CBS News A new study that finds children of a gay or lesbian parent may be more likely to have social and emotional problems has sparked controversy on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate. The study, from Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, surveyed more than 15, Americans between the ages of 18 and 39, asking them questions about their upbringings. Its findings are published in the July issue of Social Science Research.
One survey question College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes whether a parent had been in a same-sex relationship during a child's upbringing; Regnerus wanted see whether there were differences between kids raised in a household by a parent in a College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes relationship compared with those who were raised College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes biological parents who were married and heterosexual.
The survey results were measured by a set of 40 outcomes on social, emotional and relationship factors.
Outcomes included whether a child had
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes up to need public assistance like welfare, were more likely to have anxiety or depression, were more likely to be abused, or were more apt engage in unhealthier habits such as having more sexual partners, smoking or using drugs.
Regnerus' analysis identified now-adult children who said they were raised by a lesbian mother, along with 73 who said their father was in a same-sex relationship. Focusing on
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes larger sample, the study found respondents whose mother had a same-sex relationship fared worse on 24 of the 40 tested outcomes, compared with children of an intact heterosexual couple.
Sixty-nine percent of children of lesbian mothers reported that their family received public assistance, such as welfare at some point, compared with 17 percent from intact biological College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes. About half of children of an intact biological family said they were employed full-time, compared with 26 percent of those born to a lesbian mother. Fourteen percent of kids of a lesbian mom spent time in foster care at some point, compared with 2 percent of the rest of the children studied.
Overall, less than 2 percent of all respondents who said their mother had a same-sex relationship reported living with their mom and her partner for all 18 years of their childhood. With children of dads in a same-sex relationship, there were 19 outcomes they performed worse on, Regnerus told HealthPop, so they didn't have as many negative outcomes as kids born to a mom without the mother, but more than those who grew up in a home with married heterosexual parents, he said.
But those earlier studies have inadvertently masked real diversity among gay and lesbian parenting experiences in America. Or it is quite possible that the effect derives entirely from the stigma attached to such relationships and to the legal prohibitions that prevent same-sex College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes from entering and maintaining 'normal relationships'. Gary Gates, a researcher at the Williams Institute, a sexual orientation policy think tank
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes the University of California, Los Angeles, told LiveScience that a more fair comparison would've been of children of heterosexual or same-sex couples who were raised in similar homes, with no divorces, separations or foster care.
Other critics have alluded to the study's funding from conservative groups the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, suggesting Regnerus had a right-wing agenda.
Regnerus defended his study to HealthPop, saying he set out to do a College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes study, which is considered the "gold standard" in his field. Other study's samples, he said, interviewed "convenient samples" of people researchers knew, friends, or groups that are linked together somehow, but College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes wanted a totally random sampling.
If they don't like
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes results, I'm sorry. Regnerus was upfront about the funding from conservative groups, and said he pledged to groups involved that he would report whatever the data found, regardless of which way it leaned.
What's more, he says some of the criticisms are valid and plausible. Regnerus said it's entirely possible that instability in the household led to some of the reported negative outcomes in adult children of same-sex parents. He said children of heterosexual couples in an unstable home were also found to fare worse than those in a stable environment.
In a commentary in SlateWilliam College hookup
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes parents raising teenagers quotes writes, "What the study shows, then, is that kids from broken homes headed by gay people develop the same problems as kids from broken homes headed by straight people.
But that finding isn't meaningless. It tells us something important: We need fewer broken homes among gays, just as we do among straights. We need to study Regnerus' sample and
College hookup gay parents raising teenagers quotes the mistakes we made 20 or 40 years ago.
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