Saturday, 28 July 2007

Psychological Evidence Supporting Same Sex Parenting

It's been a bit of a blue couple of days. I've been allowing some narrow minded internet users get to me. Thank goodness for Sarah and her unwavering optimism.

Whilst I know rationally that we will make great parents, I've allowed myself to become troubled by accusations that without a father, our child will grow up to be a disturbed. We have carefully selected two 'god'fathers to play an active role in our child's life and thus provide male role models but is it enough? DavidX, who attacked us in a Usenet forum, believes not:

"It's a proven fact that a child (particularly a boy) needs the male influence of a father, particularly at the crucial stages of development up to age 5 (and of course beyond) in order to develop normally. By setting out to bring up a baby yourselves, you are preparing that child for an abnormal childhood, which is likely to lead him or her to developmental difficulties, and potentially to a disturbed adulthood. There's nothing radical about this - it's standard text-book child psychology. You don't have to believe me - you can read it almost anywhere."
- DavidX
Was he right? Could our child suffer without a father? Where were these text books that DavidX talked about? If the evidence is indeed, anywhere, then why did a quick browse of Google Scholar uncover the following:

"The body of literature generally concludes that children with lesbian and gay parents are developing psychologically, intellectually, behaviorally, and emotionally in positive directions, and that the sexual orientation of parents is not an effective or important predictor of successful child development."
- Fitzgerald (1999)

"There are no data to suggest that children who have gay or lesbian parents are different in any aspects of psychological, social, and sexual development from children in heterosexual families."
- Gold, Perrin, Futterman and Friedman (1994)

"More than two decades of research has failed to reveal important differences in the adjustment or development of children or adolescents reared by same-sex couples compared to those reared by other-sex couples."
- Patterson (2006)
With decades of evidence on our side, I suddenly felt much more positive about our child rearing potential.

2 comments:

Steve S said...

Good luck on your journey. Don't pay DavidX any mind.

The American Pediatric Association, the American Medical Association, countless national adoption agencies, The American Psychological Assocation and dozens of other medical organizations with far more credentials than some anonymous Usenet user say that children raised by same-sex couples come out as well as, if not better than kids in traditional families.

Children do need male and female role models, but those can be provided/created by the parents, they don't actually have to be the parents.

Celina said...

I also say good luck and do not pay him any mind either. I find that my father being the putz that he was and hardly ever there was worse than if I was loved fully by two mothers or two fathers. I am a single lesbian mother double negative for my child to be but hey I have strong male influences for the child to look up to :) Sounds like you have chosen two good men to be those influences.

I pray you find a donor that suits your needs.