a foster home.
“Denying marriage equality to LGB people is not going to prevent them from living the lives to which they were born or from raising the children that they have. But denying marriage equality will harm the children.”
While I think John’s comments are somewhat off-base at times, same-sex marriage is not the same issue as the interests of a child in a same-sex partner family. This isn’t a debate on same-sex marriage, but rather the effectiveness of same-sex couples in child rearing.
“With all things equal, do same sex-partners offer the same as a mother and a father? Without a question no, and studies have shown this.”
Really, which studies? Peer-reviewed ones, I trust? Enlighten me, please. This’ll be good.
But in all seriousness, if we’re talking about studies, let’s look at what most studies have to say about parenting. The majority of the research tells us that the single greatest influence on a child’s future well-being is the number of parents and caregivers present during his or her childhood. The number of caregivers is directly correlated with lower crime rates, fewer drug offenses, fewer disciplinary issues, higher literacy rates, higher graduation rates, higher salary, higher likelihood of earning a degree, etc.
Essentially, you are confusing the benefits of one-mom-one-dad households with the benefits of two-parent households. Statistically, across the country, it’s better to have two parental figures than one. But that is to say nothing of the gender or sexual orientation of the parents.
When the body of scientific research can empirically determine the negative outcomes LGBT parenting as opposed to straight parenting — holding all else constant — you might have a credible point. But seeing as there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that this is the case, your argument is simply grasping at straws in support of an unfortunate and very troubling worldview.
Also, I’ve been noticing a distinct lack of children being removed from a single parent home due to the death of a parent…
Also, to John, how about all those societies and cultures where men play no role in the child’s upbringing, especially daughters? The idea of this nuclear family is actually fairly new and thus fairly artificial.
So true, Such a poorly developed methodology and outcome.
I don’t know what kind of perfect white upper middle class family you were raised in but having both a mom and dad isn’t just a ticket to a perfect child. Most families are dysfunctional in some way. A gay family may not be as beneficial as one with a perfect susie homemaker mom and breadwinner dad but may be better than a family with parents that constantly argue, do drugs, or are alcoholics. There is no perfect formula.
I believe everything happens for a reason..So on that note what about the kids out there with one mother or one father? If anything two of something is better then one or none of something. people who choose to neglect or put there kid up for adoption makes these things possible for a family in the LGBT community. I surely don’t see Straight couples fighting as much as the LGBT community to find these kids a home.
Said by me -a former foster kid with a single mother
They just want to hate… Everyone knows moms and dads are different and provide different benifits and scientific research(much greater and agreed upon than anything quotes here)… So they have to pretend that these differences don’t exist and call everyone who disagrees a bigot
Gay parents can be just as loving and caring towards children as anybody else. That’s not really the point. The point is what children need, and they do need love and care. But also, especially when they’re young, they need a mother and a father because each can do and is able to teach something different to their children. Children act differently and learn differently from a mother than they do a father. Although it’s a difficult situation, if they don’t have one or the other in a single parent home, at least they know what they’re missing and someone close to them can step fill that mother or father role for them. With same sex couples (two moms or two dads or whatever the case may be), this relationship is lacking, which is concerning because children then don’t learn what they need.
National organizations of pediatricians and sociologists don’t agree with you.
And someone close to a gay couple can also ‘step in to fill’ a role. What is stopping them?
But if someone is necessary to step in to fill a role, then that is saying that the gay couple themselves isn’t enough, which is the point that Bradley is making. It’s acknowledged very easily that a single mother is not an ideal person to raise a child because there needs to be someone to step in and play the role of father to the child. But people refuse to acknowledge that a gay couple is not ideal to raise a child for the very same reasons.
That is not necessarily true. In a situation where both parents need to work (gay or straight) a family members or person close to the family would have to step in to play a role for a child, too. There are a lot of variable at hand and you are choosing to look at one small area for the sake of arguing. You are talking about “ideal” like it’s a one size fits all circumstance. Every kid is different, every family is different, every culture is different. It’s a case by case basis no matter which way you spin it.
My statement that someone close could ‘fill in a role’ has nothing to do with suggesting I think it’s necessary. Maybe a couple thinks it could be helpful? Maybe it’s not.
I don’t think, and neither do many professionals more qualified than I, that a gay couple is not ideal to raise a child.
I bet you are not a parent.
I will measure my years as a parent up against any soft science. Commonsense and millennia of human history make it very clear that children deserve their parents. And every child has a father and a mother. And yes, that is the ideal, nature dictates it.
I will not measure your anecdotal evidence from your single experience against the opinions of many experts and contradictory anecdotal evidence.
Also… nature dictates it? Sigh.
Yes nature…as in hard science. Biology. Not the wax nose of many modern social scientists. We all, naturally, have a father and a mother. It is not a meaningless accident.
And my anecdotal evidence multiplied by all the other intact families throughout history amount to far more hard evidence than “experts”.
Tell me is a childless sociologist more of an expert on parenting than say… a mother of 5? Sigh. Many of you are confusing scientism with actual science.
You’re constructing straw men all over the place.
You attack modern social scientists as being universally easily swayed (wax nose), then you suggest that said experts must be childless as your comparison against a mother of 5 can only be a childless sociologist.
And then you trot out with the pejorative scientism.
I can now safely dismiss whatever more you have to say here.
“then you suggest that said experts must be childless as your comparison against a mother of 5 can only be a childless sociologist.”
No, that wasn’t his argument at all. He DID NOT suggest the sociologists MUST be childless. He was creating a hypothetical to see you what your thoughts would be. So let me break this down for you. He used the word “is” which is referring to one individual, and said “a childless sociologist,” which again is one individual. I will extend you some grace if you are not an English speaking native, but if not, you just demonstrated that WE ALL CAN safely DISMISS what you have to say here because you lack the ability to understand what a 10 year old can understand.
Can you please list those studies?
Millennia of human history suggest that children were raised mostly by women, and by many, many people, not just the parents. Sisters, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, and other members of the community regularly pitch in to help out. Nature does not dictate that each child is raised only by his or her mother and father. If anything, nature dictates that we use the whole village to raise a child.
Nonsense. We all have communities. But you are confusing community with family and pretending housholds did not exist. Sorry but history is not on your side. You have a Hillary Clinton book. But that is about it.
Children spent far more time with both father and mother. They were educated at home for millennia and worked with their father in the family trade (if they were male) and daughter with their mothers. The family name was much more important than it is know.
No one had kids, took them into the town square and said “Here you go community. Here is another kid for all of us.”
Youc an rewrite history if you like and obscure the role of parents. But you are ill-informed if you do.
I have a Hilary Clinton book and that’s about it? Is that really the best you can do?
And you’re confused on the definition of millennia. Look it up. History and science are on my side.
Also, you really think that the majority children were home? Being educated? Over the last couple of millennia? Wow. Now who’s rewriting history?
My father’s ONLY role in my education was to buy food and pay school. I guess my mother – or any other person, maybe even government – could have done that. As a matter of fact, in ancient times, that was precisely the role of men: to copulate women, to hunt and bring food, and to protect the territory. All these roles can be replaced nowadays by science, grocery stores and legislation. So, according to your point of view, fathers are no longer necessary at all…
You can tell an argument is flimsy when it sounds like a sarcastic mockery made by the other side.
“I mean, who needs science, really? I trust my reactionary gut instinct and anecdotal evidence much more than those pretentious ‘scientists'[air-quote], what with their so-called ‘research’ and ‘experimental procedures’ and ‘peer review’ and ‘total lack of evidence suggesting that same-sex parenting produces unique negative effects on children, holding all else constant.'”
You said it yourself, Dan: one-mom-one-dad is the ideal. Unfortunately, nature also dictates that you don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about.
Thank you for pointing this out. I’ve had it up to here with people saying “you guys, it’s totally been proven by science that the gays are bad parents. No really, that’s because men and women can only act in the specific roles set up for them by 1950s commercials!”
Bradley, although I appreciate your comment, I feel like you are completely ignoring the fact that some people grow up with single parents… like me :D. I grew up in a single parent home with just my mother. My aunts, my grandmother and my mother gave me insights and then my brothers, uncles, grandfathers gave me others. Just because a child is raised with 2 mothers or 2 fathers does not mean they live inside of a bubble. Gay parents who want children are often times surrounded by families who are just as caring and attentive as straight families. Children learn from their parents first, yes. But they also learn from siblings, family, teachers, classmates, etc. Your comment suggests children of gay parents will be “missing” something just like people of single parents are “missing” something.
Exceptions prove rules – they do not negate them.
Your chosen usage of the ‘exception that proves the rule’ in this case falls under the ‘Serious nonsense’ category here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule#Serious_nonsense — read that and read the following discussion from “Modern English Usage” and maybe you’ll realize your error.
No. It really doesn’t.
Yeah, it really does. It’s certainly none of the other four categories. Read the examples.
Bradley, you wrote, “With same sex couples … this relationship is lacking, which is concerning because children then don’t learn what they need.”
As this article is about actual social science and not mere conjecture, I have to ask you to please provide a citation to a peer reviewed journal to support this assertion. Given the nature of the topic, please make sure the citation is to an article published within the last 5 years.
And by the way, the Regnerus article is far too much still in dispute to be cited. An internal reviewer for the journal itself that published it called the Regnerus article — and I quote — “bullshit.” Google it if you don’t believe me.
We’re reading an article about several cited, legitimate studies and a whole bunch of opinionated people think they can just walk in and declare it all wrong without anything? Clearly they don’t know the definition of “BURDEN OF PROOF”
I think it would be safe to delete every other comment other than yours.
I’m curious as to why this is even an article in BU today? It seems to me that this is showing a certain bias. I mean, i’m glad that the research is coming out but it just seems to me that a little bit of professionalism is going out of the window. This would be like writing an article promoting a political candidate.
Right. Let’s find a topic that’s been widely publicized and find someone at BU who is doing research on this topic. Then lets write an article about the professor’s research and what it’s been describing so far.
Yeah, I totally see the bias now…. *sarcastic eye roll*
-Cue all of the posts in favor of same sex marriage.
-Cue all of the hateful posts directed toward people who disagree with same sex marriage.
This has nothing to do with same sex marriage, this has to do with the rights of children..
“Disagreeing” with same sex marriage is basically saying “I am a nosy bigot.” It is in no way a valid, adult opinion- rather, the people who think that way never grew out of being a child, mentally, and should not be taken seriously in any way, shape or form. End of discussion, argue all you like but it doesn’t change facts- if you “disagree” with gay marriage, you need to get off your high horse.
I was indeed trying to address children that grow up in single parent homes, albeit briefly and unclearly. I’m sure that you as I’d hope every other child in a single parent home would get support and contributions from different members of family or friends. All of that which comes from a mother or father is even more special and important though, and with one missing, my point was that children will realize that someone filling that specific role of a mother or father is missing in their life and hopefully be able to find a mother or father figure close to them that fill that role in the best way. The children realize what’s missing and someone else is able to to their best to fill that role for them, a man if their missing a father or a woman if their missing a mother.
Following, my point about children of same sex couple is that with two moms or two dads they won’t know what they have or what they’re missing. The mother and father roles are not clearly present or absent, so someone may not be able to fill either role for them in their lives. As I said before, I’m sure that same-sex couple can be very loving and supportive and caring, but there’s something more that needs to be there.
The problem I see with your argument is that you are trying to pigeon hole genders with personality traits. That a child needs both a mother and a father to distinguish what they need. What is it exactly that a child needs in separate genders? Please try and make those needs into something that can only be found in a male or a female, because I can’t find a single one. And does that mean every woman has to find a hyper ‘masculine’ man or every man needs to have a child with a very ‘feminine’ female?
I know many homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual men and women who could be characterized as more ‘feminine’ or more ‘masculine.’ If I were to succumb to your stereotype and try to paint each in a positive light I’d refer to being caring, nurturing, attentive, prone to dexterity, and being emotionally and intuitively based being characterized as ‘femininity’ and being logic-based, authoritative, physically strong, and aggressive as being characteristics of ‘masculinity’. I’m sure you’ll have noticed from experience that this does not apply to every man or woman regardless of their sexual orientation and PEOPLE are often found to have incalculable variations of personality traits that may be passed on to a child. Two parents per household would theoretically increase the quantity, I will heed to that, but it still does not mean that a child must be limited to the parent(s) in the household, as others have mentioned, in terms of influence and rearing. In any circumstance. You can try and dress up the issue whichever way you like, but I can speak from experience that I learned a great deal from many sources outside my home.
If we as a society were to do away with such gender stereotypes we would be able to raise generations that do away with masculinity and gender-based violence, disempowerment and impoverishment of women and the persistence of gender inequalities through men’s violence, the loss of men’s dignity and self-esteem when they are taught to behave violently, the influencing of traditional feminine occupations resulting in microaggression toward women who break traditional gender roles, and countless other social problems we face today.
The ONLY instance I can see your point of view is in terms of relation to body image in early childhood. However, I can’t find an instance where having an open and secure relationship with a child filled with honesty, confidence, and unconditional love can’t overcome that or anything for that matter. This holds true whenever the child does not feel embarrassment or ashamed and can feel confident asking questions that are easily researched and answered properly by the parent(s). Bodily experience may be great, but is surely not necessary (in terms of two male parents with a female child, or vice-versa).
As to others with any bible argument – don’t even bother. Nobody who has the ability to think for themselves is going to take you seriously. If you want to believe that any human being does not deserve to be loved, spread love, or pursue happiness based on the word of your bible/religion, you truly are a child of a lesser god and live a life run by fear. Whether you realize it or not.
Is God (or nature)wrong in making them male and female? Imagine what the human species will be if the larger world population take to same-sex marriage. Let us be reasonable. If hetero conjugal relationship does not occur, where will the same-sex partners get the child from. Exception should not be made the norm.
I think what Bradley (and others) are trying to say is this:
A child comes from a sperm and an egg (a mother and a father) and there is NO other way for that child to come into being. Biologically speaking, a child needs BOTH parents to exist. There are of course plenty of families with single parents, or families where one parent has done more of the rearing than the other (myself being an example). Even though I have both parents, my mom has definitely done most of the raising. And I know that when I compare myself to my friends, in which both parents share the tasks more equally, the children are more at peace.
A boy growing up looks at his father to teach him to act like a man. A girl growing up looks at her mother to teach her to be a woman. That is exactly what “a child needs in separate genders”. Yes, you can have a homosexual couple look up lots of info on the internet to later give to their child during adolescence, but the fact of the matter is that WE LEARN BY EXAMPLE. Behaviors are learned. How many times do you have kids copy their parents? All the time!
Parents are the first teachers of children. You were taught how to walk, say thank you, and build a sand castle before you entered kindergarden. Now a lot of people mentioned being able to “replace the figure” with someone else. For example, you don’t have a dad but a family friend or uncle acts as that figure for you. That is completely true and legitimate, but I think many kids can attest that it’s not the same thing as HAVING that actual parent. Your uncle or family friend (for the most part) does not live in your house and does not have an intimate relationship with your other parent. Also, how many single parents out there say it’s EASY to be a single parent? None! For the most part, they say its really hard.
Now on to homosexual parents. I agree with Bradley, that a homosexual couple is fully capable of loving a child. But the role of a parent is not just to love and morally support a child. They’re there to TEACH their children. And if a boy growing up has no man in the household, he won’t know how to act when it comes to being a man. Likewise, if a girl growing up has no woman in the household, she won’t know how to be a woman. Finally, we never stop learning because it is a lifelong process. Growing into a woman or a man begins the moment we are born. It’s not just a day where a female homosexual couple chooses to sit down with their son and give him a whole bunch of information on puberty. Also, the replacement “figure” is not in the household 24/7. He or she will never truly be the equivalence of an actual father or mother.
Some may say that two homosexual women can teach a girl to be a woman. That is true. So what is the dad for? To teach her how to be treated by men and how to be respected by them. Not just in love but in friendships, relationships, school, and work. We learn by example, which is why kids mimic their parents growing up. If you take out one-half of the spectrum, you are not offering the child the full breadth of knowledge they deserve.
“A boy growing up looks at his father to teach him to act like a man. A girl growing up looks at her mother to teach her to be a woman.”
How can you say you have any concern for the child if before they are even born you feel you have the authority to dictate who they are and are not allowed to be, to describe what is allowed and prohibited from their very identity? Your seemingly innocuous and common-place terms of “act like a man” and “be a woman” are completely irrelevant, and highly stigmatizing. A person is a PERSON first, their penis or vagina has NO place in determining their personality or how they are treated by those around them, much less restrict who they are allowed to become. In this way any two human beings can raise another human being, if they are both truly willing to recognize their child as that: not a boy, not a girl, a human being.
I don’t think a girl will be asking her father for advice on how to deal with menstrual cramps.
I have a feeling the writer of this article is getting a kick out of these arguments.
Oh please, he did not mean menstrual cramps/health issues when he said “A girl growing up looks to her mother to teach her to be a woman.” and don’t even pretend he did. He meant forcing children into an identity from an early age based on what their genitals might be, which in my opinion, IS child abuse.
The writer of this article presents an already formed opinion–a naive and biased one. Gay marriage only became legal for the first time in 2000 or 2001 in Amsterdam I believe. Barely 12-13 years has passed since then. Do we know if gay marriage will work well? It’s too early to tell how this will impact the society at large, don’t you think?
This article saying gay parents are as good as a regular set of parents (a mother and a father) is not only an opinion that is not based on any fact or studies but it is premature thinking which the writer probably hasn’t weighted the serious consequences.
Has the writer himself been raised by gay parents? Are you writing from your own experience or even some second hand experience? Have you interviewed children who are being raised by gay parents? Have you followed up their development into adulthood and see how they are living in society?
Writers (and artists included) should know that they have serious responsibilities in shaping and influencing the cultural fabric of our time. Don’t just write to swerve people’s opinion to match your opinion. Is this any different than propaganda?
Uh, so that study doesn’t even remotely say what this author is claiming it says. Just sayin’. I mean, I’m all for LGBT adoption and all, but ideally we don’t lie through our teeth to try to gain support for it. That kind of thing tends to backfire.
If a bunch of sex-crazed and child abusive Catholic nuns can raise children in 3rd-world-condition-Orphanages across the USA, why can’t average good willed homosexual couples?
Praise be for this!!
The National Longitudinal Lesbian Study upon which Dr. Barry Siegel of the American Academy of Pediatrics bases his endorsement of gay families raising children was created and conducted by noted lesbian Nanette Gantrell who has been in a gay marriage with lesbian activist Dee Mosbacher for 37 years. How can Dr. Siegel cite this study as the “best” study on children in gay homes? What kind of professional is he? Would he accept a study on the health of Coca Cola if it were conducted by the officers of that company?
But that catholic researcher cannot be trusted bc of his bias!!!!
Haha. Well then, by your logic, let’s just toss out all research by heterosexuals on good parenting, too, while we are at it, since they are obviously biased.
Why are you so quick to assume someone trained as a researcher who is also gay is driven by bias, whereas someone heterosexual would somehow not be biased???
Gee Wiz, this is a very good reason why many of us straight guys are having a very hard time meeting a good straight woman now.
I don’t get how children raised by homosexual couples are treated like children raised by heterosexuals. It’s unnatural to have 2 mothers or 2 fathers. God created the family unit as a father, a mother, and the children. I do agree though a child needs love, but the love of a mother is totally different from the love of a father. A child needs a balance of love from a father and a mother. I firmly believe children need a mother and a father, not 2 mothers or 2 fathers.
A child doesent need a certain type of love from a mother and a father. There are many kids I know with two moms or dads or just one of them and they do just fine. They never care about what gender their parents were. And yes man and woman were made to reproduce but there are also many children in foster care or up for adoption that wouldn’t even care about the gender of their parents. All a child needs is love, and a fathers love is no different than from a mothers love, because parents love their children the same. And I firmly believ a child needs two parents that love them regardless of their sexual orientation.
Appears that some of you did not pay much attention to the fact that this article cited the opinion of self-reports by the mothers and kids. I am not sure why they are called mothers but the point should be that the study has not been going on long enough and the final evaluation has to be done by unbiased scientists, not the mothers or kids…
I personally find it difficult to believe that in the long run kids are not bettor with a good mother and a good father rather than two of the same! However, yes there are many bad parents and in those cases it does not matter if they are the same sex or not…
I am looking for a parent from a same sex couple who has a teenager and is interested in sharing their story. email email@example.com.
Children in LGBT families fare as well as other children.Research shows positive outcomes for children in LGBT families: More than 30 years of research shows that children raised by LGBT parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents. Every major authority on child health and welfare has determined that sexual orientation has nothing do with the ability to be a good, effective parent.
30 years???? thanks apa… 30 year research that is such a joke.
I wish I had gay parents. That would be so cool! In any case, my straight parents get into fights all the time, and I am NOT the happiest person in the universe.
I am both amused & appalled by the assumption that there is some mystical unified body of knowledge of what it means to “become a woman” or a man. No one can seriously believe a little girl whose mother is a Microsoft VP gets the same messages and experiences about what women can and should be and do compared to a little girl raised by a conservative Muslim or an impoverished teenage mom in rural Mississippi. The thousands of interrelated factors affecting family quality are too diverse and personal to be regulated, and parental chromosomes or genitals would be far down on that list anyway.
soso my question is if two gay men have a child being a male how will you teach them both sides of the fence in reference to how are you going to teach him to like females if he sees his father with another male shouldn’t it be up to the child to decide whether he wants to be gay or straightI’m not saying that anything is wrong with it but my personal thought is that if you wanna be na same sex relationship then your child needs to be from the opposite sex because your choosing to be mother and father then you should accepta child from the opposite sex to show them both sides of the fence and give them the opportunity to decide on their own what their sexual preference is as in two females should have male children and two males should have female children what are your thoughts
Actually I have to disagree because children don’t “choose” their sexual orientation. No one does. It’s just the way they feel about the same sex, they don’t decide what their orientation is. I mean, my mom is straight, my dad’s straight, my brothers are straight, my whole family is, yet guess what? I ain’t straight. Even tho I do look up to them, I didn’t choose my orientation to be straight like them, or to be gay. It’s all natural it’s just the way I feel. I have an attraction to women rather than a man.
While randomized controlled trials may be the holy grail of science, this is one of those areas where an RCT is ridiculously infeasible anyway. What are we going to do? randomly assign kids to be brought up by heterosexual couples and gay couples and then see how they do 5 years later ? I want to point out that NONE of the studies that routinely contend that kids with two parents do better than kids with a single parent are based on RCTs either. For that matter, I don’t recall a single RCT ever done to show smoking increases lung cancer risk. We should not let a blind adherence to RCT-or-nothing be an enemy to science, well-designed observational studies are the best we can hope for in most social science fields!
Lets stop all the ridiculous labeling. What all children need is love, a stable home with unconditional encouragement and praise. Why must we condemn two individuals of whom are willing to provide these things and more for, in most cases for children who would not have these opportunities. My wife and I , yes we are a Lesbian couple, have been together for 7 years. We never considered having children of our own, but wanted to share our home and love. We adopted two special needs children who fill hearts with joy. Both attend a private christian school where all students are taught that every family is made special. Some kids only have a mom or a dad at home, some are raised by there older siblings, aunt and uncles, grandparents or foster parents. The lesson learned is whether he/she has 2 mommies or 2 daddies god makes every family different/ special.
As to the post from Mario about a child need an example of the same sex. Society provides plenty of male/female roles through friends, sports, school and external family members. Our kids have been brought up with Love, strong morals and family support. A person is who they are going to be.
I know that we have worked hard to provide our children with the best opportunities. Where if my wife and I had decided to not adopt, our children more than likely, due to their condition would have been bounced from foster home to state home until 18. Then left with no resources on the street, which is common place. If we as a society could get past this hurdle and remember that it is “One human family”. Think of all the homes that could be provided for less fortunate children.
Quite frankly none of the studies pro or anti are perfect. Samplings are small and data does not cover enough years. There are anecdotal stories of children of gay parents doing great and other children who have had a different experience. Just like some children raised by single parents do fine even though statistically the odds are against them. So anecdotal stories pro or con are not very helpful either. As a husband and father I know this. A mother and a father both bring something unique and important to a childs life. Any child raised without both a male and female parent starts life with a deficit. A deficit that can be overcome but they start with one strike against them. A child with a mother and a father in a stable household is always the best situation for a child to be in. Can this be backed up by social science. Maybe maybe not. But the real question is do we really want to do another social experiment on children. I understand and sympathize with the desire of gay parents to have children. But isn’t it selfish to subject children to an atmosphere were we are not sure of the effect it will have on their development?
Whenever some “scientist” like Siegel says “x months/years/decades of research agree,” I want to throw up. Basically he’s claiming some kind of superior authority without actually citing the research. I’m sorry. I don’t accept summaries and pre-digested research for this b-s any more than for any other kind. Give me the evidence and I’ll think for myself. Anything else is, well – baloney.
There should be big red flag when the study is based off a “self-reported quality of life”. That is beyond bias. As a scientist, this study would be much more respected if it answered objective questions while comparing children of same-sex couples to children who were raised by their biological parents in an in tact family.
I’m a gay BU faculty member; my husband and I have been together for more than 30 years and are raising a child we had by gestational surrogacy (look it up). I know many other BU faculty/staff who are same-sex parents, and many many more in the Boston area. If you look in the right places, it’s not so rare as people seem to think.
I have to say I’ve been alarmed and distressed that a university-affiliated news site is attracting so many comments from people whose hostile or pitying views are, frankly, the only real source of threat to my child. My kid, so far, lives in a world where having same-sex parents is not very remarkable, nor is having parents with different skin colors, or only one parent, or step-parents, or grandparents raising you instead of parents, or parents who speak a different language. His peers and elementary-school teachers and actually every single person he has come in contact with in his life understand, as he does, that families come in all different kinds, and that what makes a family is love. He is loved; his world offers him everything he needs. Not having a mom is far less interesting to him than not having a dog, or not having his uncle or aunt live nearer than they do. Isn’t that what we all want children to feel? He’s a normal, happy kid and his life is a very good life.
This is a real person, folks: he is here in the world. Will one of you be the first person to tell my son that contrary to everything he has always thought, he should not exist; that his life is missing something essential and he should therefore feel miserable; that there is something unnatural or unstable about what he thought was the most natural and secure thing in the world, namely his home and family? I’m sure someone, somewhere will say these things to him (and my job is to raise him to be strong enough to shrug it off); I just didn’t think it would be anyone connected with BU. So it turns out there is a real danger to children here, and it’s you.
Until you know a real person who is in a same-sex-parent family, please just hold off on being so convinced you know what’s right. I’m sure it does seem to many people that women are essentially different from men, and that the man/woman complentarity IS what it means to be a couple and to be parents. If you’ve never known a couple whose complementarity is different — who complete each other in ways that don’t map onto ideas of traditional sex roles, and who fulfill all the roles a child needs in ways that just happen not to align with the familiar categories of “one dad-like person, one mom-like person” — then you can’t imagine that this could work. It’s understandable. But in fact it does work, folks, and what’s asked of you is to keep an open enough mind that you might actually have a chance of meeting such people. Once you see it, then you will be able to imagine it, and you’ll also see how much damage it has done to air your “moral convictions” in the absence of any knowledge of the human beings who are injured by them.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
This is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether the parents are gay or straight, what matters is how they bring up the child.
Best statement thus far. Everyone, whether homo- or heterosexual, has it in them to be a good, loving, and caring parent. The problem is that a lot of times, this does not happen. I mean, since hetero- marriages outnumber gay marriages, just go on YouTube and see how many ignorant and “not right in the head” people there are. So, point is, gay or straight, be a good parent and teach your kids to be smart and nice to people, not the other way around.
It’s almost cute the way these folks try so hard to pretend the Regnery study didn’t exist…
I only read a couple of the posts claiming that “Gay”, i.e LGBT parents are more motivated because they chose to be parents.
I cannot have children and I am heterosexual and I chose to be a parent. Am I less motivated because I am heterosexual? That is reverse Tolerance, or whatever is is being called today.
Another claim on the tip post is that on average gay parents are more committed than hetero parents on average because they chose to be parents. that is the same as saying that the mom who carried her child in the womb, ate the right stuuf, gave up smoking or drinking for their child in their womb, gave birth to their child, held their child for the first time, looking at their eyes and falling deeply in love with that child and then finding out the child has some disease and spends their life savings on this child is some how less committed than gay adoptive parents because they are heterosexual. Really? Even if that child is healthy, that is a very illogical comment based on nothing other than a tempting to be a good ally to LGBT by putting down another group. Shame on you. I doubt that those fighting for LGBT rights look to do so at the expense of putting others down. Shame on you brando and those who marginalize others without solid evidence, simply to try to make a point or to be an ally.
I am so thankful this artile is out! I love knowing that my child, that has 2 mommies, will be okay. He is not hurt, he does not suffer, he is loved more than imaginable and is so far advanced that we have to keep him in a school that will constantly challenege him. I assure you no one, no one could love him anymore than we do. I carried him in my belly for 9 months, and I swore nothing, if I could help it, would ever hurt him. He is happy, healthy, and has NO ISSUES.
My mother is a lesbian, and the man she was with a very long time ago (my father) is a good dad, but not a good husband. My mother divorced him, and came out to my older brother and I when I was 8, and he was about to turn 14. That was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen my mom do. I just feel like as long as you’ve got parents who love you, whether they’re two males, two females, or one man and one woman, then you’re set. Sometimes accidental pregnancies do happen, and that was the case for my mom becoming pregnant with my older brother before she met my father. My father decided to take on the fathering role even though my brother technically isn’t his. It isn’t about who’s doing the stepping up, and becoming the main figure in someone’s life to try and be a good role model, just as long as SOMEONE DOES it. If I treat people with respect, have a good work ethic, and know how to love myself and care for others, then that is all that matters. Meeting me, you’d think that I’ve had a normal life with straight parents and that was that. When I show someone the skills that I have, they don’t ask who taught me those skills, because it doesn’t matter. I’ve learned valuable and usable things, and that’s all that matters.
I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am delighted to find this website through google. “Delay is preferable to error.” by Thomas Jefferson.
And also, while we’re at it actually, I notice there are many studies that claim that gay parents make better parents than hetero parents who didn’t adopt just because of the fact that gay parents who adopt decided that they wanted to have children and therefore will be better prepared. If you want to see if this indeed is a factor, why doesn’t a researcher get a sample of heterosexual parents who adopt and gay parents who adopt and compare the two groups to see who makes a better set of parents? Also compare hetero parents who adopt to hetero parents who raise their own kids. If the hetero parents who adopt are equally as good as gay parents and better than hetero parents who raise their own, then we might have a case of “wanting to parent means being a better parent”.
However, there’s another factor that no one here has even brought up. You all have assumed that two people in a relationship who adopt want to become parents equally as much as each other, but that’s not necessarily always the case. In fact, it is not uncommon where one of them is more “prepared” than the other or has a stronger urge to have a child, but the one who is not as ready may just grit their teeth and comply because they know how much becoming a parent means to their other half, or they may see that it’s an argument that they just can’t “win”. Anyone watched the movie “Juno”? In this movie there was a couple who wanted to adopt Juno’s unborn child and they seemed to be a picture perfect pair initially, but as Juno got to know the couple better, she learned that the husband didn’t actually want to have any kids to begin with, and the reason why they went through the adoption agency at all was because it was the wife who really wanted to be a mum. Yes, it’s a fictional movie, but these things happen in real life too. You’ll hear many times of couples finding out that the woman is pregnant, and an argument may ensue because one seems to want the baby more than the other. Why has no one considered this? It’s rare where any two people will want/feel/need/desire the same thing with an identical level of burning intensity, even two people who are a couple (ehm, for instance sex). In fact, even in relationships, one person may love the other more than in reverse. Besides, even if a couple wanted something just as much as each other, their ideas and plans regarding the thing in question may differ greatly, so I really don’t believe that it’s as simple as saying “People who want something will be better prepared because they planned for it”.
Oh yeah, and another example, marriage counselling. It’s quite often where one spouse or partner may be more invested in relationship/marriage counselling than the other, and maybe it’s this partner who instigated the whole process, but because both attend, it appears as if both are equally wanting it and prepared. Not always the case.
I’m not a gay parent exactly, but I am gay and had a few years of having a parenting role for another member of the family.
The young fellow was with me more than his own mother for the first 4 and a half years of his life.
I taught him about his family history, numbers, alphabet, vocabulary, music… he is now 10 years old and a straight A student, even though his father has not proven to be a good role model… walked out on his Mom weeks after the second child was born and is who knows how far behind on child support.
I would rather be the gay uncle that cares about the kids I did not give birth to than be the father that walked out on his children.
Tomorrow the kids, their Mom and I are planning a trip to the zoo. I’ve not had the time with the little one that I had with his older brother. The little one will be 4 in a few weeks.
I need to show him a watch tomorrow and tell him of how I was wearing it the day he was born. At this age just showing it to him will be enough. He would not understand that I am intending it to be a birthday present when he turns 21… his great-great-great grandfather’s watch…
Here I spend all of my adult life trying to make things as nice as I can manage for my larger family and strangers want to say that people like me are a threat to the sanctity of marriage and of family.
when I spoke with my niece earlier tonight, she commented that she wished her younger son had as much time with me as the older one had. She thinks the one on one time between us would have made a world of difference for the little one.
Not all gay “parents” actually take on the role full-time. Some of us help others with kids instead of having kids ourselves.
Even when my first great-nephew was small and first left in my charge, his mother said to me that she felt like I was more of a co-parent to him than her husband was.
I give thanks for that time. I was so worried about doing the right thing(s), especially since by then the family knew I was gay and I felt like I had an even higher standard to keep, to prove my care was as good or better than what my little buddy would have gotten otherwise. He got the very best I had to offer.
I must have done OK for my niece to wish that her second son also had that time with me.
So… maybe not ALL of us have what it takes for good parenting, but some gay people do. That brings up another bit of how my sister was a terrible mother when my nieces were growing up.
Call me what you wish, but yes, I have a maternal nature at heart. I am good with my hands and can fix lots of things ( so much for the Finance Degree) so I have my masculine side also, as it were… at least in terms that would satisfy society.
I am pleased as to how far society has come during my lifetime. When I was in college, I had a plan worked out as to how I would die at the coast, being caught in the undertow, rather than ever disgrace my family if I could not get over the thoughts in my head as to what seemed beautiful and attractive to me. Later, my dear niece entrusted to my care her own child, knowing I was gay.
Gay or straight, not all people are cut out for the full time job of being parents… some are. As well as my part-time job for doing this turned out, I see no reason other gay people can’t also do well in parenting roles, or at least not worse than straight people.
As long as people (gay or straight) understand that the children are not pets but a life-long commitment, as long as love is in the house, what business is it of mine as to how many mothers or fathers are in a household?