Navigation Links
Children raised by gay couples show good progress through school
Date:8/31/2010

In nearly every discussion, debate or lawsuit about gay marriage, the talk at some point turns to family values.

Do gay couples make for good parents? Will their children whether adopted, conceived with the help of a surrogate or brought in from a pre-existing relationship adjust, adapt and succeed in a world dominated by traditional families?

The answers usually depend on who's giving them, and come dressed in anecdotes and colored by bias. But Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld brings something new to the conversation: facts and figures derived from the country's largest data bank the U.S. Census.

In a study published this month in the journal Demography, Rosenfeld concludes that children being raised by same-sex couples have nearly the same educational achievement as children raised by married heterosexual couples.

By mining data from the 2000 Census, Rosenfeld was able to figure out the rates at which children in all types of families repeated a grade during elementary or middle school. According to his findings, nearly 7 percent of children raised by heterosexual married couples were held back a year, while about 9.5 percent of children living with adults identifying themselves as same-sex partners repeated a grade.

The difference between the groups pretty much vanishes when taking into account that the heterosexual couples were slightly more educated and wealthier than most gay parents, Rosenfeld said.

"The census data show that having parents who are the same gender is not in itself any disadvantage to children," he said. "Parents' income and education are the biggest indicators of a child's success. Family structure is a minor determinant."

Rosenfeld's findings have been cited by lawyers fighting Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban passed by California voters in 2008. A federal court judge recently overturned the ban, but his ruling is under appeal.

Rosenfeld's study shows that children of gay and married couples had lower grade-repetition rates than their peers raised by opposite-sex unmarried couples and single parents. And all children living in some type of family environment did much better than those living in group housing. Those who were awaiting adoption or placement in a foster home were held back about 34 percent of the time.

"One of the fundamental issues in modern family law that differs from state to state is whether same-sex couples can adopt," Rosenfeld said. "My research makes clear that there's a huge advantage to kids to be out of the care of the state and into the care of any family, even if the family is not perfectly optimal."

Educators, policymakers and social scientists have long known that children left back in school are at greater risk than their peers for not finishing high school and getting into trouble.

Because gays and lesbians make up such a tiny sliver of the American population only 1 percent it has been difficult for researchers to conduct a representative study of how their children perform in the classroom. And gay marriage opponents have criticized earlier studies for having sample sizes that are too small.

"Sample size is power," Rosenfeld said. "And the census is the biggest sample we have. This study is based on a sample of thousands and thousands of kids."

Most personal decisions about gay marriage are based on gut feelings, religious beliefs and individual experiences. Rosenfeld knows his research isn't going to change the minds of most people opposed to same-sex unions. But he has added new data to the debate that helps debunk assertions whether based on a lack of knowledge or some unfounded fear that children raised by gay couples cannot thrive.

"Social scientists have an obligation to shed light where they can on issues that are roiling the public," he said. "Sometimes we have to throw up our hands and admit that something is unknowable. But in this case, we could bring some real hard data to bear on an area that was otherwise really in the dark."


'/>"/>

Contact: Adam Gorlick
agorlick@stanford.edu
650-725-0224
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Widespread parental misuse of medicines puts children at risk
2. Victimized children involved with disasters more likely to have mental health issues
3. Media detective tool empowers children to skirt alcohol and tobacco marketing messages
4. Legacy of Katrina report details impact of stalled recovery on mental health status of children
5. Overweight American children and adolescents becoming fatter
6. Global media campaign finds hidden children with rare, fatal aging disorder
7. Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia creates free clinical info app for iPhone and iPod Touch
8. Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections
9. Latino children with asthma less accurate in determining their lung function
10. U.S. Military Surgeons Saving Childrens Lives in Afghanistan
11. Mothers of premature children run greater risk of suffering stress
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... planning agency serving communities in the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is ... boy fighting to overcome a rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) ... and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton ... until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law ... organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our ... a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, ... in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in ... around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... COPENHAGEN, Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The ... tool in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription ... plan for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their ... is set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 ... access. Learn more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early ... of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of ... Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions ... affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: