Two Mothers Better Than One
Lesbian couples are better parents.
According to the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study in the US:
The 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts in Achenbach’s normative sample of American youth.
This is a hugely significant step forward in the equal treatment of gay parents. It also reaches further, into the realms of marriage equality. As part of the Zappone and Gilligan case, they had argued that children raised in same-sex households are no different to, and therefore deserve the same protections as, children in heterosexual households. Judge Dunne stated:
The phenomenon of parenting by same sex couples is one of relatively recent history. The studies that have taken place are consequently of recent origin. Most of the studies have been cross sectional studies involving small samples and frequently quite young children. I have to say that based on all of the evidence I heard on this topic that I am not convinced that such firm conclusions can be drawn as to the welfare of children at this point in time. It seems to me that further studies will be necessary before a firm conclusion can be reached.
Here you go, your honour. Here is a study which has taken place since 1986.
Back in 1970′s America, lesbians and bi women were offered a new opportunity to have children with the advent of donor insemination clinics popping up around the country. Until then any academic studies on same-sex parents had involved women who had conceived in heterosexual marriage and had divorced. In 1986, the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) began. The basic objective of the study was to see how children raised in female-only couples compare to those raised by straight couples. One hundred and fifty four couples volunteered, agreeing to be monitored from year to year to see how things went.
The NLLFS adolescents demonstrated higher levels of social, school/academic, and total competence than gender-matched normative samples of American teenagers.
These findings may be explained in part by the NLLFS mothers’ commitment even before their offspring were born to be fully engaged in the process of parenting. During pregnancy, the prospective mothers took classes and formed support groups to learn about child rearing. They were actively involved in the education of their children and aspired to remain close to them, however unique their interests, orientations, and preferences may be.
To the extent that the NLLFS mothers may have achieved this goal, numerous studies showed that having a satisfying relationship with one’s parents is associated with a more favorable adolescent adjustment.
This is what same-sex parents have been saying for years; “we want to be parents so much that no child will be unwanted or unloved”.
Infants – “In young children, adjustment is largely determined by family functioning: regardless of their parents’ gender or sexual orientation, children fare better when their parents are compatible, share responsibilities, provide financial stability, and have healthy interpersonal connections”.
Adolescents – “The NLLFS adolescents demonstrated higher levels of social, school/academic, and total competence than gender-matched normative samples of American teenagers”.
The results may seem like common sense to you and I, but the study is revolutionary. This fact is pointed out in the study which states
This study has implications for the clinical care of lesbian families, for the expert testimony provided by pediatricians on lesbian mother custody, and for public policies concerning same-sex parenting.
Will anyone be listening? Won’t someone think of the children?
NLLFS website including full report
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