Put one more nail in the coffin for the argument that same-sex parents will cause their kids to be emotionally screwed up or raging homosexuals when they get older. An article titled Lesbian couples raise well-adjusted teenagers over at New Scientist reports the results of a study by researchers at the University of Virginia which concludes that “teenagers raised by lesbian mothers show no developmental differences compared to those brought up by heterosexual parents.” This is the first such study done so far as all previous studies had been with regards to younger children (they also showed no difference).
“There’s been this debate about whether being raised by single-sex couples is good or bad for children,” says Stephen Russell, a sociologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, US. “We would call into question suggestions that growing up with single-sex parents is somehow problematic.”
The researchers found no differences between the two groups in terms of depression, anxiety, self-esteem and school grades. Exactly the same proportion of both groups also reported having had sex (34%).
But while a previous study suggested children of gay parents were more likely to consider homosexual relationships, this study was unable to provide such information because so few teens reported same-sex attractions and romances.
The single most important predictor of the teens’ well being, the study showed, was their relationship with parents – regardless of family type. “What’s really important is the quality of the relationship,” Russell told New Scientist.
As a result, the authors write that their findings “provide no justification for limitations on child custody or visitation by lesbian mothers” and “do not support the idea that lesbian and gay adults are less likely than others to provide good adoptive or foster homes.”
Imagine that. Kids who have good relationships with their parents will turn out just fine regardless of whether their parents are hetero or homosexual.