The study looked at a representative sample of 207,007 children from US National Health Interview Survey and identified 512 with same sex parents. The prevalence of emotional problems was analysed using 12 different measures and the results were controlled for age, sex, race, parent education and parent income. The analysis showed that children of same-sex parents were 2.4 times more likely to have emotional problems than those with opposite sex parents. The risk was unaffected by removal of stigmatisation, indicating that the results cannot be explained by ‘homophobia’ or discrimination.
1. Child emotional problems in opposite-sex families are highest for single parent families with cohabiting partners and step parents next and lowest with married joint biological parents.
2. Compared to single parents, children with same- sex parents have less than twice the risk of emotional problems (1.8 times)
3. Risk of child emotional problems is 1.9-2.2 times greater, significant at .01 or better, with same-sex parents than with opposite-sex cohabiting parents or step-parent family.
4. Compared with married biological parents, they are 3.6x the risk of emotional problems.
5. After adjusting for controls, risk of emotional problems in kids raised by same-sex parents is significantly higher than with any opposite-sex family form.Therefore, the hypothesis that restrictions on parentage or married status explain the higher risk of emotional problems in same-sex families must be rejected.
‘Joint biological parentage, the model condition for opposite sex parents but not possible for same sex parents, sharply differentiates between the two groups on child emotional problem outcomes. The two groups are different by definition. Intact opposite sex marriage ensures the children of the persistent presence of their joint biological parents; same sex marriage ensures the opposite” (Study Author)
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