A great deal of evidence has supported the notion that children of gay parents are no worse off than children of straight parents. And now a new, massive review of data from the National Health Interview Surveysfrom 2013 through 2015 again shows that kids of homosexual parents experience no greater emotional or psychological difficulties when compared with kids of heterosexual parents.
The results were published in Child Development. I’m a cheapskate, so I didn’t buy access to actually read what it says, but the gist of it from Towleroad is that the children of gay parents are basically the same as the children of straight parents.
“As lesbian, gay, and bisexual parented families become more visible, the findings bolster previous studies revealing that children raised in these families have comparable psychological well-being compared with children raised by heterosexual parents,” researcher Jerel Calzo of the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health wrote in a statement on the findings.
The researchers looked at data for around 21,000 children between the ages of 4 and 17. The National Health Interview Survey includes reports on emotional and mental health, and recently its parameters were updated to include parents’ sexual orientation.
And no part of this surprises me personally.
The assertion that children are somehow at risk because they have two parents of the same sex has always struck me as a presumption based on the premise that being gay itself is bad or unhealthy. There’s no scientific basis for that belief, so the subsequent, dependent claim also seems to me to be specious. And the data now backs up my conclusions on the matter.
But I will admit: I am very glad and relieved to have this data.
I was raised in a religious environment. I grew up thinking that homosexuality is immoral. My father didn’t even come to my wedding because he doesn’t think gay people should be allowed to get married. I’ve come a very long way since the repression I experienced starting in junior high, but I’d be lying if I didn’t harbor some insecurity about being gay.
PHOTO CREDIT: I had to do a bit of digging for a free photo for this post and ended up on Unsplash. The feature photo was taken by Peter Hershey. Thanks to him and Unsplash for their work and the service!