The claim I am investigating is “Children raised by gay parents are likely to experience negative outcomes”. This topic is important because the LGBT community is becoming more prominent in recent years, especially as same-sex marriage was recently legalized in the United States. With more same-sex couples getting married, more couples will want to start a family and it’s very crucial to know whether or not this will have a negative effect on their children.
I located these sources by visiting the Auraria Library website to find the PsycInfo database.
I then searched “homosexual parents” and “outcome” as well as selecting “Empirical Study” under the Methodology tab. The sources I found were “Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Households and Child Health Outcomes: Findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health” an article within the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and the article “School Experiences of Young Children and Their Lesbian and Gay Adoptive Parents” within the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity”.
In the article “Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Households and Child Health Outcomes: Findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health” researchers tested whether or not there was a correlation between the different aspects of a child’s overall well-being and having same-sex parents. In this study they surveyed 95 female same-sex parents and 95 different-sex parents over the phone. The survey questions asked were converted to a 1-5 or 1-4 scale rating. The questions were: ‘Would you say that your relationship is completely happy, very happy, fairly happy, or not too happy?”, “How well can you and sample child (SC) share ideas or talk about things that really matter?”, “During the past month, how often have you felt.
(1) (SC) is much harder to care for than most children (his/her) age? (2) (he/she) does things that really bother you a lot? (3) angry with him/her?”, “In general, how would you describe (SC)’s health?” Specify how often during the past month the SC was unhappy, sad, or depressed”, and does the SC stay calm and in control when faced with a challenge? The study concluded that other than the overall stress of same-sex parents being a little bit higher than the stress of different-sex parents, there seemed to be zero notable differences in the results between the same-sex and different-sex families. The strengths of this study were that they used a nationwide survey so they got a good range of results and they did not disclose that it was a study on homosexual parents to avoid bias. The limitations of this study were that they only interviewed female same-sex couples which limits the results, and the fact that they did the interview over the phone while face to face interviews may have been a better way to accurately assess the participants. After assessing this source, it does seem credible because it was assessed and approved by the National Center for Health Statistics Ethics Review Board. (Bos, Knox, van Rijn-van Gelderen & Gartrell, 2016)
The second article “School Experiences of Young Children and Their Lesbian and Gay Adoptive Parents” explores the school experiences of kids with lesbian and gay parents as compared to those with heterosexual parents. In this study they took 96 lesbian and gay adoptive parents and their 50 children. For this study they also took 48 teachers of the children as well.
To see how well children were adjusting in school both the parents and the teachers had to take the Child Behavior checklist and the Teacher Report Form for school aged children, then they converted it to a 0-2 scale. To document the children’s school experiences, including bullying, they asked the children a series of questions. The questions were: “In school or anywhere else, have you ever been made fun of or teased?” and “Have you ever been physically bullied?”. If the children responded yes to these questions they were asked follow up questions. The questions were: “(a) How many times in the last year? (b) Why do you think you were bullied? (c) How did you feel? (d) What did you do when it happened?”. Along with these questions the children were analyzed for any micro aggressions they may have displayed during the interview. The parents were also questioned about school experiences and bullies. The questions were: “Would you say that [child] has adjusted well to school socially?”, “To your knowledge, has [child] ever been bullied, teased, or treated unfairly? If yes, please describe,” and, “Do you feel supported as a [lesbian/gay] parent family by your child’s school, including by teachers, administrators, coaches and other staff, as well as other children’s parents?” This study deduced that the children did seem well adjusted and had good behavior, but a few children did also report having been bullied for their gay/lesbian parents. The strengths of this study was that it had face to face interviews with the participants which helped them detect micro aggressions, as well as getting perspectives from teachers, parents, and students. The weakness of this study is that they had such a small sample size that it’s not possible to come to a solid conclusion. After assessing this study I’ve concluded that it is a credible source as it was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the principal investigator’s university, while also taking in consideration that it was funded by the American Psychological Foundation.
In conclusion. The claim “Children raised by gay parents are likely to experience negative outcomes” seems to be considerably inaccurate. While there are minor differences in the outcome of children raised by same-sex parents as opposed to opposite-sex parents, both seem to fare equally as well given they’re provided the right environment. We see this in both of the studies. In the first study we see that children of same-sex parents are equally as healthy in respects of general health as well as emotional health. In the second study we see that these same kids are also well adjusted and behaved within a school setting. These finding still hold true as they are very recent, both being from 2016. These studies are also going to be very beneficial to the LGBT community as it can help erase some of the stigma around families with same sex parents. (Farr, Oakley, Ollen, 2016)