Negative Effects on the Child?

In recent years, the topic of the LGBTQ community has become one of the most prominent in our society. Reactions to talk of homosexuality or being transgender, etc. are quite diverse. From those horrified by the very idea that one could “so blatantly defy God’s word” to those who are extremely supportive of the LGBTQ community, much conversation is to be had surrounding this controversial phenomenon. Out of this conversation rises a question that I will address in this post—does having same-sex parents affect the child negatively?

Gay parents

I will first address the side against same-sex parents. One report that I read discussed a study showing that kids raised in a traditional family reported low statistics of drug use, unemployment, and depression, and that kids raised with a gay parent received less education and more sexual partners (Carey, “Debate on a Study Examining Gay Parents”). Another negative effect mentioned in several articles is bullying that often occurs to the child as a result of their parents’ sexuality. One article that I read discredited research that proved positive effects of same-sex parents. This was done by presenting the fact that “nearly all the research published to date on same-sex child-rearing is conducted on lesbian homes of largely white, middle-class moms in larger urban areas, using mothers who have volunteered to participate in such studies” (Stanton, “Are The Kids Really All Right?”). This addresses gender and cultural bias present within pro-same-sex parent studies which may have skewed results of the study.

The opposing side—the pro-same-sex parents side (that’s a mouthful 🙂 )—presents several good arguments too. Addressing studies that show that children are better off with traditional families, proponents of this side state that “differences that exist in child well-being are largely due to socioeconomic circumstances and family stability” (Pappas, “Why Gay Parents May Be The Best Parents). This means that various negative effects on well-being cannot solely be attributed to being gay. Socioeconomic status varies from person to person, and a heterosexual couple has an equal chance of being poor as does a homosexual couple. A benefit that this side presents is that having same-sex parents promotes tolerance, open-mindedness, and acceptance (Pappas). Additionally, same-sex parents are less pressured to fall into gender role stereotypes; rather, they take on roles “that suit their skill sets [instead] of falling into those gender stereotypes” resulting in a more peaceful family life (Huffington Post).

Both sides have good points, however, the articles I read for either side failed to address correlation versus causation in their arguments. Not addressing this resulted in confusion toward the information presented. My view on the issue is this: I think that same-sex parents shouldn’t automatically be associated with “negative effects on a child” because multiple factors that play into a rough childhood can be present whether a couple is homosexual or not. I also don’t like that this automatic association implies that same-sex parents are different or any less loving than a heterosexual human being is. I feel like much of the research is inconclusive and uncertain.

At the end of the day, research conducted on same-sex parents and individuals is still very new, so more concrete results are yet to come.

-Angel

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/focus-findings/parenting/are-the-kids-really-all-right.aspx

http://www.livescience.com/17913-advantages-gay-parents.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/07/children-of-gay-parents-study-_n_5563547.html

2 comments

  1. anisajoy · April 25, 2016

    Angel! I absolutely love this post. Such a prevalent and relevant topic in today’s day and age. I personally think that same sex parenting is totally okay! One negative aspect I’ve heard is that the children end up gay. That would have been an interesting aspect for you to address.
    Your post was very well written and you carry the reader throughout your argument. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ennsez · April 25, 2016

    Angel, you synthesized many sources that supported you post well. I can tell you did some research on the subject. You also concluded your post effectively. Sometimes the most definitive answer is still ambiguous. I would have liked to hear more of your own opinions, though. Well done all the same.

    Like

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