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How being raised in same-sex households affects children

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2020 | Same-Sex Family Matters

For decades, many Americans in the LGBTQ community fought for the right to marry and raise children together. Today, they still face many difficulties in Michigan on both fronts. Biological parents may object to allowing LGBTQ people to adopt their children and many states still struggle to figure out how to handle same-sex parenting rights. 

When LGBTQ couples start a family, they also face social challenges. Many deal with judgment from religious leaders who view their union as a degradation of the sanctity of marriage. These leaders also express concerns about how being raised in these households affect children. 

According to Cornell University and the studies it examined, there is no discernible difference. The researchers looked at 79 studies. Of the 79, 75 concluded that children raised in LGBTQ households fared no worse than their peers who were raised in more traditional families. 

In the four studies that said children raised by same-sex parents were worse off than their peers, the researchers found one underlying problem. The sample size did not focus on children actually raised in same-sex households. Most of the families studied involved a heterosexual couple where one parent later identified as LGBTQ. The resulting breakup of the family led to added stress and feelings of betrayal not found in your everyday same-sex household. 

The Washington Post cited a more recent study from 2019 implying that children from same-sex households actually did better than their peers, specifically in school. The study followed children raised in same-sex unions in the Netherlands, which was the first country to legalize same-sex unions. 

The researchers found that same-sex parents were often more educated, wealthier and older than heterosexual couples. This is not by accident. Starting a family in the LGBTQ community is often difficult and expensive, compelling many to wait until they are more established in life to do so. 

While the studies bring some interesting findings to the table, they both illustrate the societal pressure LGBTQ families face to prove their legitimacy as a couple and worthiness as parents. Maybe in time, this sentiment will change.