PHILADELPHIA — Children raised by same-sex female parents with a stable family life show no difference in general health, emotional difficulties, coping and learning behavior compared to children of opposite-sex parents in similarly stable relationships, a new study published in the April issue of Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics finds.
“Our study of households with no divorces or other family transitions finds that spouse-partner and parent-child relationships are similar regardless of family structure,” researchers wrote. “These strong relationships are important contributors to good child outcomes — not whether the parents are same-sex or different-sex.”
The researchers identified 95 female same-sex parent households and 95 different-sex parent households, matched for parent and child characteristics. The families were drawn from a very large, nationally representative study, the National Survey of Child Health.
The current study focused on households with no history of family instability, discontinuity or transitions and was limited to parents who were raising their own children since birth, without divorce, separation or adoption. Thus, the study minimized the impact of family disruption on child well-being.
The results showed no differences between the two groups in terms of spouse or partner relationships, parent-child relationships or any of the child outcomes assessed. The only difference between the two groups of households was higher reported parenting stress among the same-sex couples.