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Despite considerable research showing that children of same-sex parents fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents, two papers -- a review of existing studies and a new study -- published June 10 in Elsevier's Social Science Research, find insufficient data to draw any definitive conclusions.
The review by Dr. Loren Marks from Louisiana State University finds that much of the science that forms the basis for the highly regarded 2005 official brief on same-sex parenting by the American Psychological Association (APA) does not stand up to scrutiny.
In a final comment on Regnerus' research, Pennsylvania State University, sociologist and professor Paul Amato points out, "If growing up with gay and lesbian parents were catastrophic for children, even studies based on small convenience samples would have shown this by now.
If differences exist between children with gay/lesbian and heterosexual parents, they are likely to be small or moderate in magnitude-perhaps comparable to those revealed in the research literature on children and divorce."
According to his findings, children of mothers who have had same-sex relationships were significantly different as young adults on 25 of the 40 (63%) outcome measures, compared with those who spent their entire childhood with both their married, biological parents. For example, they reported significantly lower levels of income, more receipt of public welfare, lower levels of employment, poorer mental and physical health, poorer relationship quality with current partner, and higher levels of smoking and criminality.
Areas of Interest: Religious Faith, Parenting, and Marriage
Funded Research Grants
2008 Marks, L. D. Religion and strong, happy, enduring African-American
marriages. Office of Research and Economic Development Faculty Travel
2006 Marks, L. D. National Study of Faith and Families. LSU Council on
2005 Marks, L. D. When Faith Comes Home: A Qualitative Study of 150
Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Families. Society for the Scientific Study
of Religion, Jack Shand Research Award, $3,000.