Study: A Home With a Mom and a Dad Improves Boys Behavior in School


CitizenLink introduces these important findings:

An analysis of 20 years’ worth of school suspension rates nationwide shows that the greatest influence on boys’ behavior at school is not the type of school they attend or teacher they have, but the type of home in which they’re being raised.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that boys being raised in intact homes with both parents had the least behavioral problems and school suspensions, while those being raised by single mothers had the most. However, this was not found to be the case among girls.

Glenn T. Stanton, director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family, said intact families are the best for children of either gender.

“This supports over three decades of consistent research showing that kids who grow up in a home with their married parents tend to do better in all measures of educational attainment than their peers being raised in single, divorced and cohabiting-parent homes,” he said. “This is true from everything from grade-point average, behavioral issues, high school graduation and going on to graduate from college. Moms and dads both matter here, as well as the type of relationship between them.”

You can read the study here (PDF).


  1. SearchCz
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    That study is a tough read! Would be interesting to see if the analysts agree with Glenn T. Stanton re: his conclusions.

  2. kieran
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I do agree that no child should be raised by a single parent, as it puts the child at the risk of parental neglect, in addition to putting an undue economic strain on the parent and child. In today's day and age most families need both parents to be working to have a sufficient income to provide for child(ren).

  3. Rich
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    In my 37 years of teaching in public education I have never, not once, met a young man (or young lady) with gay parents who was not polite, kind and successful. I believe this is, in large part, the result of the fact that the gay parents were often volunteers in school, kept good contacts with teachers and had high expectations for their kids' success. I believe the couples took their responsibilities seriously , in part, to set a good example. They served as excellent models for family involvement in our school.

  4. kieran
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    RIch, you mean they LET gay men in a school? Did all the children in their presence grow up to be gay, too? They were probably trying to recruit children, too.

    In all seriousness, Rich, that is heartwarming to read that gay parents are so involved in the life of their children and that the children grew up well-adjusted. In what state do you teach?

  5. John Noe
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Love this study and this is why I support NOM. Long before the marriage culture got started I had done research on the importance of fathers.
    Out of all the child relationships that are out there, it is the father/son relationship. Maybe it is part of our DNA but we boys need our strong stable fathers. During our childhood we could easily got caught up in the wrong ways but the loving guide of a father who is there for his son steers us back to the right path.
    This is why no matter how many times the homosexual activists and their radical feminist allies say boys do not need fathers this study just proves what liars they are.
    The next time some lesbian says they make better parents or that the gender of the parents does not matter show them this study. Part of the breakdown of our society can be traced to the lack of the father for all of the sons out there.

  6. Carlos
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    As a gay man I will conceed that a child does best with a mother and father. However, those of you against SSM must also conceed this is not the only criteria for success. There are many mothers/fathers that are horrible, abuse their children and should not be parents.

    That said, a child does best in a loving/supportive home, which can be provided by anyone regardless of the sexual orientation or number of parents in the household.

  7. Ash
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Why do you SSMers always have to distract from serious problems by talking about gay people? This is about the fact that intercourse between men and women produces children, and without a strong marriage culture, those children will be raised in fatherless homes and broken communities. The boys raised in these homes have gender-specific difficulties, as the article notes. Why can't we focus on children without LGBT activists trying to take the spotlight to spew propoganda? All of the nice gay people in the world could not put a dent in the problems caused when heterosexual men and women don't form stable marriages.


  8. SearchCz
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Ash:Why do you SSMers always have to distract from serious problems by talking about gay people?

    The best interests of children are served when we're all careful not to misconstrue or misrepresent the results of studies such as this one..

  9. yoshi
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Both parents? Define that? Because that can be two women or two men. And its no surprise that children fair better in stable households. But NOM is not pushing for stable households - they are pushing to eliminate the very tools used by families to protect themselves and their families. NOM is inherently anti-family.

  10. Louis E.
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Yoshi,it's properly defined as not being two women or two men.Attempts to protect such purported "families" are inexcusable.

  11. Lucas P.
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Studies have also shown that children with one stay-at-home parent out-perform and act up less than children whose parents both work outside the home.

  12. Ash
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    SearchCz, was this study misrepresented? If so, how?

  13. SearchCz
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Ash: was this study misrepresented? If so, how?

    You could start by reading the comments, where you'll find this gem:

    John Noe: Love this study and this is why I support NOM.

    Here's a commenter who believes that this study supports NOMs agenda. Or, in other words ...

    "Since boys raised by their married biological parents tend to act out less, we shouldn't allow gays to marry."

    This study tells us absolutely NOTHING about the comparative effectiveness of same-sex couples raising children. To present it as evidence that gays should not be allowed to adopt, or to marry, is a misinterpretation or misrepresentation.

  14. Ash
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I'd advise everyone to read a piece that Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute wrote yesterday. She talks about how it's a rhetorical strategy of SSMers to accuse opponents of duplicity. Focus on the Family examines a study and notes that it confirms what existing research has shown: children do best, educationally, when raised by their married mother and father. SSMers take this as an attack on same-sex couples, and accuse Focus on the Family of misrepresenting the study.

    I always suspected that this was just one of the automatic reactions of SSMers to studies they don't like: (1) claim that the research is not credible; or (2) claim that the research is being distorted (in cases where the research is undoubtably credible).

    When NOM posted this study, I was wondering when a SSMer would claim that the study was being misrepresented. SearchCz responded true to form 🙂 Thankfully, I'm not the only one who notices this strategem.

    Enjoy Dr. Morse's analysis. She examines the response of Think Progress to Focus on the Family's referencing of the study:

  15. Posted January 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    My daughter in law left the teaching profession after having had a very difficult, if not horrible, experience with the lesbian mother of one of her students who was virtually uncontrollable and the mother took no responsibility for attempting to help the child learn to discipline herself. It does happen that some family situations just don't work for a number of reasons. The basic premise of this article is about children raised by both parents, but it is meant to represent the parents who created that child, not random parents who may be raising the child. It also speaks to the most optimal results, not any or all of the exceptions. Whether one supports or does not support the so called right of gays/lesbians to marry and/or adopt children, it is going to happen. In the long run, the actual results to society at large remain to be seen. But the very existence of humanity depends on couples who are biologically suited to create children voluntarily choosing to do so and then also rearing them to grow to become responsible adults.

  16. Posted January 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    How wasn't this study misrepresented? The study doesn't involve children raised by same sex couples at all. It was a comparison of two parent households to single parent households.

  17. Ash
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    SearchCz, I wrote comment #14 before reading your last one (comment #13). I'm glad that you are not accusing NOM and Focus on the Family of misrepresenting the study. You simply have a problem with a comment from one NOM supporter.

    Although you are not claiming that Focus on the Family and NOM distorted the study, I think the link in comment #14 is still pertinent since other SSMers, such as those at Think Progress, are accusing Focus on the Family of using this study in a dishonest manner.

  18. SearchCz
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Ash: SearchCz responded true to form

    Actually, you can read my post. What I said was "be careful not to misinterpret" ... without even realizing the John Noe had already misinterpreted it !

    And now we have dear Ash misrepresenting my comments.

  19. Posted January 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    That said, a child does best in a loving/supportive home, which can be provided by anyone regardless of the sexual orientation or number of parents in the household.

    Can two brothers raise a child together?

  20. Ash
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    SearchCz, so you were not, in any way, implying that Focus on the Family and NOM were misinterpreting the study. You were just *warning* commenters not to do so. Ok, I got it. Pardon any misunderstanding on my part; it was a reasonable misunderstanding due to the fact that SSMers are actually crying “distortion!” with regards to this study. It seems that our discussion got tangled up with the words of John Noe, when I’m more so concerned about accusations of “misrepresentation” leveled against Focus on the Family and NOM.

  21. Ash
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    SearchCz, I would also add, considering that you responded to my question:

    “Why do you SSMers always have to distract from serious problems by talking about gay people?”

    With this answer:

    “The best interests of children are served when we're all careful not to misconstrue or misrepresent the results of studies such as this one..”

    It was reasonable for me to believe that you were implying that Focus on the Family had misrepresented the study. I didn’t take your answer, which had nothing to do with my question, as a mere warning for me to be careful not to misconstrue the study results. I took it as an accusation of misrepresentation. I apologize again; but I wasn’t whacked out of my mind when I said, “SearchCz responded true to form.” Your answer was wildly unrelated to my question, and so I assumed something else.

  22. Little man
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    kieran is a chameleon. He pretends to use the word parents as genetic parents. Yes, same-sex partnerships can adopt a child, but it is not discriminatory to pass a law not allowing it.

  23. John Noe
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    If this SearchCZ had even bothered to read my post which he did not he would have seen that I was posting my comment in support of the blog and was not directing my remark against his.

    Oh well as Ash has pointed out this is what these people always do. When the studies and evidence prove them wrong they simply claim that the study is not credible. So I did not miss anything.

    I provided additional facts that supported the blog about the importance of fathers.

  24. SearchCz
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


    You're right. I never did answer your question. Sorry about that. Certainly, the fact that this is NOMBLOG influences the direction of the conversation? The organization that runs this blog exists to deny rights to same-sex couples, so its not exactly UNreasonable to suspect that that might be their reason for posting the study?

    I appreciate the civil discourse!

  25. SearchCz
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Jon Noe,

    I read all of your post. Perhaps I missed something. It seems that you're asserting that this study proves that boys need their fathers. Correct?

    I read the study. I saw stats that show, on the whole, boys fare better in homes with their mother and father than in homes with just their mother with regard to disruptive behavior and subsequent educational attainments.

    What I did not see was any comparison to the disruptive behavior and educational attainment of boys being raised in same-sex households. So, from this study, we can't say whether boys raised by lesbians do better, worse, or the same as their cohort.

  26. John Noe
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    From this study we can conclude that boys being raised by two lesbians would not do the same as a male/female household but would have the same results as a home with no father.

    Two lesbians is still no father for the sons.

  27. Ash
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    SearchCZ, NOM is seeking to keep the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. They also believe that children should be raised by their married mother and father. You might take that as a "denial of rights" to same-sex couples, but others would disagree.

    When they posted this study, they were not attacking same-sex couples in any way. They were simply citing a study which conforms to the existing research paradigm: that children do best on a number of measures when raised by their married mother and father.

    Don't take everything from NOM as an attack on same-sex couples. They care about marriage, mother/fatherhood in general, and will post stories related to those areas 🙂

    They are the National Organization for Marriage...not the National Organization Against Same-Sex Couples, though many SSMers might see the second name as befitting 🙂

  28. SearchCz
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink


    As you can see from the comments to this article ... John Noe's for example ... some folks will immediately advance an unfounded conclusion that children of Lesbian parents could not possibly fare as well. And it is perfectly fine for folks to believe that - but - inaccurate to claim that THIS research supports that conclusion.

    Also ... re the National Organization for Marriage ... "for" is the word that doesn't seem to belong in the name. 😉

    Also, they seem to get involved in plenty of issues that are not related to marriage. Their activism on behalf of Vicki Knox, for example. (Vicki came under fire for her vocal opposition to the LGBT community ... none of which apparently had anything to do with marriage)

  29. Louis E.
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Ash,I think a National Organization Against the Formation or Maintenance of Same-Sex Couples is needed,if there isn't one.(Again,not against people,but against people's doing certain things).

  30. Ash
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    SearchCz, I would agree that we cannot draw conclusions on same-sex parents from this research. So I'm glad that Focus on the Family and NOM didn't try to do that! 😉

    This research simply confirms previous research which shows that children do best when raised by their married mother and father. Until credible, methodologically-sound, research is done on same-sex parents, I think it's safe for everyone to assume that the married biological arrangement out performs all other family arrangements; especially when one considers that it has out-performed all other families to which it has been compared. It's a little hard for people like John Noe and myself to believe that sexual-intimate-fatherless-families (lesbian couples) will displace the reigning champion (married-biological parents), when platonic-fatherless-families, like sister-sister and mother-grandmother partnerships, have not. But we won't know for sure until we do solid research comparing the children of the reigning champion to children raised by lesbian couples from birth. I understand that lesbian couples are not identical to sister-sister partnerships, and so any research done on one population cannot be generalized to the other. I'm just noting that they have similarities that call into question why SSMers are so confident about the child-rearing capacities of only one type of same-sex partnership.

    NOM cares about marriage and religious freedom. Indeed, their mission is to "protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it." So any perceived attack on religious freedom, such as the case with Viki Knox, will draw the attention of NOM. They cover other stories apart from religious freedom; but I'm sure that I could draw a line between the story and NOM if necessary 🙂

Comments are temporarily disabled. Please try back later.