Children raised in gay and lesbian households suffer – Study

Children raised by gay parents suffer – Study

Children raised in a lesbian household are 50% more likely to later describe themselves as homosexual, bisexual or asexual, than children raised by heterosexual couples.

In a stunning new study, reported in the Washington Post newspaper, long-accepted assumptions that there were no differences between gay and straight parenting have been overturned with long term data.

Among the other revelations, children raised in lesbian homes are more than twice as likely to be contemplating suicide, at a rate of 12% against 5% for heterosexual families.

On the issue of child sexual abuse, the differences are horrific. While two percent of children in heterosexual households report being touched sexually by a parent or other adult, a stunning 23% of children in lesbian family units report sexual abuse by a parent or other adult – almost 12 times higher than the rate of child abuse in heterosexual families.

While fewer than one in ten children who grew up in married heterosexual families have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections by adulthood, more than double that number – 20% – of children raised in lesbian families end up with sexually transmitted infections.

Children raised by lesbian families are overwhelmingly likely to end up on social welfare – at 69% – compared with only 17% of children brought up in heterosexual families.

Overall, lesbian parenting had negative outcomes for children in 24 of 40 categories overall, while for gay men raising children there were negative outcomes in 19 out of 40 categories.

On the strength of the results, study author Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin said today: “The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go.”

The study is published in the journal Social Science Research

When experts take into account that children are a product of their environment, the results are not so surprising.


It’s not the first time academics have challenged current assumptions. A 1999 study of lesbian households by Golombok et al found 15% of children went on to experience a same sex relationship, compared with none in the heterosexual control sample.

Likewise, a milestone study by NYU sociologist Dr David Greenberg, a gay academic, found popular notions like the “born this way” pitch by Lady Gaga might create empathy, but they simply are not true.

Greenberg studied homosexuality through history and found it was a matter of choice heavily influenced by how socially acceptable it was at any given point in time. Being gay, he said, is not how you were born but how you choose to label yourself.

Greenberg argued that for this reason, as modern social acceptance of homosexuality increases, so will the number of converts to it who see it as just another form of sexual expression.


BOOK REPORT: The Construction of Homosexuality. By David Greenberg. University of Chicago Press, 635 pp, $29.95.

This is the most extensive and thorough world history of homosexuality ever written. Yet it is more accurate to call it a work of sociology than a work of history, for it develops a specific and arresting sociological thesis. David Greenberg argues, against popular opinion, that homosexuality is not a static condition; it is not like being black or white or left-handed. It is not, for the most part, even a deep-seated psychological “orientation.”

Greenberg contends that the terms “homosexual,” “gay” or “lesbian,” are, “strictly speaking, anachronistic.” People who continue to use these terms “hold that homosexual behavior is a manifestation of some inner essence, perhaps biological or psychological, is relatively stable over time, and characteristic of a distinct minority of the population.” But according to Greenberg’s “social constructivist” view, homosexuality is a behavior produced and interpreted in different ways by different societies at different times. Homosexuality is not an essence or condition that some people have and others do not. It is not a minority orientation that, perhaps, 10 percent of the population have and, when they discover their condition, become liberated to conform to their true natures. Applying the sociological theories of Durkheim and Mary Douglas to sexuality, Greenberg argues that homosexual identity is a social label. Social classification both creates the homosexual phenomenon and contains the evaluative frameworks by which it is judged, whether as deviant, tolerable, approvable or admirable.

In evaluating Greenberg’s thesis it is important to know that he is a professor of sociology at New York University who specializes in criminology, law and the theory of deviance. He writes this book as a contribution to a more humane understanding of the gay and lesbian phenomenon. Although he is fully aware that the thesis of his book is at odds with the self-interpretation gays and lesbians generally present, he believes his alternative portrait will in the long run be useful to the homosexual movement.

Full review here

UPDATE: As the US Supreme Court considers the gay marriage issue, one brief in front of them points out major flaws in studies supportive of gay marriage.


Related coverage: Family First