Findings on children of same-sex parents ‘clear, statistically significant and of substantial magnitude’

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The largest study so far on gay parenting, published this month, shows that children do best when raised by their mom and dad. …

Protesters against gay marriage near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. / Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Protesters against gay marriage near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. / Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

The study, “Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition,” was conducted by sociologist Donald Sullins and published in the February issue of the British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science.

Using several different data sets, including some from the U.S. government, Sullins compiled a representative sample of 207,007 children, including 512 with same-sex parents. Eight of 12 psychometric measures used in the study showed that children with same-sex parents experienced more distress than children of opposite-sex parents. The results were “clear, statistically significant,” and “of substantial magnitude,” after controlling for age, sex, race, education and income. For four of the measures of emotional and behavioral problems, children raised by same-sex parents were at least twice as likely to experience difficulties compared to children raised by opposite-sex parents. …

The children of same-sex parents were not more likely to get picked on and bullied. In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, they were slightly less likely to be picked on and bullied than the children of opposite-sex parents, though the difference was within the margin of error. …

Adopted children were at higher risk of emotional problems overall, but the risk was twice as high for same-sex adoptive parents as opposite-sex adoptive parents.

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