Monday, June 14, 2010

Lesbian parenting and the problem with public information

A recent study on lesbian parenting is drawing fire as it doesn't seem to stand up to academic scrutiny.

"A recent and widely reported news story, headlined "Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests," reported that "A nearly 25-year study concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers."

The conclusion does not strike me as particularly surprising. In our society and many others, mothers play a larger role in child rearing than fathers, so it would not be surprising if children with two mothers did, on average, better than children with a mother and a father. Reading the story, however, I concluded that it did not actually give me much reason to believe in its conclusion—for two related reasons.



mom said...

* 1997-APR: Three 3 recent studies from the US, Britain and the Netherlands were presented at the national meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development during 1997-APR .

Charlotte Patterson, a research psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of one of the new studies, said "When you look at kids with standard psychological assessments, you can't tell who has a lesbian parent and who has a heterosexual parent...That's really the main finding from these studies." She agreed that the studies to date are relatively few and open to criticism.

There may be indications that children benefit from having two lesbian parents. Fiona Tasker of Birkbeck College in the Netherlands, "...found that the non-biological lesbian parent was usually more involved with the children than are the fathers of heterosexual couples." There is also anecdotal evidence that children of gay or lesbian parents tend to be less prejudiced.

* 1999-APR: Researcher Fiona Tasker at Birkbeck College, UK, published an article in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. A summary reads: "There are an increasing number of children who are being brought up in lesbian-led families. Research on non-clinical samples of children raised in lesbian-led families formed after parental divorce, together with studies of children raised in families planned by a single lesbian mother or lesbian couple, suggest that growing up in a lesbian-led family does not have negative effects on key developmental outcomes. In many ways family life for children growing up in lesbian-led families is similar to that experienced by children in heterosexual families. In other respects there are important distinctions, such as different types of family forms and the impact of social stigma on the family, that may influence how clinicians approach therapeutic work with children in lesbian mother families." 14
* 2001-APR: Researchers Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California studied sexual orientation and parenting. They reported their findings in the American Sociological Review, a peer-reviewed journal. 1 They :
o Discussed "...limitations in the definitions, samples and analyses of the studies to date."
o Examined 21 studies which "almost uniformly reports findings of no notable differences between children reared by heterosexual parents and those reared by lesbian and gay parents..."
o Suggested a "less defensive, more sociologically informed analytic framework" for future studies in this area.

Herb said...

A purposeful parent is what makes for a good parent. Having more than one guiding, protective, opportunity given, loving and supportive parent is even better.

Children of single parents become president, and great leaders, they have been brought up by grandparents, and uncles and aunts.

There have been children who never knew a parent and were brought up by people they have never met, that became solid loving, good citizens.

Many Millions of people. Not one or two.

You can live your life by the idea that same sex is bad. And live by it, if you give back to society (and I have not had proof that you do, since you seem to only take) I by all means support your choice in your actions.

your religion and your moral structure is a choice. You were not born that way.

But guess what? A gay person was born that way.