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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Equal Marriage, Ireland | 13 comments

Research Backing Same-Sex Parenting

During the marriage equality debate it is always said children in same-sex households have worse outcomes than those in heterosexual outcomes. This simply isn’t true, below is but a sample of the research carried which has found no difference in the outcomes and the psychological and child developmental associations than back these findings.

Children in planned lesbian families: Stigmatisation, psychological adjustment and protective factors, Culture, Health & Sexuality

Transracial Adoption by Lesbian, Gay,and Heterosexual Couples: Who Completes Transracial Adoptions and With What Results?

American Academy of Pediatrics: Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents

How does the gender of parents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family

Children’s Gender Identity in Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families

Child adjustment and parenting in planned lesbian families with known and as-yet unknown donors

Children in Planned Lesbian Families: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between the United States and the Netherlands. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America’s Children

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families

Child Adjustment and Parenting in Planned Lesbian-Parent Families

National Lesbian Family Study: 4. Interviews with the 10-year-old children

What does it mean for youngsters to grow up in a lesbian family created by means of donor insemination?

Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?

Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children: A Review

Same-Sex Parenting and Child Development: Reviewing the Contribution of Parental Gender

The Role of the Father in Child Development


Not only has there been a plethora of research but numerous associations have concluded that there is no difference between same-sex parents and heterosexuals parents and have publicly stated so.

American Psychological Assocation

Position Statement in Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage

Amicus brief submitted in support of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenge to California Prop 8

Lesbian and Gay Parenting Resource Publication

Canadian Psychological Association

Brief presented to the Legislative House of Commons Committee on Bill

American Academy of Pediatrics

Policy statement – Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents

Australian Psychological Society

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) parented families – A literature review

American Psychoanalytic Association

Position statement on Gay and Lesbian Parenting

American Psychiatric Association

Adoption and co-parenting by same-sex couples

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Gay and Lesbian Adoptions and Foster Care

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Submission to the Church of England’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Pscyhiatry

Children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents

American National Association of Social Workers

Amicus brief – California Supreme Court – Case No. S147999

Child Welfare League of America

Position statement on parenting of children by lesbian, gay and bisexual adults


Finally and certainly not least is the claim that their are no national surveys. I was able to locate six through minimal effort.

Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual risk exposure.

Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States: Findings From the National Health Interview Survey, 2001–2007

Psychosocial adjustment, school outcomes, and romantic relationships of adolescents with same-sex parents.

Children with lesbian parents: a community study.

Psychosocial Adjustment among Children Conceived via Donor Insemination by Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers

Donor Insemination: Child Development and Family Functioning in Lesbian Mother Families


6 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Seanán Kerr

    Great work!

    • Peter Ferguson

      Thanks, pity Mr Quinn will either never read it or ignore it if he does.

      • Seanán Kerr

        Well it’s front page on reddit/r/ireland and if you haven’t sent it into you should, enough people see this there’s a chance next time Quinn shuffles his prop stack of papers and tries to pull his “lack of research” rubbish in the media someone may have read this and be in a position to throw it in his face!

        Ps. Just a suggestion, but perhaps it might be worth clarifying (as you made clear on reddit) that you have indeed read all these papers.

  • Fergus Keely
    • Peter Ferguson

      I had seen the first and got some links from there and many other places of course.

      As for the second post I have never seen it. Loren Marks activities are well documented, hardly strange that he is written about elsewhere.

      EDIT: I see you are the author of those posts. As I did get a good number of the links from your post (you made my job a lot easier), I will be more than happy to accredit you in the post with a link to your Twitter/Facebook/website, which ever your preference. Contact me via email or Twitter, it would probably be easier.

  • Emmanuel

    Child Trends has said the reason we can’t really say how well or how badly children raised by same-sex couples do is because there is a lack of studies based on large, national samples.

    Peter lists a number of studies at the end of his blog which he seems to think are large and national but if you click on them you soon find they are anything but. Peter will need to keep searching.

    • Peter Ferguson

      The authors of the research deem them to be large and national, by what criteria do you deny this status? And what would you define as large and national?

      • Emmanuel

        Peter, They are small numbers. Do you seriously thinks a study of 78 children is large?

        • Peter Ferguson

          Comparatively, yes. Children of same-sex constitute a tiny minority of the population. Requesting research which studies hundreds of children is an impossible demand.

          Hundreds of social scientists who have not at stake but their reputation are more than happy with the numbers.

          • Emmanuel

            Peter thank you for your reply back. The social scientists you refer to are ideologically driven are they not? And happy to pass off small sample studies are meaningful. They seem to have no statistic power due to there size. Do you feel like you maybe misleading by your article and holding those scientists? Thank you in advance.

          • Peter Ferguson

            Ideologically driven? No they are not. What ideology would you be referring too?

          • Emmanuel

            Peter, you are always very quick to attack the motivations of sociologists you dislike, e.g. Mark Regnerus. As the saying goes ‘Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’. In any event, there is no way for either you or the sociologists you do like to escape from the fact that those studies they rely on are very small and lack statistical power.

            Are you, and they, are placing far too much weight on them? So maybe Mr. Quinn isn’t lying at all but presenting the studies as they? Where
            is he going wrong? Thank you in advance.

          • Peter Ferguson

            I don’t question the motivations, I analyse the facts. To produce solid research the scientific method and peer review process must be followed. Mark Regnerus and Loren Marks threw both of these processes out the window. I’m not going to go into great detail, there is a plethora of information you find if you google their research, but both Loren Marks’ and Mark Regnerus studies were wholly flawed and at times invented. Loren Marks admitted on the witness stand to not actually reading all of the research he cites and never actually researching same sex couples. Regnerus is under investigation for scientific misconduct – these are the facts.

            Can the same be said for the hundreds of social scientists who’ve conducted other research? No, they followed the scientific method and peer review process.

            To say that the sample sizes are “too small” is essentially saying that hundreds of scientists and dozens of organisations are forgoing their principles – simply nonsense. Sample sizes such as those above have been used in thousands of other studies in different fields and it is perfectly acceptable.

            It is true that larger sample sizes are better, but they are not necessary.

            To continue to call into question the numerosity and quality of research conducted by hundreds of scientists over three decades is simple childishness and borders on science denialism.

            I suggest you read

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