Children with parents of the same sex are just as socially adapted as others, the study shows

⇧ [VIDÉO] You may also like this partner content (by ad)

Sexual minorities are more likely to experience stressful situations because of their sexual orientation, such as experiences of prejudice. To date, there are only a few representative studies examining the well-being of children of same-sex parents. A study conducted by researchers at the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne shows that children and young people with parents of the same sex are just as well adapted as those with parents of different sexes.

It has already been shown that the stress that parents feel can be transferred – in one way or another – to their children. But same-sex parents are under pressure because of their sexual orientation, such as experiences of prejudice, negative reactions from friends and family, and unsupportive legal environments. On average, this extra stress can lead to a decrease in the physical and mental health of same-sex parents, which in turn can lead to problems of social adjustment in their children.

This is not the case according to the researchers in the new study, published inInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health : ” Contrary to this theoretical prediction, the empirical literature examining potential differences between children raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents finds few or no differences in behavioral problems, and few studies find small disadvantages in emotional adjustment and academic performance. “.

However, previous studies have been criticized for their methodological shortcomings, as the parents surveyed were part of specific (or even societal) groups, not representative of the general population. To solve this problem, the new study used survey data from general population registers in the Netherlands to compare possible behavioral differences between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by parents of different sexes.

Thus, 62 children aged 6 to 16 with same-sex parents were compared with 72 children with parents of different sexes in terms of prosocial behavior, hyperactivity, peer problems, emotional adjustment, and general behavioral problems (using “Strengths and Weaknesses” Questionnaire). “). The results were reported by only one of the two parents, all between 30 and 65 years of age.

No significant difference with respect to externalized or internalized behavioral disorders

First, the researchers compared same-sex children with children of different-sex parents on scores of problem behaviors with externalization (agitation, impulsivity, aggression), and internalization (anxiety, depression). ” We do not observe any significant difference in any of the scores “, They say. ” This suggests that children of same-sex parents do not experience more behavioral, externalizing, or internalizing difficulties than children of parents of different sexes. “.

In another step, the further analysis focused on the following five behavioral scales: emotional problems, general behavioral problems, hyperactivity, antisocial behavior, and peer problems. In the end, the same type of results were reported by the researchers, and no significant difference separated the two categories.

The relationship between having parents of the same sex and behavioral scales. The bars represent 95% confidence intervals. All models were estimated using rough exact matching on the child’s gender and age, the respondent’s marital status, the respondent’s education and income if the child was born out of the relationship the respondent’s current life and the number of children in the household. © Mazrekaj D, Fischer MM, Bos HMW (2022).

It is possible that homosexual parents are preparing their children for the negative reactions of the heteronormative society.

In conclusion, the authors question why the incidence of stress-related disorders in sexual minorities does not result in negative outcomes in their offspring. ” Part of the answer may be that gay parents prepare their children for confrontation with heteronormative communities and negative reactions to their family situation to deal with it so that it does not affect their behavior or well-being. “, They explain. It is also possible that the desire for children is generally stronger for same-sex couples, where the obstacles to becoming a parent are many, so the quality of parenting is different.

Furthermore, the Netherlands is a country where same-sex families are widely recognized and where same-sex parents enjoy significant legal and cultural support. It was the first country to introduce same-sex marriage in 2001, as well as the right to adoption for same-sex couples.

However, some limitations of the study should be noted, such as that it is based only on the parents’ statement. Furthermore, comparison of single-parent families with heterosexual families does not make it possible to integrate all stigmatization parameters specific to children of same-sex parents. Thus, several studies have shown that children who experience homophobic stigma report more problematic behaviors. Researchers believe that future studies should move away from deficit-based comparisons between same-sex and different-sex families.

Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Leave a Comment