Civic Competence of Dutch Children in Female Same-Sex Parent Families: A Comparison With Children of Opposite-Sex Parents

youth-society-journalBy Henny Bos, Nanette Gartrell, Jaap Roeleveld, Guuske Ledoux
September 2013

Pre-teen Dutch children raised by female same-sex parents scored higher on core principles of democratic citizenship than their peers in heterosexual-parent families. In a Dutch national survey of civic competence, those reared in female-parent households scored significantly higher than children in heterosexual-parent households on attitudes concerning acting democratically, dealing with conflicts, and dealing with differences. In the study, children between the ages of 11 to 13 years old were asked a series of questions about accepting and contributing to a democratic society, taking shared responsibility, handling minor conflicts or conflicts of interest, and handling social, cultural, religious, and outward differences.

The study is drawn from children with female same-sex parents from a national sample. The number of children with male same-sex parents in this sample was too small to be included in the analyses. Overall, the findings from this study suggest that growing up in a nontraditional family may be associated with a greater appreciation of diversity and the development of good citizenship.

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*Article published in Youth & Society journal.