The New Definitive Study on Children Raised by Same Sex Parents is Done – Read the Results

If you are like me and you are tired of the anti marriage crowd trying to sell you the counter intuitive garbage that children raised by same sex couples turn out as good or better than those raised in a more traditional setting, then you need to read the results of the most comprehensive study on this subject ever completed. This study looks at the children (18-39) raised in a home with 2 dads or 2 moms and checks in to how they have done so far in life and love …the results are even more dramatic than I would have guessed.

By Mike McManus

Conventional wisdom is that children of same-sex parents do as well as, or even better than children from intact, two-parent married households. Many studies make that assertion.

It is massively wrong according to a new, very large, thorough study published this week by the journal Social Science Research. It was written by Mark Regnerus, a scholar at the University of Texas. The New Family Structures Study, or NFSS, is a breakthrough report.

Regnerus compares how young adult children, aged 18-39, of a parent who has had a same-sex relationship fare on 40 different social, emotional and relational outcomes when compared with traditional and other families.

The biggest differences were between children of women who have had a lesbian relationship – and those raised by still-married biological parents.

Fully 69 percent of those with lesbian mothers were on welfare as children – four times the 17 percent in intact families ever had that experience. In fact, 38 percent of the adult children of lesbian mothers are currently on welfare versus only 10 percent of those with married parents. That’s the same 4-1 ratio.

Only 8 percent of adult children from intact homes were unemployed when interviewed in 2011 versus 28 percent with a lesbian parent.

What’s most shocking is that only two people of those with married parents were ever touched sexually by a parent or an adult – while 23 percent of those with a lesbian mother had that experience! Golly, they are 11 times more apt to be molested!

The design of the NFSS research was brilliant.

Most research on the impact of homosexual parenting has relied on interviews with same-sex parents who are from convenience samples. For example, the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study conducted last year “recruited entirely from self-selection from announcements posted at lesbian events, in women’s bookstores and in lesbian newspapers in Boston, Washington and San Francisco.”

Such a sample is biased toward including better-educated, wealthier people who visit bookstores. What about the less educated or less likely to be employed? They aren’t interviewed. Of course, the children of these more affluent parents are more apt to do well.

By comparison, NFSS asked 3,000 young adults if either of their parents had a same-sex relationship while they were growing up. Result: 175 reported their mother was in a homosexual relationship, and 73 said the same about their father. That’s about 1.7 percent, a figure comparable to other studies. The sampling was so carefully done that it included both those with listed phone numbers and those who only use cell phones (about half the total).

Only 23 percent said they had spent at least three years in the same household with a romantic partner of their mother; an additional 57 percent did so for at least four months.

Among those with a father in a homosexual relationship, fewer than 2 percent said they had spent at least three years in that household. These relationships are much more volatile and short lived, but neither compares with the stability of married heterosexual parents.

Also, by interviewing young adults of homosexual parents, we can see how the experience shaped their adult lives. This is vastly more useful information than asking volunteer same-sex parents if their kids are doing well. Of course, they say yes.

More results: Three times as many young adults of lesbians were currently cohabiting as those with married parents (24 percent versus 9 percent). Even more young adults (31 percent) of divorced parents were living together. Twice as many from intact homes were employed full time as those with lesbian mothers.



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7 responses to “The New Definitive Study on Children Raised by Same Sex Parents is Done – Read the Results

  1. Bob Sadur

    Very informative! Thanks!


  2. Since the industrial age began, a family has been defined as a heterosexual couple and their offspring, sharing a common dwelling and dividing work by gender. In this definition, the woman takes care of the children inside the home and the man works outside the home. Few of today’s American families fit this definition, however. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, in 2006, only 15 percent of all American families resembled the so-called typical American family, that is, a married couple who are the biological parents of two children, where the father works outside the home and the mother is a homemaker. Families, like the people in them, are diverse!

  3. Those who are 100-percent gay may view bisexuals with a mix of disgust and envy. Bisexual parents threaten the core of the LGBT parenting narrative—we do have a choice to live as gay or straight, and we do have to decide the gender configuration of the household in which our children will grow up. While some gays see bisexuality as an easier position, the fact is that bisexual parents bear a more painful weight on their shoulders. Unlike homosexuals, we cannot write off our decisions as things forced on us by nature. We have no choice but to take responsibility for what we do as parents, and live with the guilt, regret, and self-criticism forever.

  4. What’s most shocking is that only two people of those with married parents were ever touched sexually by a parent or an adult – while 23 percent of those with a lesbian mother had that experience! Golly, they are 11 times more apt to be molested!

  5. It also turned out that most of the adults that the study considered products of gay or lesbian parents were not, for the most part, raised by gays or lesbians. Two hundred and fifty-three people said “yes” to question S7. A hundred and seventy-five said that their mother had had a relationship of some kind. As John Corvino notes at TNR, “Only 42 percent of respondents reported living with a ‘Gay Father’ and his partner for at least four months—and less than 2 percent reported doing so for at least three years.” Less than two per cent of those (two people, three?) said that their whole childhood was spent with their mother and her lesbian partner. On the basis of these distorted samples, Regnerus tells us that “28 percent of the adult children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships are currently unemployed” and that “the young-adult children of women in lesbian relationships reported the highest incidence of time spent in foster care (at 14 percent of total, compared to 2 percent among the rest of the sample).” Expect to see those numbers thrown around. Keep in mind what they don’t mean.

  6. In the United States, 69 percent of children live with married, heterosexual parents, down from 83 percent in 1970, according to the report. Today, an estimated 24 percent of female same-sex couples, 11 percent of male couples and 38 percent of transgender Americans are raising children.

  7. In one nationwide survey, more than 84 percent of GLBTQ students reported verbal harassment at school; more than 39 percent reported being punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon at school because of their sexual orientation; and 55 percent of transgender youth reported physical attacks because of their gender identity or gender expression.

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