What does research say about same-sex parenting?

Peter Ould writes: The publication of a new book by Wilberforce Publications, an arm of Christian Concern, has led to some Christian media interest. The book is Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment by Professor Walter Schumm who has decades of experience in researching same-sex parenting and associated issues. Despite the fact that I have been critical of Christian Concern in the past, they were kind enough to send me a review copy in the post. As a statistics professional (I work with banks and other institutions across the entire EMEA region on their mathematical modelling) I wanted to give it a fair reading.

The book is very well laid out. Schumm begins by introducing us to the general themes around social science research and the deeper methodological issues involved in the surveys he reviews. He tries to make some complicated statistical ideas easy for the lay reader to understand and succeeds – anyone with a modicum of education should be able to read chapter 3 and come away ready to read the rest of the book and appreciate the statistical issues he is going to point out.


The core of the book is then a review, subject by subject, of key papers that contradict the popular narrative in these areas. Schumm works us through the areas of same-sex family stability, sexual abuse, parental values and behaviour, child sexual orientation, gender identity and gender roles and finally child mental health, educational attainment and social integration. It is a quite comprehensive survey.

The process of examining each area is as follows. Schumm highlights the main claims made in each of the areas (e.g. same-sex parents’ relationships are as stable as other-sex parents’), gives examples of academic texts that make such a claim and then takes us through a body of peer-reviewed research that finds conclusions contrary to the mainstream research. Key figures are brought to the fore and whilst no paper is dealt with in any great detail, enough evidence is provided to demonstrate the academic credibility of alternative interpretations. Schumm is not afraid of pointing out where evidence contrary to the mainstream view is shallow and he is also critical of some research that conservatives tend to hang on. He was one of the first conservative academics to criticise the first Regnerus study on same-sex parenting, correctly arguing that the way Regnerus had grouped his same-sex parents undermined any arguments he was trying to make. As Schumm himself puts it,

“It would have been a lot more difficult if my critics had said things like ‘Research in this area is complex’ or ‘The limitations of the research in this area hinder our ability to draw conclusions strong enough to influence policy’. I might have agreed with my critics if they had made such careful statements.” (p29)

This I think highlights the key point about Schumm’s book. It is definitively not a book that is designed to demonstrate that same-sex parenting is inferior to other-sex parenting. Rather, it is an attempt to balance the debate, to call for a more reasoned conversation in an area that is emotionally and politically charged. Headlines like “Heterosexual parenting best for children” do not do this book justice. Schumm has not produced an argument against same-sex parenting, rather he has written an evidence based call for more honest research in the area. As Schumm himself writes,

“My fondest hope is not that same-sex marriage be declared illegal or same-sex adoption be banned … but that perhaps a few persons here and there will have been challenged to think more carefully about scientific research in areas of political controversy, and be a little less eager to jump to conclusions that may not in fact be warranted after a careful, detailed, systematic review of the research literature.” (p228)

I recommend that those interested in these issues, on both sides of the debate, get a copy and engage with it on the academic level it deserves. My concern is that many on both sides will actually use this book as a political tool, either something that “proves” their own socially conservative biases (it does no such thing) or something that is treated as “evidence” of bigotry against their liberal stance. The book is neither and if you come to it expecting either of those two things you will miss the valuable contribution to this on going debate that Schumm has provided us.


Revd Peter Ould is a Church of England priest based in Canterbury. He works in the field of statistical research and application and writes and broadcasts on issues around the Church, sex and statistics.


Follow me on Twitter @psephizoLike my page on Facebook.


Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, would you consider donating £1.20 a month to support the production of this blog?

24 thoughts on “What does research say about same-sex parenting?”

  1. I’m sure parenting by a mother and father, and best of all by their own mother and father, is best for children, for the simple reason that a child parented by two men does not have a mother and a child parented by two women does not have a father, which is an intrinsic harm to the child, whatever ‘outcomes’ might be affected. It is also necessarily the case that at least one of their true (biological) parents is absent from the family, also an intrinsic harm. In addition they have a model provided that does not assist them in normal sexual and emotional development.

    I am glad there exist studies like these, though do find so many are biased and presented in biased ways that it is hard to tell what to believe and what to dismiss. It doesn’t help that too many involved in these areas see part of their role as advancing a progressive agenda rather than presenting impartial research. It’s good to hear you think Schumm avoids this. But even so I think far more weight needs to be placed in this area on the intrinsic good of children being raised by their own father and mother, or failing that by an alternative married father and mother. Research which shows that this produces better average outcomes for children than alternatives is of course helpful, but not the central argument against alternative forms of parenting.

    • Hi Will,

      I’d agree that a child is best raised by its own mother and father. The public purpose of marriage is to unite couples as co-founders of families in advance of this.

      However, when you write: “I’m sure that parenting by a mother and father…is best for children”, there’s the tacit condition of ceteris paribus (all other things being equal)

      Public policy should be founded on rights. However, the expressive effect of enacting HFEA 2008, civil partnerships and then same-sex marriage has been to legitimise parenthood by mere intention, thereby undermining the child’s entitlement to be raised by both of its natural parents.

      On the basis that a child is entitled to the care of both of its natural parents, there is a duty on society to provide children who have lost their parents (whether by death or default) with a family environment which mirrors this natural arrangement as closely as possible.

      So, I would argue on the basis of entitlement, rather than competence.

      However strongly I reject same-sex marriage, we would need consistent evidence of inferior competence, without which there is no reasonable basis for banning (I’m not suggesting that you’re saying this) any adoptive parenting arrangement (single-parent adoption included) other than heterosexual couples.

      Concerning the use of statistical comparisons, other issue that I have is that most of the evidence is primarily comprised of ‘child outcome’ measurements, which are far too reductive.

      In several countries, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire has become a key tool for detecting psychosocial problems in children aged 3–16 years. Despite being a quick tool, it has been shown to have a flawed methodology which results in the skewing of data by child gender and parental education level https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356337/

      If our society still wants a valid comparison of child outcomes, then we need a far more thorough and reliable gauge of long-term parental effectiveness.

      • Hi David

        I agree about arguing on entitlement rather than competence or outcomes – that’s what I was getting at by talking about intrinsic good and harm.

        I would ban all adoptive arrangements other than married male-female couples. On entitlement grounds first and foremost, but also outcome grounds – though these are harder to establish because of measurement and bias issues in the research.

        • If you ban certain groups from adopting then how will you know if they are any good or not at parenting? I’d actually ban all straight people from having children for a period because there are too many people in the world – its much more ethical to be gay these days!

  2. What I don’t get from this review is that:

    (1) A child *not* being with mum/dad will in a high proportion of cases mean conflict/immaturity behind the scenes, which cannot bode well;

    (2) There is no reason why forcing a child not to be with mum/dad ought not to be viewed as abusive – apart from the reason that it is the more powerful (namely adults) that make the rules. I say ‘more powerful’ not ‘more mature’.

    (3) Nor is there any reason why abandoning a child is dreadful but abandoning a spouse is supposedly not. Why stealing a child is dreadful but stealing a spouse is supposedly not. That’s just selectivity, which is dishonest.

    However the whole consideration is academic, because the question does not even arise much in the first place if you do not adopt the sexual revolution, as a moment’s thought will show.

  3. I suspect it is too early to come to any definite conclusions, and I would be surprised if this book does so. The raising of children by two gay men or women is a recent phenomenon and is relatively rare. But regardless of one’ s views let’s not pretend that being raised by two straight people is some sort of utopia for many kids. I know from experience it is not.

    • “But regardless of one’ s views let’s not pretend that being raised by two straight people is some sort of utopia for many kids.”

      Is that what you really think people are suggesting? If it is, then I think you’ve just presented a straw man argument. There are all sorts of abhorrent possibilities that come below a caring gay couple in the preference hierarchy of child raising, many involving straight people. I think everyone knows that already. There are also several above it. It would be my preference that we always offer children the best options and work our way down as availability dictates in a poorly functioning society; not just impose the romantic notions of some adults over and above the rights of children to have access to those better options.

      • The impression I get from reviews of the book (I doubt I will buy it myself) is that it challenges the apparently pervailing view that kids brought up with 2 gay dads or mothers have the same ‘outcomes’ as those brought up by a straight mum and dad. That may or may not be the case – as I said I think it is just too early and have insufficient data to come to any firm conclusions, either way. I was just making the point that those of us in the majority who have been brought up by a straight couple have often had to endure emotional and/or physical suffering due to their parents’ behaviour. Yes Im stating the obvious. Sorry about that. Im not using that as a reason why gay couples should be able to bring up children, as if there won’t be similar issues.

        Regarding the rights of children, I think that people have become consumed with their own rights, as if it is a ‘right’ to have a child. Does the child not have the ‘right’ to be brought up by their own mother and father? I assume you agree. That is one reason why I disagree with a ‘surrogate’ mother giving her child away to a gay couple, as if she is some sort of baby-producing machine. Though of course her very actions show her to be unsuitable to be a mother in the first place.

        Im gay myself but have no interest in raising children. But I can understand some wanting to. If Elizabeth Moberly was right all along, it may be that boys brought up by loving gay dads will more likely be heterosexual than gay themselves. Oh the irony.

        To sum up, it’s complicated!

  4. I’m afraid I don’t see Schumm’s book in the same way that Peter does. For me, Schumm’s main point is that the social science research on same sex parenting has consistently exaggerated its positive outcomes and downplayed the negatives or denied them completely. This is largely because of a concerted political/cultural campaign to control scientific research to favour the LGBT agenda and ensure, through a combination of reward and intimidation, that its results are always skewed to favour a progressive conclusion. Those who have questioned these results and insisted on sounder scientific method have been accused of bigotry, and marginalised. In other words, fundamental principles of science itself have been compromised, presumably, the progressives would say, for the sake of the ‘greater good’.

    Schumm says in his conclusion, with great restraint: “While I am delighted that many progressives claim to value truth…I am concerned about a lack of energy directed to getting at the truth by many progressive scholars when there was a possibility that such a truth might not agree with politically or legally desired outcomes.”

    It reminds me of the way that the (progressive led) Royal College of Psychiatrists presented ‘research’ to government before 2013 clearly ‘proving’ that homosexuality was innate and unchangeable. In 2014 they quietly changed their position, admitting that there may be environmental and other factors, and that sexuality could be fluid. By then same sex marriage was on the statute book – they had achieved their objective by manipulating science and/or being guilty of selective bias in interpretation of data. That is the kind of thing that Schumm’s book warns about.

    • I agree with Andrew 100%. 90% of the progressives I have met are so extreme that they do not countenance that (e.g.) homosexual people should score lower than heterosexual people according to any measure whatever. One has only to think that there are thousands of possible things that could be measured (and by the law of averages there would be little harm in homosexual people scoring less well in approx. half of these) to see the utter extremity and bias of such a ‘position’. Nor do they countenance that the broad ‘conclusion’ be significantly different to what they prefer or envisage. That is the effortless superiority normally associated with a repressive aristocratic establishment, which is exactly what they are. The word ‘aristocratic’ means ‘rule by the best people’, and who are the best apart from the self-appointed ‘best’?

      Finding any of them that is aware of what even one of thousands of relevant studies says – again I would use the figure of 90%. 90% would be unable to name&summarise even one study. They had come to their ‘conclusion’ in advance of such trivia. Those who are precise and accurate about such matters are largely on ‘our side’.

      I have been pressing for over a decade for people to understand what a very serious situation that is – its complete indifference to truth and reality. The rest of us are not allowed to skimp on any of the evidence, whereas they take it for granted that they can pass over the entirety of it.

      I was escorted from Dean’s Yard at the Feb’16 synod because someone who could not cite a single mistake in my handout nor name any of the studies I cited or what they said nor give any counter arguments – this person emotionally ‘objected’. I don’t understand why anyone should allow a situation where the well informed are downtrodden by the uninformed.

  5. “Social Science” is frequently neither social nor a science. It is primarily a set of ideologies determining and changing its own parameters all the time in response to prevailing cultural trends. It is hardly a science in the way that chemistry or physics is, and all the disciplines that have been rigorously derived from them. Almost anything alleged in the name of a social science can be challenged or refuted by using a different sample of self-reporting and self-interpreting persons, and different criteria for “good “, “desirable “, “healthy ” etc. Above all, it is driven by ideology, not by agreed facts theorems or principles.

  6. I agree that there are complicated aspects to it. The focus is on quality of outcomes, which is a good focus to have. The focus is not therefore on whether lesbian parenting begets lesbians as Stacey and Biblarz American Sociological Review found in their meta-analyses of the previous studies: the percentage increase being a minimum 400%. Also those same-sex couples who are motivated enough to want to do this are therefore clearly above average of their ‘kind’, whereas a high proportion of male-female couples will look after children, mostly their own. So in that respect we are not comparing like with like.

  7. I think that, at the current time, Christians need to be wary of being sucked into the ‘scientific / evidence-based’ arguments about the rights and wrongs of socially progressive notions. There are two main reasons for this.

    The first, as has already been pointed out above, is that the social forces propelling these notions are themselves anything but scientifically driven or objective in their methods; they are the fruits of the same spiritual rebellion which has been the battle ground between man and God since the fall. They are currently so powerful that even the (soft) scientific world to which they relate bows the knee to them for fear of the reaction to any results which don’t support the rebellious dogma. But, anyway, the soft sciences of sociology and psychology can not be taken as anything like equivalent to the hard sciences where indisputable proof and replication demand a far higher degree of rigour. And so we find ourselves stuck in a woolly and prejudiced area of assertion and contention (and dishonesty for the sake of the dogma?) which is unlikely to be a place where Christians will be heeded whether or not any data to which they draw attention is objective.

    An obvious example has been the way that the meaning of the word “marriage” was legally redefined on entirely political grounds and without one iota either of sound reasoning or of scientific evidence to suggest the new definition was either coherent or useful. The Christian notion of marriage is defined clearly enough in the Bible, but also is observable in the natural order of heterosexual human pairing and reproduction. Christians could argue their case both from their own Bibles (for those who might view the Bible at least as a reliable deposit of human experience, wisdom and common sense) and also from observable science. But redefining the meaning of the word “marriage” was a dishonesty which meant that Christians would have to start all over again in explaining and defending the most fundamental building block of human society and wellbeing. There was now not even a word which could be employed to describe something which everyone once understood and accepted without question. This was the deliberate junking of science (biological fact), rational thought and simple observation (and any pretence of religious conviction) in order to promote a socio-political dogma. People who could act in this way were simply not interested in what science or even simple common sense had to say (and certainly not Christian teaching). So, frankly, we’re now in a complete mess; and I doubt that long years of arguing in any part of the pseudo scientific quagmire of the LGBT debates will result in Christians being heeded.

    However, I would add that some Christians will still feel called to engage in that world for Christ’s sake, for truth, for innocent children – so that, at very least, no one will ever be able to say they weren’t warned about what they were doing. Those who are willing to contend for righteousness and truth always deserve our support irrespective of their perceived success (and only God sees the full picture of that). So I admire their willingness to engage in that way, but would urge that they do not let themselves be utterly consumed in the process.

    But the second reason is more fundamental. Human behaviour is complex beyond anything we can easily categorise or quantify – there are too many input variables, too many unknowns and unknowables. And once truth is of no concern and the meaning of words can be redefined at will (our present situation), I would suggest that human beings are beyond thinking themselves back to normality and stability: the fixed points (anchors of meaning and acceptance) necessary for that kind of process are gone. Thankfully, Christians have always been able to come at this from a different direction – the word of God himself who created the world we inhabit and sets the context and limits of how we should live.

    Given the mayhem we are witnessing in a world (and even our church) where God’s word is rejected, our sure and certain recourse must nevertheless remain that word, because (if we do believe the Bible is Spirit breathed) it is there that we encounter the mind of God and, for Christians who want the best both for individuals and communities more generally, nothing else matters. We read it, we yield to it, and thereby yield to Him, and we pass it on. We may be mocked, vilified, and worse, but we can do no other. That’s how it has always worked, and there is no reason to think it’s any different for us today.

    • You’re right. “Social science” is junk science and should be redefined as socio-political study-cum-advocacy. What makes it worse in our days is that most of it is driven by cultural Marxist advocacy and secular humanist understandings of being human and human ‘flourishing’.
      And worst of all is that the Church of England under Welby and Sentamu has been suborned to this deception through a policy of appointing revisionist bishops and partnered homosexuals as suffragan bishops, archdeacons and deans; along with the capitulation of any adoption policy to ‘same-sex parenting’. The C of E under Welby and Sentamu has been married to the secular Zeitgeist.

    • Hi Don,

      I couldn’t agree more. What you’ve described as “the most fundamental building block of human society and wellbeing” is axiomatic. It should not need to be defended any more than the country’s natives enjoying automatic citizenship as a privilege that others do not.

      It’s principally as a result of legitimising same-sex marriage that society has incurred the obligation to facilitate same-sex family intentions. As the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ruling of the Austrian Constitutional Court and rejected a same-sex couple’s claim against the Austrian state for not legislating for same-sex marriage:
      “Neither the principle of equality set forth in the Austrian Federal Constitution nor the European Convention on Human Rights (as evidenced by “men and women” in Article 12) require that the concept of marriage as being geared to the fundamental possibility of parenthood should be extended to relationships of a different kind. (…) “The fact that same-sex relationships fall within the concept of private life and as such enjoy the protection of Article 8 of the ECHR – which also prohibits discrimination on non-objective grounds (Article 14 of the ECHR) – does not give rise to an obligation to change the law of marriage.

      In previous comments, I’ve referred to several cases in which lesbian couples have sought to fulfil their family intentions by co-opting a known male who is willing to father the child.

      However, to bypass onerous adoption procedures, they have unfairly leverage marriage’s contingency for legally recognising spouses as joint parents to disestablish the biological father’s parentage.

      Examples include “Matter of Q. M. v B. C. 2014 (Monroe County, NY)” and “In re: M.C. 2011 (California Court of Appeal ).

      One commentator described the lesbian spouse of the birth mother in this way:
      “The reason M.C. was placed in foster care was that the courts found that this would jeopardize the child’s interest in reunification with Irene. Bear in mind that Irene was not the biological mother. She was not an adoptive mother. She had lived with Melissa and M.C. for about three or four weeks after the child was born. Let us face facts: Irene was not a mother to M.C. in any meaningful sense.

      Irene was a “presumed” mother for one reason and one reason only: same-sex marriage. Irene and Melissa were married in October 2008, during the window of time when same-sex couples were permitted to marry in California. Their marriage is what prompted the court to call Irene a “presumed mother,” under a gender-neutral reading of the Uniform Parentage Act.

      This part of the statute was designed to assign paternity, that is, fatherhood. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she bears during the life of their union. One of the attorneys for M.C. pointed out the absurdity of a gender-neutral reading of this statute, substituting for the husband, who is almost always the child’s other biological parent, a female partner who can never be the child’s other biological parent.

      California’s ‘solution’ to this clash of parental rights was to change the law so that it can now recognise a child as having three parent, despite the household itself only consisting of two of them.

      The writer quoted from the bill (which is now law):
      “In an appropriate action, a court may find that a child has more than two natural or adoptive parents if required to serve the best interest of the child. In determining a child’s best interest under this section, a court shall consider the nature, duration, and quality of the presumed or claimed parents’ relationships with the child and the benefit or detriment to the child of continuing those relationships.

      “A court may find” covers the case of three cooperating parents, which is the scenario that advocates of redefining marriage emphasize. Such cases appeal to a person with libertarian inclinations as well. But this expansion of judicial discretion also covers cases in which multiple adults are not cooperating at all, but who are contesting custody rights and support responsibilities.

      Under this bill, the judge can make this determination without the consent of the other parents. None of the three parties would necessarily have to give their consent to being counted or discounted as a parent. The judge decides based on the best interests of the child.

      And it’s this kind of appalling power-grab by the state which has resulted in a California Court referring to this recent statute in order to legitimise triple parenting by a husband and wife and her partner in adultery (https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/11/14/three-parents-and-a-baby-rare-custody-ruling-goes-to-trio/?slreturn=20190103045517)

      That’s what happens when society opens ‘Pandora’s box’ (as it has with same-sex marriage) by undermining biology, marriage, and adoption as its normative bright-line indicators of who counts as a parent.

      Yet, the Church already connives at the evidence of this adult-centred dystopia in order to reduce the marriage institution to little more than a religious ‘kitemark’ for those who demand the Church’s representative affirmation of their sexual behaviour as a ‘quasi-ethnicity’ akin to race.

      Any why is this? Well, (as we’re supposed to accept) any denunciation of such perversity might precipitate past feelings of self-loathing and the belief that God doesn’t love them, and thereby make the Church culpable in even more self-harm and suicides among English youth than it is already.

      So, instead, we’re just supposed to remark sagely on the overwhelming moral complexities at stake, while relegating it to second order gospel issue and learning how to “disagree well” with those who promote such a travesty.

      Alternatively, we could just surprise everyone and flatly refuse to conform.

  8. Vis a vis Professor Regnerus, what I was trying to say was that while he made mistakes, he was not alone – there were numerous studies by progressive scholars that had made the same mistakes but the latter were not “called” on them in the same extreme way. For example, one Study from England was trying to find stable lesbian mothers so they accepted any couple that was intact at the time of the survey as stable. Yet one couple had been together only a few months out of the child’s ten years of life. That’s just not the same as a lesbian couple who had been together with a child since birth with the child now being ten years old. But in that study, all lesbian couples were treated as if they were the same in terms of stability (when probably half were not stable). Regnerus had the same problem, finding few lesbian couples stable from birth to age 18 of the child. However he was attacked by a letter to the editor signed by 200+ scholars and denounced in several journal articles afterwards on account of his study. He should have designed his research study to capture at least 30 or more lesbian families that featured couple stability since birth of the child to age 18 but trusted that the agency he hired to collect the data would do so, which they did not. Rather than critiquing him or praising him, my goal was to place his research and mistakes in context of the wider field of research, which featured many of the same types of errors but not the same sort of vitriol. Now many of the same issues seem to be occurring with respect to understanding transgender children (e.g., sloppy research that is tolerated as long as it produces politically correct results).

    • It does seem to be the case – I tried to be “conservative” in my review of it. I believe you’ve presented enough evidence to reject the simple claim that same-sex parenting has the same outcomes as other-sex parenting, but my concern is that others will not appreciate that what is needed now is more objective research free of bias.

      • One issue is that most of the research with same-sex parents has been conducted with high income, wealthy same-sex parents who are then often compared to low-income, highly stressed (multiple children) parents. However, from Census or population data, it appears that most same-sex parents have lower incomes than most heterosexual parents. Thus, what we see in most research may be biased from the start in the sense of not generalizing to the actual commonplace same-sex parenting situation. You are certainly correct on the transition issue. There have been very few studies that start at say year zero and follow the same families over time and see how their stability unfolds. Gartrell et al. have tried this but they don’t go beyond, stable versus broke-up at least once nor do they follow up on which lesbian women eventually started living with a male as co-parent (we know there were some but not how many). But it’s interesting that the Williams Institute in July 2018 estimated there were 114,000 intact same-sex couple parents in the USA but more like 2.5 million single LGBTQ parents. That would only occur if there was a very high break-up rate and/or a high “never got into a paired parenting” relationship situation in the first place. I would love to see at least one study that compared how the children were doing in same-sex and heterosexual parenting situations in which the families were all living in poverty so the socioeconomic factor was controlled (ditto for a situation in which all were of high income). Usually high income SSPs are compared to low-income heterosexual parents, a condition that confounds type of family structure with socioeconomic factors.

  9. I feel that this review of literature loses credibility because it is published by publishers who are an ‘arm’ of Christian Concern, which itself promotes a particular ideology that regards gay and lesbian sexual partnerships as invalid in the first place. Therefore how can a reader expect objectivity?

    Surely, to be taken seriously, it would have been better to get the work peer-reviewed and published in a serious journal with less reputation for preconceptions on human sexuality issues.

    Why was this not done?

    My own belief is that what matters is primarily the quality of love and care, provided by parents. High quality love and care by lesbian couples, for example, must be better than poor quality care by a heterosexual couple. That of course is incidental to the research, but why I am very cautious about any work published by Wilberforce Publications.

    Christian Concern is not really a credible organisation to most people, and its slanted views on sexuality and gender call into question the objectivity of all publications printed by its offshoot.

    That is at least my perception, and I am suggesting Walter would have been regarded more seriously if his work had been accepted by a mainstream journal.

  10. Thanks for your (relatively!) balanced comments Peter. I think the comments that follow demonstrate the ideological slant most will place on any piece of evidence.

    For what it’s worth, another paper has just been published arguing for indicators of better educational outcomes for children of same-sex parents (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/06/children-raised-by-same-sex-couples-do-better-school-new-study-finds/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ae163645525e)

    • I’d need to read the actual paper to comment fully, but it’s interesting that once you control for socio-economic factors etc you see much less of a difference. Would be interesting to see if that difference is at all statistically significant.

      As a quantitative scientist I’d be keen to explore and control factors that might reduce the gap more – parental IQ or income (I’m hypothesising that gay couples would be higher).

      Controlling for divorce is very important – family transition is probably THE most important impact on a child’s outcomes.

  11. For those worried about the bias from christian Concern, they had little influence on what I said. I also have nearly 40 articles published previously that dealt with same-sex parenting or related methodological issues, most of which were peer reviewed, though a few were editorials in my own journal. The great benefit for me is that if the literature was like 50/50 I might be accused of cherry picking my preferred 50%. However, most of the literature says that there are no studies whatsoever that disagree with the “no difference” view of same-sex parenting, so there should really be no studies for me or anyone else to find anywhere that might disagree. If they truly were not there, I would not be able to manufacture them no matter how biased I might be. Do you understand? If I were to tell you that my refrigerator’s freezer had no ice at all, if you find any ice in it, then you’ve proven me wrong. That doesn’t mean that it is full of ice or half full of ice, just that my claim of “no ice” wasn’t correct. It was good for me but sad for science in general that so many scholars went for the “no ice” option, presumably for politically correct reasons. It made my point of evaluating their claims so much easier than if they had said something like “most studies find X, but a few found Y.” That would have been a much harder statement to challenge.

Leave a comment