Sexual orientation ‘irrelevant’ to children’s upbringing

// 10 June 2005

Sexual orientation of a child’s parents is “irrelevant” to their upbringing, new research confirms.

What really matters is whether or not that child has a stable, loving family environment.

The study revealed that: “Teens with same-sex parents were identical to those with opposite-sex parents in almost every area analyzed, from anxiety levels to autonomy, and even grade-point average. It was kids’ relationships with their parents, not the gender of their parents’ partners, that clearly influenced their development. Those with warm, caring family bonds were doing better at home, in school, and in their social lives than those without them. Other studies have also found parental warmth – being a caring, understanding, and accepting parent – to be one of the most powerful forces behind the healthy development of children and adolescents, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, family structure, and sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian parents are just as likely as heterosexual parents to meet – or to fail to meet – their children’s needs for healthy development.”

But children of lesbian or gay parents may also be “freer from rigid gender roles”, says Orson Morrison, a clinical psychologist who has studied adult sons of gay men.

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