Childrearing

The Kids Are All Right: Lesbians Raise Children Just As Well As Heterosexual Parents

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lesbian familySame-sex couples usually garner quite a bit of criticism once babies enter the picture. Gays and lesbians with families have a tendency to find themselves at the other end of questions regarding their parenting capabilities just because  both of them are of the same sex — and there is always the asinine platform that children need both a mother and father for proper development. But according to a recent study peering into the well-being of adolescents with lesbian parents, these kids tend to be just as well-adjusted as their peers raised by heterosexual parents.

A new study out of the University of Amsterdam examined 17-year-olds who were raised by lesbian mommies and determined the following:

In conclusion, the reported [Quality of Life] for adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families is similar to that reported by the matched adolescents in heterosexual-parent families. This finding supports earlier evidence that adolescents reared by lesbian mothers from birth do not manifest more adjustment difficulties (e.g., depression, anxiety, and disruptive behaviors) than those reared by heterosexual parents.

Researchers did however find some behavioral differences in kids with straight versus same-sex parents in cases of divorce. Lesbian parents were much more likely to amicably share custody after splitting, which ultimately benefited the child more.

ThinkProgress writes that the most glaring difference for children of lesbian families was not how they were raised or their happiness in comparison to kids from straight parents, but the scrutiny they faced daily from extended family, classmates, teachers, and other grownups because they had gay parents. That criticism and anti-gay stigma alone affected nearly half of the adolescents in the study, with most of the teasing and bullying coming from peers and classmates.

The researchers explained that these findings evidence the need for schools to “educate students in appreciation for diversity and to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and stigmatization.” Efforts like these would greatly impact the lives of children from same-sex families where, aside from the heterosexist snickering from peers and the occasional family member, the kids are all right.

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