Children with Mom and Dad do Better than Kids in Same-Sex Households

by Christine Kim, Policy Analyst

Primary schoolchildren in married heterosexual households are 35 percent more likely to make typical school progress than peers in same-sex households, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in the respected academic journal Demography.
The finding is based on data from 1.6 million children in the 2000 U.S. Census, which included 8,632 children who lived in same-sex households.
The new study also re-examines findings from a 2010 study that used the same data source but concluded that children raised in sex-same households progressed just as well as children in married heterosexual households when differences in the socio-economic status (i.e., household income and parental education) are taken into consideration.
Why the different conclusions regarding children’s grade retention using the same data source?

The Census provides only a single-year picture of children’s living arrangements, so its data do not reflect their full family history. For example, married households include both first-marriage and remarried couples. The 2010 study tried to address this issue by limiting its sample in two significant ways that may not represent the full family experiences of all children.

The new study re-examines the data without these two limitations. When both restrictions are lifted, the sample size increased by nearly 125 percent, from 716,740 children to 1,610,880 children.

What happens when more children are included in the analysis? The new study finds that:

  • When the sample consisted of only biological children, regardless of residential stability, children in married heterosexual households were 25.8 percent more likely to make typical school progress than peers raised in same-sex households;
  • When the sample consisted of all children, regardless of their biological status or residential stability, children in married heterosexual households were 35.4 percent more likely to make normal progress in school than peers in same-sex households.

Consistent with previous research, these findings suggest that when considering how children’s family environment influences their outcomes, it is important to look at both family structure and stability.

Together, the pair of studies underlines the complex dynamics between children’s family situations and well-being, as well as the difficulty of analyzing that relationship even with sophisticated research methods and data.

The studies also underscore the necessity for policymakers to weigh the full accumulating research evidence in their decision-making.

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  1. #1 by Makeshift Alpha on December 8, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    It’s interesting, really interesting. But what could be done against it? Bring it laws saying that family units have to male-female and be the biological parents?

    What would be really interesting is why they are doing worse.

  2. #2 by arizona today on December 8, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    Thank you for your comment. As a blogger who has analyzed a tremendous volume of writing, reporting and research on the subject, please allow me to respond with an overview of what I have learned.

    Though the media portrays homosexual relationships as “loving and committed,” the opposite is true. Infidelity and domestic abuse/violence rates are extraordinarily high. Relationships are short-lasting.

    Homosexuals engage in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse in higher rates than heterosexuals.

    Personal testimonies (Google Dawn Stefanowics) indicate that especially with male homosexuals the home environment is extremely detrimental to child raising.

    And we have to realize why people are homosexual. It is not genetic. For many, it is the result of poor bonding with people of their own gender in the formative years. Many experienced rape or molestation as children, or abuse from the father. Many male homosexuals were raped by a person of the same sex as children, and they grow up confused about sexuality.

    Homosexuality is not a fixed state. The 2 percent of Americans who say today they are homosexual will not be the same 2 percent tomorrow. It is a fluid state for some. Many struggle with same-sex attraction and pray it will go away. It can — through therapy.

    The last thing these unfortunate persons need is activist groups encouraging them to seek special rights and to celebrate the confused state of sexuality they are in as the result of traumatic experiences.

    There’s no way two young men interested in anonymous sex with other men can effectively parent children, especially young girls. Two women may be good parents, but they cannot provide the fathering experience children need. Boys need to soften the bond with Mom and typically do at around age 9, but if there is no dad in the picture they are not getting all of their developmental needs meet. And the claim that men and women are interchangeable in parenting is hogwash. It’s just not true.

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