NEW YORK — Parents say it’s still “moderately” or “very hard” for them to adjust to news that a son or daughter is LGB two years after finding out according to a new study released this week and reported on by MedicalXPress.
Their responses are the same, on average, as parents who just learn of a son or daughter’s being LGB. The study is called “Effects of Family Demographics and the Passage of Time on Parents’ Difficulty with Their Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual Youth’s Sexual Orientation.” It was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. The National Institute of Mental Health funded the study.
“Surprisingly, we found that parents who knew about a child’s sexual orientation for two years struggled as much as parents who had recently learned the news,” said David Huebner, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor of prevention and community health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH), according to MedicalXPress. “Two years is a very long time in the life of a child who is faced with the stress of a disapproving or rejecting parent.”
This study is one of the first and largest to survey parents themselves, Huebner said. In addition, the study includes data from parents rarely ever studied, Huebner said, noting that 26 percent of the parents surveyed had only learned their son or daughter identified as LGB in the past month. Huebner and his colleagues studied more than 1,200 parents of LGB youth ages 10-25. The researchers asked parents who visited a website with LGB resources to fill out a questionnaire.
Huebner and his colleagues asked parents “How hard is it for you, knowing that your son or daughter is gay, lesbian or bisexual?” Parents responded using a five-point scale of magnitude that ranged from not at all hard to extremely hard.