Another Study Finds No Difference with Same-Sex Parents

Add yet another study to the pile of evidence that the children of same-sex parents don’t fare any worse than the children of more conventional families. And this one specifically compared families that had adopted, some by same-sex couples and some by opposite-sex couples.

Attribution: Benson Kua
Attribution: Benson Kua

A new study from the University of Kentucky is the latest to find that children of same-sex couples experience no differences from different-sex couples, and it did so without fitting the mold of the studies Regnerus and others like to cast aside.

Rachel H. Farr, assistant professor of psychology, recruited nearly 100 families, a mix of two-men, two-women, and man-woman couples who were all recruited through five adoption agencies. All of them were thus similarly situated in that none of the parents had biological connections to their children, all of whom were adopted at birth or very early in infancy. This study, unlike others, also involved teachers to collect data about the children’s behavior issues, so the study wasn’t entirely reliant on parents’ self-reporting.

Farr than evaluated them in two waves, first when the kids were preschool-age and then again about five years later in middle childhood. And when she looked at all of the data, the results were fairly conclusive. “Based on mean comparisons,” the study states, “no child, parent, couple, or family outcome variable was distinguishable by parental sexual orientation.”

“Few studies in this area have included data that represents outcomes in same-sex parent families over time and begin early on in children’s development,” Farr told ThinkProgress. This, combined with the fact that none of the parents had biological connections with their kids, means that the results stand out among similar studies. “We have been able to more clearly study the effects of parenting and family relationships,” she explained.

And because sexual orientation had no impact on any differences found in the study, it actually offers some interesting conclusions for all adoptive families to consider. “Our findings suggest that children had fewer behavior problems over time when their parents were less stressed (and had more satisfying couple relationships),” Farr said. She believes this suggests “families should focus on creating family environments characterized by minimal stress (easier said than done!) and warm, loving relationships with both their children and partners.” What matters isn’t what sex the parents are, but what happens in the family.

This will convince exactly none of the bigots who still oppose equality for gay couples and families. Their conclusions are not based on evidence but on prejudice, almost always the result of religious indoctrination.

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