Are children of gay parents at a disadvantage? According to The Williams Institutes’ recent LGB parenting report conducted by Abbie E. Goldberg, the answer is no. Goldberg, a Psychology Professor at Clark University, examined gay families created by an array of methods, including adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination, and children from past heterosexual partnerships. When compared to heterosexual parents and their offspring, children from LGBT families are not doing worse.
Goldberg reviewed several studies that examined gay parents and their children. Although some children of LGB parents sometimes experience more bullying and harassment, the report showed that overall, there were mostly positive aspects associated with being a child of same-sex parents.
Breaking down Goldberg’s report
In terms of psychological adjustment, social functioning, and self-esteem these children did just as well as kids raised by heterosexual parents. Education wise, children of gay parents show similar academic performance to their heterosexual counterparts. Do children raised by gay individuals show more difficulty making friends and relating to their peers? No. The offspring of same-sex couples perform just fine in this area.
Arguments that kids need a male role model, often cited by conservatives who oppose gay marriage and LGBT families, have been shot down by Goldberg. According to the report, adolescents who had only been raised by lesbian mothers with male role models showed similar levels of psychological adjustment than adolescents reared by gay mothers who lacked male role models.
While dissenters or gay marriage and same-sex parenting have worried that these LGBT parents will turn their kids gay, the report does not support this argument. Yes, children of same-sex couples may be more open to dating the same sex and possess more fluid ideas about gender roles and sexuality. However, being a child of a gay parent does not show an increased chance of that child possessing an LGBT sexual orientation.
Goldberg’s report showed more positive news. Besides children of same-sex parents being equal and functional in many aspects when compared to kids in heterosexual led households, children of gay parents showed some additional positive qualities. Kids of gay parents showed more overall resilience and greater empathy toward other minorities and groups that have experience oppression, discrimination, and unequal treatment.
Why gay parenting studies matter
A study like Goldberg that portrays that being a child of a gay parent may be an asset is needed in today’s society. With past studies that have portrayed gay parenting in a negative light, such as a controversial 2012 study conducted by Mark Regnerus, positive studies help gay families gain more societal recognition and acceptance. This societal acceptance is what often leads to LGBT supportive legislation being created and passed in a court of law. With more states legalizing gay marriage that often ends up being appealed by anti-gay organizations, political leaders, and everyday citizens, empirical research that supports same-sex marriage is even more important.
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