Children of Gay Parents Will Be Just Fine

Rant 24

rainbowHow we parent our kids is one of the biggest topics ever debated, probably dating back to when Cain killed Able and Adam and Eve looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Well this is obviously your fault.”

We’ve talked about stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms, and work-outside-the-home moms. We’ve discussed single parents. We’ve pondered dads and their importance in children’s lives. To spank or not to spank? That is the controversial question.

In recent years, we’ve been able to add the gay parents versus the straight parents debate to our list of You Probably Suck Parenting Woes

It is a statistical fact that children born into a family with traditional mother and father parental units do correlationally better than children with gay parents. Of course it’s not causation, gay parents don’t turn out bad kids, but studies consistently show that children raised with a married mother and father fare better as adults than those that don’t.

The New Family Structures Study (NFSS) of the University of Texas has conducted one of the largest and possibly the most comprehensive reviews of children raised with lesbian mothers or gay fathers. This study is unique in that the researchers focused on children who had grown up with gay parents, and are now between the ages of 18-39.

Results showed that young adults raised by gay parents were more likely to be involved in crime, have sexually transmitted diseases, have suffered physical abuse, and they reported significantly higher rates of depression.

I think it’s crap. These children were not conceived and born into a family with committed gay parents that stayed together throughout their childhoods. From the 15,000 young adults screened for the NFSS, only two spent 18 years with the same two mothers. The vast majority of these kids were born into traditional families, and become children of divorce when mom or dad came out of the closet. So you have kids dealing with parents splitting up, and then put another $20 into their therapy jars, because they all of a sudden had a gay parent in a culture where homosexuality was still considered taboo. 

It’s not fair to compare these kids with those born in recent years to loving, committed gay couples through adoption, donors, or surrogacy. One of my favorite lesbian mom stories is Cat Cora’s, who carried her partner’s baby while her partner carried Cat’s. How sweet is that?

It’s important for kids to have both male and female positive role models, but there’s nothing that says a grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle, or dear friend can’t fill that role. We all face challenges as parents; the important thing is that we recognize them and address them accordingly, not pretend they don’t exist. I have a feeling that today’s kids of gay couples are going to be just fine.


Image via DeepBluC/Flickr

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NatAndCo NatAndCo

I like and agree with an article by Ms. Erikson... Hell must be pretty Damn cold right now.

All joking aside though, thank you for this article and for retiring some notions about gay parenting. Thank you especially for pointing out that some "studies" aren't always as clear cut as they're presented to be.

AHowa... AHoward66

Thank you Jenny for pointing out the flaws in this "study." I'm so tired of people not fully researching a study done but you actually did!! Thank you for this post.

nonmember avatar FlakesOnSatan

Holy poo, is hell frozen? Jenny wrote this?

That being said, you also have to wonder if some of the statistics of kids from gay parentage being more likely to have issues has something to do with the rate of adoption in gay parented families being greater than that in male-female ones? As loving as adoptive parents are, gay or not, the experience of being an adopted kid definitely leaves a mark on a child, even if subtle or subconscious. Nothing to do with the adoptive parents at all; its unfortunate but its just what happens. Why did my mom not want me, why do i look different than the rest of my family, that sort of thing.

Anyway, if adopted children are more inclined - if even slightly - to behavioral issues, depression, etc, then of course children of gay parents will have a higher incidence because gay parents are way more inclined to adopt. Lesbians can have sperm donation, but biologically, unless using a surrogate, two guys only have adoption.

chigi... chigirl1228

Wow... I'm appalled. I absolutely agree with this and I love the argument at the end where another favored adult can fill the shoes of the "missing link". Bravo Jenny!

Kritika Kritika

I call BS. I know a lesbian couple with twins and they are just a perfectly normal family. Considering one parent is a lawyer and the other is a stay at home mom these kids have a better shot at life than I did lol...

zandh... zandhmom2

Jenny, first off I think all of your haters are going to be completely knocked off their feets by this article. Secondly, I think any child raised by someone who completely loves them and put them first in their lives will have a good outcome.  I don't think it really matters who that parent is.

nonmember avatar katrina

I would just like to thank you Jenny for actually diversifying your writing recently. This is not the only article you have written in the last week or so that has nothing to do with conservative politics. While there is nothing wrong with writing your beliefs, it is refreshing to see a change of pace from you that allows the readers to appreciate you more as a contributor to this website.

bills... billsfan1104

I think you did what many people dont do and that is research the so-called studies.  I know a gay couple that has a two year old and they are the best best fathers.  She wants for nothing, and they love that little girl to death.  I personally think it comes down to love that turns out well adjusted children.

LKRachel LKRachel

to echo what others have said, thanks for actually looking into the study instead of just parroting it's "results."  and you're right- those results probably have way more to do with parents divorcing/etc and their world being rocked than anything to do with having a gay parent.  and like Flakes said, it would be interesting to compare the results with adopted children to see if that has an effect.

 Like many have said, having two loving parents who are committed to a child and each other is the best case scenario for any child, regardless of their sexual orientation.

bills... billsfan1104

Kritika, what is bullshit????

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