Evidence continues to build to support the conclusion that same-sex parenting does not negatively impact a child’s development.
A University of Melbourne study, first published last year, found that children with same-sex parents may actually have better general behavior and better health, which is possibly related to the equitable division of roles among same-sex partners. Medical Daily’s Kristen Magaldi writes that the findings, which were published in Social Science Research, included more social science based evidence in favor of gay marriage.
In Colorado, Jimi Adams and colleagues studied thousands of peer-reviewed articles on same-sex parenting and saw a trend. Many of these articles used the same research that showed there was no difference in child development. The trend they found in support of same-sex parenting began to show in 1990 and was cemented in 2000 when researchers came to a significant consensus on the issue.
“As same-sex marriage has been debated in courts across the country, there has been the lingering question about the effects of same-sex parenting on children,” said Adams in a recent press release. “I want to analyze the research from the past decades to determine if there was consensus among researchers about that effect. I found overwhelming evidence that scientists agree that there is not a negative impact to children of same-sex couples.”
The study was performed at the University of Colorado at Denver where Adams is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies at CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, writes Dawn Ennis of The Advocate. Ennis includes the finding that kids of same-sex parents “experience ‘no difference’ on a range of social and behavioral outcomes compared to children of heterosexual or single parents.”
Joe Douglass of KATU-TV reports that Adams and her co-author Ryan Light were inspired to do the study because of the words of conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2013. “There’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a — in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.” The US Supreme Court handed down a decision on same-sex marriage last week affirming the right for same-sex couples to marry.
Adams says that when differences are still found in the children of same-sex parents, it is not necessarily because of sexual orientation, writes Zack Ford for ThinkProgress. Ford explains that same-sex relationships “have a tendency to be more unstable” and “parental relationship instability is associated with negative outcomes for children.” The paradox is that cultural stigma, along with legal inequality, can influence same-sex partners’ marital stability.
Ford posits that when marriage equality expands, same-sex families with children will have one more hurdle taken away and their children will become even more stable.