The following comes from an Oct. 7 story by Michael Cook, editor of Mercator Net.
There can be no more contentious issue in sociology than whether same-sex couples do as good a job raising kids as married biological parents. As state after state in the US opens the door to same-sex marriage, judge after judge has affirmed the “no difference” thesis. The kids are OK. Occasionally a social science study even finds that kids do better when they grow up with gay parents.
The sentiments of California Judge Vaughn Walker, in his 2012 decision overturning Proposition 8, have been repeated numerous by judges ruling in favour of same-sex marriage:
“Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”
Beyond serious debate? That’s a big call. A big bluff, even.
Not long afterwards a sociologist at the University of Texas Austin, Mark Regnerus, collected data from 3,000 adults in a project called the New Family Structures Study. After some complicated number-crunching, he found that adults whose parents had a same-sex relationship have lower educational attainment than adults who grew up with both married biological parents. They were also more likely to be welfare recipients, experience depression, smoke, and be arrested.
Since this was the most comprehensive survey to date on this topic, Regnerus’s article was a bombshell. His research was attacked by other social scientists and he himself was vilified as dishonest, homophobic, shameless, pseudoscientific, denigrating and delusional.
Regnerus stuck to his guns. His study had some limitations, but the data was there.
Admittedly, a number of small studies do suggest that “the kids are OK”, but they tend to be statistically unconvincing. As Loren Marks, of Louisiana State University pointed out in a survey of 59 studies, most of these examined short-term outcomes, involved fewer than 100 participants and were biased toward well-educated white lesbians with high incomes, and many compared homosexual couples with single mothers, not intact families.
So the evidence is far from overwhelming.
And, as Walter Schumm, of Kansas State University, has recently pointed out in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, comparing the quality of same-sex parenting with “mixed-orientation” parenting may be much harder than anyone thought….
To read the entire posting, click here.