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Does Same-Sex Parenting Negatively Affects Child Development

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Jul Lamson

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Does Same-Sex Parenting Negatively Affects Child Development

Same-Sex Parenting: Is it detrimental to a child's Development?
Relevance of the issue
Gender-Typed Play Behavior in Early Childhood
Same-Sex Parent Families and Children’s Academic

Argumentative Thesis
Gender-Typed Behavior:
The Theoretical Framework
Social Constructionist
points to the ways in which lesbian/gay parents may create different home environment for their children, which in turn encourage or cultivate different type of behaviors because of their own tendency to hold less gender stereotyped beliefs and behaviors than heterosexual parents.
Theoretical framework:
Social Learning
According to social learning theory, parents participate in children gender socialization by differentially reinforcing behaviors of boys and girls (rewarding gender stereotyped behavior and punishing gender atypical behavior).

Purpose: To examine whether gender-typed play behavior of preschool-aged, adopted children varies by family structure (lesbian, gay, heterosexual)

Importance: studies of gender related activities and behaviors during early childhood are important in order to gaain more understanding of how gender development in children with same gender parent he unfold across the life course.

Participants: 126 (42 lesbians, 34 gay males, 42 heterosexual)
mean age of children at placement was 4.56 months, this at the time of the 2 year post placement follow-up, children were 29 months (2.5 years old).
Lesbians (M= 30.36, SD= 9.73), Gay (M=27.00, SD= 6.24), Heterosexual (M=30.36, SD= 8.27).
Analysis of variance reveal that age of adoption did not significantly differ among groups.

Measures: Outcome: Children's Play Behavior
Preschool Activities Inventory (PSAI)
designed to measure the child's frequency of play with
respect to a variety of toys, games and activities.
Self-report from both parents

A planned contrast that compares the average child gender difference in both gay- and lesbian-parent families to the average child gender difference in heterosexual-parent families reveals that, the average (mean) gender difference in heterosexual-parent families was
whereas the average gender difference in
same-gender parent families was
, with an
difference for lesbian-mother families and a
unit difference
for gay-father families. Thus, the average difference
in heterosexual-parent families was more than twice that in
lesbian-parent families,
F(1,126)= 07.13, p < .009
Family Type by Gender
Purpose: The study was conducted to find if children in traditional families (heterosexual couples) do better in school than children of same-sex parents. (homosexual couples).
Importance: A stable family structure that supports the child allows for better development. Parents play an important role in the development of their child’s learning and it is essential to their academic achievement.


Participants: 19,043 (n=158, were children of same sex couples).The participants were collected from The National Center for Educational Statistics. This longitudinal study followed the same children from kindergarten to 8th grade.

Descriptives: 11,304 married, two-biological parent; 1,152 stepparent; 2,879 divorced-parent; 1,870 single-parent; 157 widowed-parent; 880 cohabiting-parent; 792 other-parent; and 72 same-sex parent families.

Hierachical linear model(HLM) growth curve from data taken for kindergarten to 8th grade. It was used to assess the children’s math scores.

Although the need for stable, adoptive homes remains high, the issue of whether gay men and lesbians should be allowed to adopt remains a topic of debate.
Girls: Researchers compared girls in gay-father families (M=43.11) to girls in either lesbian- or heterosexual-parent families (M=44.36), and this contrast was not statistically significant, F(1,64)0.13, p=.72.

Boys: Researchers also compared boys in lesbian-mother families (M=58.67) to boys in either gay- or heterosexual-parent families (M=
62.62), and this contrast was significant, F(1,62)04.17, p=.046. Boys in lesbian-mother families demonstrated less masculine play behavior, according to parent report, than boys in gay-father and heterosexual-parent families.



The Study yielded childern of Same-Sex parents had no basline discripineces among test score of childern from opposite sex families.The math scores for children in same-sex parent families were 3.4 points lower, on average (p = .001). But, children form other familes such as divorced or single parent scored 5 points lower than opposite sex familes.
Organising Work andHome in Same-Sex Parented
Families: Findings From the Work Love Play Study

Purpose: The study was conducted to find if Same-Sex parents divided house hold labor differently than opposite sex families. The study also is trying to find if egalitarian is the preferred parenting style for same-sex families.
Participants: Sample size 1277 (WLP = 317)
The participants were surveyed by a national study conducted by the THE

Descriptives: 34 males and 283 females. Mean of children was 1.65 in the same
sex families .A number of covaries predicted division of Total household labor,
accounting for 13% of variance, f(18, 1139) = 9.425,/» < .001.

Regression analyses revealed that same-sex couples reported significantly
more equal sharing on Indoor Tasks (F(2,1137) p < .001) and
Outdoor Tasks ((2,1137) = 42.712,/» < .001) than heterosexual couples.

Survey was conducted by participants by questions of demographics, work
and family roles, mental health and well being, couples feelings
family and community support.
Perlesz, A., Power, J., Rhonda, B., McNair, R., Schofìeld, M., Pitts, M., & Bickerdike, A. (2010). Organising Work and Home in Same-Sex Parented Families: Findings From the Work Love Play Study. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Family Therapy, 31(4), 374-391.
Potter, D. (2012). Same-Sex Parent Families and Children's Academic Achievement. Journal Of Marriage & Family, 74(3), 556-571. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00966.x
Can Gay and Lesbian Parents Promote Healthy Development in High-Risk Children Adopted From Foster Care?

Adoption is known to promote cognitive and emotional development in children from foster care, but policy debates remain regarding whether children adopted by gay and lesbian parents can achieve these positive outcomes.
Rationale: Previous research has focused on children of lesbian mothers (often born through donor insemination). Much less is known, however, about children in adoptive households. The current study addressed these limitations by examining children’s development over time using three waves of data from a sample of children undergoing public adoptions in Los Angeles County.
All participants were part of a larger study on child and parent
adjustment over the transition to adoptive placement.

N= 82 families (60 heterosexual, 15 gay, and 7 lesbian, self-identified on a demographic questionnaire)
children on average were about 4 years old during adoption
about 51% of all adoptions are transracial, where the child's ethnicity did not match either one of the parents.

Procedure: Children were given a cognitive assessment at 2, 12-, 24-, months post adoption. Parents were asked to complete
a questionnaire regarding their child 's behavior problem.
Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II.
The Bayley-II consists of three separate scales: the Mental Scale, the Motor Scale, and the Behavior Rating Scale (BRS). This scale measures early problem solving, memory, and language development.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale IV.
The instrument generates scores in four domains (Verbal Reasoning,
Abstract ⁄ Visual Reasoning, Quantitative, and Short-term Memory)
as well as a Composite IQ score.

Child Behavior Problem
Behavioral outcomes at each time point were obtained using either the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for Ages 2–3 or the CBCL for Ages 4–18 . Parents are asked to rate how well each item applies to their child now or within the past 2 months, with each item scored as 0 (not true), 1 (somewhat ⁄ sometimes true), and 2 (very often ⁄ often true).


Children’s scores on cognitive development were in the low average range at the first assessment (means = 89.55 and 85.57 for children from heterosexual and gay or lesbian households, respectively) and in the average range by the third assessment (means = 96.83 and 94.28 for children from heterosexual and gay or lesbian households, respectively).

Problem Behavior: There was no significant difference found in the development of children's problem behaviors. Across all time points,
approximately 15% of children had clinically significant internalizing
problems, and 32% of children had clinically significant externalizing problems, consistent with the high-risk nature of the sample (in nonclinical samples, only about 10% of children would be expected to fall in the clinical range for internalizing and externalizing problems; Achenbach, 1991a, 1991b).
Same-Sex parents are equally capable of cultivating a child's cognitive development and overall well being, just as well as heterosexual parents.

Goldberg, A., Kashy, D., & Smith, J. (2012). Gender-Typed Play Behavior in Early Childhood: Adopted Children with Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents. Sex Roles, 67(9/10), 503-515. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0198-3
Lavner, J. A., Waterman, J., & Peplau, L. (2012). Can gay and lesbian parents promote healthy development in high-risk children adopted from foster care?. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 82(4), 465-472. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01176.x
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