many people are not aware of the three decades of research showing that children of gay or lesbian parents are just as mentally healthy as children with heterosexual parents, notes Cerbone. One such study, published in Child Development (Vol. 75, No. 6, pages 1,886–1,898) in 2004, compares a group of 44 teenagers with same-sex couples as parents with an equal number of teenagers with opposite-sex couples as parents. All participants were part of a national, randomly selected sample of teenagers from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health…
Patterson’s study debunks the myth that children of gay or lesbian parents have trouble developing romantic relationships due to a missing father- or mother-figure–a concern that judges making custody rulings have cited. Equal numbers of teenagers from each group reported that they had been in a romantic relationship in the previous 18 months. Participants from the two groups did not differ in grade point average, symptoms of depression or self-esteem.
While the sexual orientation of the parents in Patterson’s study did not predict the adolescents’ social adjustment, the quality of the parent-child relationship did. Children who reported warm relationships with their parents tended to be the most mentally healthy and have the fewest problems in school.
The report debunks several common canards about gays as parents. Two loving gay parents are better for a child’s development than two unloving straight parents.