A new ground-breaking study from the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics shows that there is no substantial difference in children who are from same-sex families. These children were shown to be just as well-adjusted and mentally healthy as their counterparts from different-sex families.
“It is the only study to compare same-sex and different-sex parent households with stable, continuously coupled parents and their biological offspring,” said Nanette Gartrell, one of the study’s authors. “It’s been a goal of ours to do a nationally representative survey in which we could do this very carefully matched study,” she said.
The study used 95 same-sex female parent households and also 95 different-sex parent households that were equally matched in terms of several characteristics, such as parents’ age, parent’s level of education, child’s age and gender, etc.
The study found no significant difference between the children’s mental health, emotional obstacles and coping mechanisms.
However, the lesbian parents did seem to exhibit more stress than the different-sex parents. “Parents feel pressured to justify the quality of their parenting more than their heterosexual counterparts. We also suspect and feel that more study is warranted, but the cultural spotlight on same-sex parenting may be part of the stress,” Gartrell said.
Opponents of gay parenting point to older studies that suggest that gay parenting has a negative impact on children. However, those studies were significantly biased since it was comparing same-sex parents who were not in consistent, stable relationships to different-sex parents who were in stable relationships.
While there is still so much left to discover and research, this new study is very promising for gay parenting strides moving forward.