Do gays and lesbians make better parents?

Posted on 08 Nov 2009 at 5:07pm

Abbie Goldberg
Abbie Goldberg

Abbie Goldberg, author of “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children” was the guest on “Lambda Weekly” today. An article about her work appeared in today’s New York Times Magazine. Goldberg is an assistant professor at Clark University in Massachusetts.

Goldberg has been studying gay and lesbian parents since 2005. Using her own studies as well as others that have been done, she concludes that the children of gays and lesbians do just fine. Others who have read her work conclude that the study indicates gays and lesbians, on average, make better parents than the average straight couple. She believes that since most gay and lesbian parenting is planned, it is better than parenting by the poster child for abstinence-only, heterosexual-only sex education, Bristol Palin.

Some interesting statistics she found:

One in five male same-sex couple are raising children.

One in three lesbian couples are raising children.

In 1990, one in 20 male couples and one in five lesbian couples were raising children.

Male children of lesbian couples have fewer sexual partners than male children of straight couples.

Female children of lesbians have more sexual partners than female children of straight couples.

Goldberg said on the air that she thinks the male children are raised repecting women more, aware of abuse of women by men and conscious of not taking advantage of them.

She thinks that female children of lesbians are raised more feminist and more in charge of their own bodies.

She said that a similar study of children of male couples has not been done. Lerone Landis, co-host of “Lambda Weekly” who is raising a 10-month old child with his husband Danny Valle, said that he’s already overprotective and has started thinking about when their daughter brings home boys. Goldberg agreed that this was something she’s heard from a number of other male partners with children.

Although her studies have shown that gay and lesbian couples are no more or less likely to have gay or lesbian children than straight couples, Goldberg said it’s something that always comes up and the answer really should be: So what?

— David Taffet

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