Parenting Among LGBT People and Same-sex Couples
The Williams Institute and affiliated scholars have undertaken considerable research regarding the experiences of LGBT parents and their families. This research consistently shows that children raised by LGBT people and same-sex couples fare as well as children raised by different-sex couples across a number of different health and well-being outcomes.
Due in part to this research, leading medical and social science associations have concluded that there is no systematic evidence of negative outcomes associated with having same-sex parents, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association.
Significant findings from our research include:
● There are an estimated 6 million Americans (children and adults) with an LGBT parent in the United States.
● Adopted children raised by same-sex and different-sex couples develop in typical ways, as measured by both parents and teachers.
● Many adolescents with lesbian mothers report having male role models in their lives, but even those without male role models evidence good psychological functioning and show no differences in traditionally masculine or feminine traits.
● Despite experiencing stigmatization because of the sexual orientation of their parents, children with lesbian mothers do not experience significantly more teasing than their heterosexual peers and are able to successfully cope with these challenges.
● Adolescents raised by lesbian mothers report their quality of life as equal to that of peers raised by heterosexual couples.
● Children’s psychological adjustment is related to the amount of stress their parents experience and the quality of the couple’s relationship, regardless of the sexual orientation of their parents.
● Married couples in Massachusetts report positive effects of marriage on their children – children were happier, felt more secure and protected, and saw their families validated by society as a result of their parents being able to marry.
Sample studies include (click on link to see study):
LGBT Parenting in the United States (February 2013)
Adolescents with Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives (November 2012)
Related News Stories
Social science struggles for data on effects of same-sex parenting on children (Washington Post, March 26, 2013)
Pediatrics Group Backs Gay Marriage, Saying It Helps Children (New York Times, March 21, 2013)