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New studies suggest that children do best when they are raised by their biological parents in a stable, intact marriage. Intro Two peer-reviewed research articles in the social sciences, released June 10,challenge the claim made by same-sex parenting researchers over the last decade that parents engaged in same-sex relationships do just as well as other parents at raising children.
Article by Professor Loren Marks The first article, published in Social Science Research, Julycan be found herealong with responses from peers, and a final reply by the author.
The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. Article and New Family Structures Study conducted by Professor Mark Regnerus The second article, by sociologist Mark Regnerus of the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, presents new and extensive empirical evidence that suggests that there are differences in outcomes between the children of a parent who had a same-sex relationship and children raised by their married, biological mothers and fathers.
This new evidence is based on the data from the New Family Structures Study NFSS of the University of Texasof which Regnerus was the lead investigator and which in surveyed 2, young adults for the specific purpose of collecting more reliable, nationally representative data about children from various family origins: First, it compares the outcomes of children who reported having a mother who had a lesbian relationship with another woman MLR for short or a father who had Summary essay studies gay relationship with another man FGR for short with the outcomes of children who reported coming from an intact biological family IBF for short.
Most gay parenting research compares gay and lesbian parenting to single, divorced, and step-parent parenting, or conversely compares a select, and often socio-economically privileged, population of gay parents to a broad, representative sample of the general population.
Second, the NFSS focuses on the responses of young-adult children. Moreover, these studies most typically interview the parents for their point of view about what it is like to be parenting as a gay man or lesbian woman.
Indeed, no study has explored that question until now. These children spoke for themselves about their experiences at home when they were younger and were able to report on how they are doing now as young adults.
This third point is a significant strength of the NFSS because, to date, there is only one other gay parenting study that draws from a large, random sample, that of Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford University, who relies upon U.
Every other gay parenting study thus far relies upon small or non-probability samples, which do not allow for generalization and are thus inadequate for drawing conclusions about the population at large. Any claims about the general population that are based on a group that does not represent it will be defective, because the sample will be less diverse than what a truly representative sample would reveal.
This problem is compounded when these studies compare data from the small convenience samples of gay parenting with data on heterosexual parenting from large, population-level samples.
Although researchers usually note this limitation of their studies, the media almost always fail to transmit that limitation to the public at large, so the overall impression is that gay parents are doing just as well or better when compared to a large selection of heterosexual parents.
The NFSS looked at how the children fared in 40 different areas, a few of which will be highlighted here. First, the results do not claim to establish causality between parenting and child outcomes.
So, for instance, when the study finds that children who had a parent in a same-sex romantic relationship are much more likely to suffer from depression as young adults than the children who came from intact biological families, it does not claim that the gay parent was the cause of the depression in his or her child, but simply that such children on average had more depression, for reasons unidentified by the study.
Second, the kind of gay parenting identified was rarely planned by two gay parents. This is to say that out of 2, respondents, only 40 children reported living with two lesbian women for three years or more, which is not a long time.
Only 2 out of the 15, screened spent a span of 18 years with the same-sex relationship spent a span of 18 years with the same two mothers. For example, a recent study of same-sex couples in Great Britain finds that gay and lesbian cohabiting couples are more likely to separate than heterosexual couples.
Indeed, sociologists Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey, two of the most outspoken advocates for same-sex marriage in the U. Despite drawing from a large, representative sample of the U. In the end, he found the claim to be more plausible when comparing the grown children of parents who had a same-sex relationship to the grown children of divorced, adopted, single-parented, or step-parented arrangements.
The data suggest that the claim is false if one compares the grown children of a parent who had a same-sex relationship to those from IBFs. As the next sections illustrate, there were clear and, in most cases, very unfortunate differences between the children of parents who had a same-sex relationship and those from biological families of still-married parents.
Findings on Differences in Social Outcomes 12 Public perceptions and stereotypes of children of gays and lesbians usually assume them to be white, upper-middle-class members of society.
As young adults, they were also 3. On criminal outcomes, the children of FGRs showed the greatest propensity to be involved in crime. They were, on average, more frequently arrested and pled guilty to more non-minor offenses than the young-adult children in any other category.
The children of MLRs reported the second highest average frequency of involvement in crimes and arrests, and in both categories, the young-adult children of intact biological families reported the lowest average frequency of involvement in crimes or arrests.
These results are generally consistent with research on heterosexual families; for instance, a recent federal report showed that children in heterosexual families are least likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused in an intact, biological, married family.
When asked to report upon frequency of marijuana use, the young-adult children of divorced parents were the worst off, reporting to use marijuana on average one and a half times more frequently than children of IBFs; next came the children of MLRs, followed by the children of single parents, and the children of FGRs.
The children adopted by strangers people unrelated to them and the children of IBFs reported least frequent marijuana use as young adults. When asked about frequency of smoking, the young-adult children of MLRs reported highest frequency, followed by the children of FGRs, and the children of IBFs ranking lowest frequency of all family-of-origin types.
Findings on Differences in Emotional and Mental Health Respondents were asked to report their sentiment about their family experiences while growing up. The children of MLRs reported the lowest levels of perceived safety in their childhood home, followed by children of FGRs, with the children of IBFs reporting the highest levels of perceived safety.
The children from IBFs were least likely to report receiving therapy.
The young-adult children of FGRs were two times more likely to have thought about suicide in the previous 12 months than the children of MLRs, and almost five times more likely than the children of IBFs to have thought about the same.
When asked to rate their current relationship quality, the children of FGRs reported the lowest quality, followed by children adopted by strangers, the children of stepfamilies, and then the children of MLRs.Try Our Friends At: The Essay Store. Free English School Essays. We have lots of essays in our essay database, so please check back here frequently to .
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New Family Structures Research and the “No Differences” Claim Ana Samuel. The widely circulated claim that same-sex families are “no different” from intact, heterosexual families is not settled science. Feb 21, · Before seeking a summary of a famous work, it is useful to find out something about the author’s life, including the era when the essay was written, where it first appeared (a book?
a newspaper?), and what was going on in society at that time.
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