New study finds that children do best in traditional mother-father families

Straight vs. lesbian parenting (click for larger image)
Straight vs. lesbian parenting (click for larger image)

From the Washington Times. (H/T Jonathan)

Excerpt: (links removed)

Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married, mother-father parents.

“The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,” Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in his study in Social Science Research.

Using a new, “gold standard” data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes.

He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Findings such as these do not support claims that there are “no differences” between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university.

Instead, “children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,” he wrote.

Mr. Regnerus‘ study of 2,988 persons ages 18 to 39 — including 175 adults raised by lesbian mothers and 73 adults raised by gay fathers — marks the first research from the new dataset, which initially included some 15,000 persons.

The second study, also in Social Science Research, takes a critical look at the basis of an oft-cited American Psychological Association (APA) report on gay parenting.

The APA brief says, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” said Loren Marks, associate professor at the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University.

However, after looking at the 59 studies that undergird this assertion, “the jury is still out,” Mr. Marks said. “The lack of high-quality data leaves the most significant questions [about gay parenting] unaddressed and unanswered.”

Problems with the APA-cited studies were their tiny size; dependence on wealthy, white, well-educated lesbian mothers; and a failure to examine common outcomes for children, such as their education, employment and risks for poverty, criminality, early childbearing, substance abuse and suicide. Instead, the APA studies often looked at children’s gender-role behaviors, emotional functioning and sexual identity.

This story was also reported on Science Daily, with the predictable liberal spin.

Here is my previous post on the data that shows why same-sex unions are not good for raising children.

6 thoughts on “New study finds that children do best in traditional mother-father families”

  1. This will have no effect.

    Back in the ’60s we had an endless parade of evidence that divorce was tragic for kids. The response? “So what! Who cares? The kids will adjust… somehow. Let’s loosen up divorce laws!”


  2. Why do you say the Science Daily article shows “liberal bias?”

    Is it because it mentions the finding that there have been 59 other studies that reach a different conclusion?


    1. Yes, the 59 studies that are easily discredited for the following reasons:


      In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued an official brief on lesbian and gay parenting. This brief included the assertion: “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents” (p. 15). The present article closely examines this assertion and the 59 published studies cited by the APA to support it. Seven central questions address: (1) homogeneous sampling, (2) absence of comparison groups, (3) comparison group characteristics, (4) contradictory data, (5) the limited scope of children’s outcomes studied, (6) paucity of long-term outcome data, and (7) lack of APA-urged statistical power. The conclusion is that strong assertions, including those made by the APA, were not empirically warranted. Recommendations for future research are offered.

      ► A 26 of 59 APA studies on same-sex parenting had no heterosexual comparison groups. ► In comparison studies, single mothers were often used as the hetero comparison group. ► No comparison study had the statistical power required to detect a small effect size. ► Definitive claims were not substantiated by the 59 published studies.

      And there is also this data point regarding a former President of the APA, who is himself pro-gay-rights and pro-gay-marriage:


      Dr. Nicholas Cummings was President of the APA from 1979 to 1980, and also served as a member of the organization’s Council of Representatives. He served for years as Chief of Mental Health with the Kaiser-Permanente Health Maintenance Organization, and is the author of the book “Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm.”

      In an interview with representatives of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in late April, Cummings said that the organization’s problems began with the rejection of the Leona Tyler Principle, which required that all public positions of the APA be supported by scientific evidence.

      The APA “started changing pretty drastically by the late 1980s,” said Cummings. “By the mid 1990s, the Leona Tyler principle was absolutely forgotten, that political stances seemed to override any scientific results. Cherry-picking results became the mode. The gay rights movement sort of captured the APA.”

      Remember, hiding the decline is always a temptation for scientists when there is an agenda they want to support.


  3. But the weaknesses of those 59 studes (or some of them) and the findings of the Marks article is precisely what’s summarized in the Science Daily article. That’s what’s so peculiar about the charge of liberal bias of Science Daily.

    The irony is that it’s Marks – the researcher in the article you cite – who concludes “The jury is still out on whether being raised by same-sex parents disadvantages children.”

    Yet that is the conclusion that YOU are advancing.


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