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Study: Children of Lesbian Parents Do Fine

Here’s how you do a real study on gay parenting. You take a good sized sample of actual families headed by gay couples (all women, in this case) and you follow them over a long period of time to see how they do. And one such longitudinal study has confirmed what many other previous studies have found, which is that their kids do just fine.

A new study involving 78 children of lesbian parents hopes to quash fears about homosexual parenting after finding that all participants are doing better in school and are happier than many of their peers.

According to the report from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, the teens surveyed have GPAs in the A- to B+ range, have numerous close friends who are predominantly heterosexual and consider their parents as shining role models…

The 17-year-olds questioned at this stage consisted of 38 boys and 38 girls.

Nearly all of them are planning to go to college after high school and all boasted strong family bonds with an open-minded attitude to life thanks to their non-traditional family situations.

Now contrast this with that absurd Regnerus study a few months ago, which considered the child of any person who had ever had a gay relationship at all, whether the child lived with them or not, whether they came from a broken home or not, and classified them all as gay families, then compared them to children from stable homes with married parents. And this is another reason why we should recognize and protect same-sex marriages, because they are good for children in exactly the same ways that intact families headed by straight couples are.

Comments

  1. =8)-DX says

    There’ll be sampling bias in this (couldn’t find a link to the study anywhere), although one would expect these kinds of outcomes – similar to any other dedicated long-term couple having planned children.

    Lovely to see lesbian parents doing so well =).

  2. says

    I think that the reason so many kids do better is because barring members of GOProud, gay people tend to be more accepting of difference and therefore tend to be less autoritarian than average. Another factor that must have been taken into consideration (since the parents in this study were women)is the differences between adopted and biologically related kids

  3. MikeMa says

    No surprise at all. In fact, many kids (regardless of parent sexuality) who excel in school have active, involved parents and few gay couples who make the decision to raise kids in the current American culture, would take that involvement for granted.

    This study should help change that culture (not in bigot strongholds of course) and reduce the stigma for gay parenting even further. Perversely, that easing of the spotlight might make gay parents as lax as straights causing their kids to not have the advantages of involved parents at some point in the future. Ah, normalcy.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    But…that study MUST BE WRONG!!!!!! Furble furble family values furble furble furble morality furble furble unnatural furble liberal mainstream media.

  5. MPG says

    The biggest surprise here is to find it reported in a straightforward manner in the Daily Mail, of all places. Less surprising is the ugliness in the comments section. Plenty of them are howling about “bias” and alluding to the Regnerus study (which is so totally not biased, really), and one particularly dense individual asserts the sample size is too small because he/she assumed that “78 individuals” included both parents as well as the child. The few reasonable comments have been downvoted to bits.

  6. cptdoom says

    Of course there is bias in this sampling, just looking for lesbian parents willing to be followed for long periods of time is going to introduce bias. However even with the bias this study is important to countering the Regnerus’ “study.”

    Regnerus didn’t just allege to demonstrate that gay and lesbian parents produced children with worse outcomes, his conclusion was that every family structure other than intact married parents produced children with worse outcomes. The irony is that there is a wealth of social science literature that demonstrates divorced and single parents do tend to have children with worse outcomes, which was confirmed by Regnerus.

    Yet we don’t use social science to determine the legal rights of any one family. You could easily find a group of single or divorced parents who have produced children with equally good outcomes to children of intact families; for instance if you only looked at parents with advanced degrees and higher incomes. So family structure is not a predictor of children’s outcomes. It is because there are successful families of all kinds that we don’t limit legal rights by family structure.

    So what this study of lesbian parents really does is say “there are successful same-sex couples raising healthy, productive future citizens,” therefore you can’t use the sexuality of the parents as a rationale for different legal rights.

  7. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    How can you not see through this!? They only live decent lives and raise happy and well-rounded children to distract us from the fact that they are actually evil wretched sinners.

  8. says

    Sure, these so-called “families” are so-called “well adjusted” and so-called “happy”, but every one of these so-called “successful” so-called “families” has broken up and left behind two very real, very Christian, very miserable, families.
    Real Americans™ won’t stand for this kind of destruction, no matter how many so-called “good” so-called “families” these so-called “lesbians” have.
    Wups, forget that last so-called “so-called”.
    And that one.

  9. beezlebubby says

    @ashleybell:

    ” less autoritarian than average”

    I’m picturing a really rigid, rule-obsessed mechanic.
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  10. jonathangray says

    According to the report from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, the teens surveyed have GPAs in the A- to B+ range, … Nearly all of them are planning to go to college after high school

    Does academic attainment (of a sort) prove these children are exemplary individuals? No.

    and all boasted strong family bonds with an open-minded attitude to life thanks to their non-traditional family situations.

    One boy wrote in his questionnaire of his parents: ‘They teach me to be accepting of all people on this earth, no matter what differences they may have.’

    In other words, the study concludes the children are exemplary individuals because they exhibit what liberal dogma considers virtues. Snort.

  11. caffeineme says

    Regnerus has an article about this study over at NRO – http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333193/lesbian-mothers-children-mark-regnerus

    He makes the point that the study group selected was too specific and not a good representation of child raising gay couples across the nation. A bit ironic since his study seems to have managed to hit both extremes of that problem – too specific on the “stable family” side and way too broad on “gay family” side.

  12. says

    jonathangray “Does academic attainment (of a sort) prove these children are exemplary individuals? No. In other words, the study concludes the children are exemplary individuals because they exhibit what liberal dogma considers virtues. Snort.”
    Yeah! I’m with jonathangray! Everybody knows that the real measures of success are knowing nothing and hating people different from you.
    Take that, other people!

  13. jonathangray says

    Modusoperandi:

    Everybody knows that the real measures of success are knowing nothing

    You might consider the possibility that academic achievement does not exhaust the category of ‘knowledge’. (And that the traditional distinction between knowledge and wisdom might have some validity.)

    and hating people different from you.

    You might also consider the possibility that questioning liberal conceptions of virtue need not be motivated by hatred.

  14. says

    [This page]: “Contrary to their portrayal by the Christian Right, these kids of gay parents are well adjusted, doing well in school, and look forward to the future.”
    [Jonathangray]: “Well, certainly, if you believe such things are important, they’re all well and good. But these kids aren’t exemplary.”

  15. Chiroptera says

    jonathangray, #13: Does academic attainment (of a sort) prove these children are exemplary individuals?

    Well, in my personal experience, academic achievement seems to correlate pretty well with hard work, personal responsibility, and a sense of civic duty…virtues that at one time conservatives felt were positives.

    Lack of academic achievement seems to correlate with laziness, tendency to blame others for one’s own problems, and an overblown sense of entitlement.

    That’s my own personal observation, not a scientific study, but, yeah, I’m pretty ready to accept average academic achievement of a group as a proxy for the type of emotional well-being and potential for success that I would value.

    In other words, the study concludes the children are exemplary individuals because they exhibit what liberal dogma considers virtues. Snort.

    Huh. If you don’t consider the passage you quoted as virues, then I think that says more about you than it does about “liberal dogma.”

    Just sayin’. I find those to be pretty good virtues, and certainly increases my support for families with LGBT parents; your snorting at it doesn’t really change my mind in any way.

  16. jimgreen says

    Regnerus has the Noble Scholar/Christianist Martyr bit down to a, pardon the pun, “science” Check out his smug, petulant and notably evasive reply to a question I posed to him on a “Evangelical Sociology” blog…

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2012/11/when-data-go-bad/

    I love the comment from Regnerus that he is so busy doing his work that he can’t be bothered to worry about how his research is used. He also had the gall to compare Focus on the Family to the HRC!

    And then Yancey, an African-American evangelical, pipes in that his work has been cited by White Supremists so basically piss off.

    Arg….I am convinced now that Regnerus is just as corrupt and political as Maggie, George Wiegel, etc. He just makes more of an effort to flatter pseudo-liberals like Saletan at Slate but the result is the same.

    The one bit of satisfaction is that I think he is really feeling the heat from the academic community and maybe did not realize how big the blowback would be from so blatabtly violating scientific norms.

  17. says

    For the benefit of our new troll, the abstract:

    Empirical research on the everyday life experiences of adolescents reared by lesbian mothers is limited. The current study gathered self-report descriptive data from 78 adolescents enrolled in the largest, longest-running, prospective longitudinal study of planned lesbian families, with a 93% retention rate to date. Results revealed that the 17-year-old adolescents were academically successful in supportive school environments. They had active social networks and close family bonds. Nearly all considered their mothers good role models. The adolescents rated their overall well-being an average of 8.14 on a 10-point-maximum scale. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.

    Are active social networks and close family bonds “liberal values” now? If so, that would be an excellent admission.

  18. Midnight Rambler says

    jonathangray:

    You might consider the possibility that academic achievement does not exhaust the category of ‘knowledge’. (And that the traditional distinction between knowledge and wisdom might have some validity.)

    You mean that “knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad”?

  19. jonathangray says

    Chiroptera:

    Does academic attainment (of a sort) prove these children are exemplary individuals?

    Well, in my personal experience, academic achievement seems to correlate pretty well with hard work, personal responsibility, and a sense of civic duty…virtues that at one time conservatives felt were positives.

    Lack of academic achievement seems to correlate with laziness, tendency to blame others for one’s own problems, and an overblown sense of entitlement.

    That’s my own personal observation, not a scientific study, but, yeah, I’m pretty ready to accept average academic achievement of a group as a proxy for the type of emotional well-being and potential for success that I would value.

    I don’t question your personal experience (although mine has been pretty much the opposite), although I would say that “hard work, personal responsibility, and a sense of civic duty”, while good in themselves, are very much secondary virtues and quite compatible with immorality.

    If you don’t consider the passage you quoted as virues, then I think that says more about you than it does about “liberal dogma.” … I find those to be pretty good virtues

    Well, “an open-minded attitude to life” and ” to be accepting of all people on this earth, no matter what differences they may have” are pretty vague. In practice, they often seem to translate as destructive self-hatred and uncritical xenophilia.

    TCC:

    Are active social networks and close family bonds “liberal values” now? If so, that would be an excellent admission.

    No, I had in mind more the inclusiveness fetish mentioned above. But if “active social networks” are a sign of virtue, you would have to consider right-wing militia groups virtuous; while “close family bonds” were exhibited by the Sawney Bean clan!

    Midnight Rambler:

    You mean that “knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad”?

    Zackly.

  20. John Phillips, FCD says

    Well, “an open-minded attitude to life” and ” to be accepting of all people on this earth, no matter what differences they may have” are pretty vague. In practice, they often seem to translate as destructive self-hatred and uncritical xenophilia.

    And how do you work that out, the destructive self hatred part, that is, i.e. how does “an open minded attitude to life” and “accepting of all people irrespective of differences” lead to destructive self-hatred. In my experience, it leads to the very opposite as usually, only people who are comfortable and happy in their own skin, so to speak, and who don’t fear the different, are truly accepting of others irrespective of any differences there may be.

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