The APA declared, “A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”
Loren Marks, of Louisiana State University, authored “Same-Sex Parenting and Children’s Outcomes: A Closer Examination of the American Psychological Association’s Brief on Lesbian and Gay Parenting,” examined 59 studies cited by the APA regarding homosexual parenting. Marks concluded that the APA assertions about homosexual parenting were not empirically warranted — i.e., the data presented doesn’t validate their hypothesis.
Three-fourths (77%) of the studies cited by the APA brief are based on small, non-representative, convenient samples of fewer than 100 participants.
Marks found that “many same-sex parenting researchers did not use marriage-based, intact families as heterosexual representatives, but instead used single mothers.”
Studies were “biased toward well-educated, privileged, white women with high incomes.”
Parent, Not Child Focus
The focus of most studies was on parental outcomes, not children’s. Marks argues that some studies “focused on fathers’ reports of fathers’ values and behaviors, not on children’s outcomes — illustrating a recurring tendency in the same-sex parenting literature to focus on the parent rather than the child.”
The long-term outcomes of children of lesbian and “gay” parents were not fully researched. Studies have shown that in the case of cohabiting families and “two-biological-parent married families,” the differences in children’s outcomes increase in significance as the children grow older. This indicates the importance of the examination of long-term outcomes.
In Lerner and Nagai (2001)’s book-length examination of same-sex parenting studies indicate that 17 of the 22 same-sex parenting comparison studies they reviewed had been designed in such a way that the odds of failing to find a significant difference (between homo- and heterosexual groups) was 85% or higher.
Pro-gay parenting advocates do not trust studies against their position when similar problems are revealed. If consistent, why should they expect anyone to trust the APA’s conclusions?
This article is a summary of Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse’s Checking the APA’s Findings on Homosexual Parenting.