Gay marriage, and especially gay parenting, has been in the cross hairs in recent days.
On Jan. 6, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told a New Hampshire audience that children are better off with a father in prison than being raised in a home with lesbian parents and no father at all. And last Monday (Jan. 9), Pope Benedict called gay marriage a threat "to the future of humanity itself," citing the need for children to have heterosexual homes.
But research on families headed by gays and lesbians doesn't back up these dire assertions. In fact, in some ways, gay parents may bring talents to the table that straight parents don't.
Gay parents "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents," said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. "That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement."
And while research indicates that kids of gay parents show few differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures, these kids may have the advantage of open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships, according to some research. Not only that, but gays and lesbians are likely to provide homes for difficult-to-place children in the foster system, studies show.
Research has shown that the kids of same-sex couples — both adopted and biological kids — fare no worse than the kids of straight couples on mental health, social functioning, school performance and a variety of other life-success measures.
Children of gay parents also reported feeling less stymied by gender stereotypes than they would have been if raised in straight households. That's likely because gays and lesbians tend to have more egalitarian relationships than straight couples, Goldberg said.
"Men and women felt like they were free to pursue a wide range of interests," Goldberg said. "Nobody was telling them, 'Oh, you can't do that, that's a boy thing,' or 'That's a girl thing.'"
2012-01-19 13:09 编辑：crystal156
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