Study: Kids Fare Better In Lesbian Families?

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Study: Kids Fare Better in Lesbian Families?
By []Becky J Downrose

Several recent studies have indicated that children raised in homes headed by lesbians may have an easier time with the social and intellectual adjustments of adolescence. A June 2010 paper published in the journal Pediatrics focused on children of planned lesbian families — families in which both women identified as lesbian before artificial insemination. Authors Nanette Gartrell and Henry Bos discovered that the children of single lesbian mothers reported similar experiences as the children of heterosexual couples with regard to self-esteem, development and social behavior. However, children of two lesbian parents scored much higher on the same tests, and displayed lower levels of aggression and disobedience.

The child subjects used by Gartell and Bos were ten years old when the study began. At age seventeen, they were asked to fill out questionnaires about their experiences raised in a lesbian home. As expected, almost half of the subjects reported that they had been subject to teasing or mocking because of their family structure. Feelings of stress and tension were highest when the subjects were ten years old, but those feelings had almost entirely dissipated by the time subjects had graduated from high school. Children of lesbian parents also reported lower rates of depression and anxiety. Researcher Nanette Gartell has some ideas about possible reasons for these findings. She believes the most important factor is parental involvement in their children's lives.

This involvement is not, of course, limited to lesbian parents; however, Gartell believes that households with two lesbian parents display a consistently higher level of parental involvement on the part of both parents than that found in many heterosexual homes. The aforementioned study by Gartell and Bos is not the only research effort aimed at children of lesbian parents. Along with their colleague Naomi Goldberg of The Williams Institute (part of the law school at the University of California at Los Angeles), Gartell and Bos have recently released findings of the U. S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS). The NLLFS is now in its 24th year of data collection and is the longest running research effort focusing on lesbian families. Researchers say they have discovered something quite significant: a total absence of child abuse in households headed by lesbian parents. By contrast, children of heterosexual individuals or couples report a physical abuse rate of 26% and a sexual abuse rate of 8. 3%. The NLLFS also collects data on the sexual orientation of children raised by homosexual parents.

Many outspoken opponents of lesbian and gay marriage claim that homosexual parents will raise children who are predisposed toward homosexuality themselves. Consequently, the NLLFS has collected data regarding the sexual orientation of children raised by lesbians: 2. 8% of the 78 subjects tracked by the study identify themselves as exclusively homosexual. This figure is significantly lower than the 5-9% rate of homosexuality revealed (regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents) in many national polls. There are few studies that have addressed the experiences of children raised by two homosexual men. This is largely because of the prohibitive costs involved in securing the services of a surrogate mother. In many areas it is also extremely difficult for gay couples of either gender to adopt a child.

Becky Downrose is the Founder of – The premier online platform for finding and connecting with alternative families, and information resource for same-sex couples and adoption, foster parenting, surrogacy, sperm and egg donation and co-parenting.

Article Source: [] Study: Kids Fare Better in Lesbian Families?

Downrose, Becky J. "Study: Kids Fare Better in Lesbian Families?." Study: Kids Fare Better in Lesbian Families?­Kids-­Fare-­Better-­in-­Lesbian-­Families?&id=6990635


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