Studies: Children Raised by Lesbians Not Problem-Free



Over the last few years, a few published studies have claimed that children raised by same-sex couples compare favorably to — and sometimes even better than — children raised by moms and dads on measures of self-esteem and academics.

Those studies, in turn, have served as fodder for a media campaign that two loving parents are all children really need.

But a closer look at the research, says Glenn T. Stanton, Focus on the Family’s director of family formation studies, shows there are quite a few problems associated with those studies — both in the way they were conducted and in what they reveal.

According to a study published late last year in the Archive of Sexual Behavior, girls raised by lesbian mothers are seven times more likely to consider a same-sex encounter, and twice as likely to identify as lesbian or bisexual than those raised by heterosexual parents. They are also seven times more likely to use “the “morning after” pill.

“We already know that girls who grow up without fathers are more likely to be sexually adventurous, and it has a lot to do with being fatherless,” Stanton explained. “Two lesbians can be the most loving moms in the world, but they can’t give a girl the kind of positive attention and other-gendered affirmation she needs from a dad.”

While girls raised by lesbians tend to be much more sexually experimental than their peers, boys tend to be more sexually reticent.


  1. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    It makes a lot of sense that girls raised by lesbians would be more sexually adventurous. I'd imagine there would be a lot of pressure for her to be like her guardians and identify as lesbian. On the other hand she might be promiscuous with men in order to seek out her father figure.

    It also makes sense that boys would be afraid to act on their sexuality at all. After all, they're growing up in an environment where men are viewed as a necessary evil, a source of sperm. A boy would be afraid to act like a man and would not even know a man's role in the family. With no role model the boy wouldn't know how to behave.

  2. Ash
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Good analysis. Although the same-sex parenting studies are too flawed to draw widespread generalizations, even their results are not as flattering to lesbian parents as some would have us to believe. Even Judith Stacey, a pro-gay, "contemporary families" researcher and sociologist said that some of the findings (higher propensity for same-sex relationships, etc.) were down-played by the researchers out of fear that the children of same-sex couples would be perceived as, well, queer. This is understandable, considering that the goal of the vast majority of the studies was to prove "no differences" between children of same-sex and opposite parents, i.e. to affirm the null hypothesis, a research no-no.

    Thanks to the abetting of the media, these studies are being touted all throughout the world wide web by the less informed, all in the effort to demonstrate the supposed nullification of decades of family structure literature, which shows that fathers are important, and that the married-biological family is best for children.

  3. Apollonia
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    So all boys growing up without fathers because of war are damaged good? Because they only had mothers as role model - they all must have ended as gays.

    And Barb some lesbian have far more balls as stupid men - so maybe they are far better role models for boys.

    If I had been your daughter I would have had sex with every girl within reach - only to annoy you.

  4. Dan
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    >>... Because they only had mothers as role model - they all must have ended as gays.

    Not at all. You seem to have missed the point of the study which was that it is the affirmation of homosexual behavior in such households which has the potential to influence the children being raised therein to go in that direction.

    The simple truth is that the vast majority children *are* influenced by those who raise them. This phenomena is so universally acknowledged we even have cliches for it: "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree", "Like father like son", etc. How silly we need studies to confirm this basic truth while others deny it.

    >>If I had been your daughter I would have had sex with every girl within reach - only to annoy you.

    You do realize that statement implies homosexual behavior is a choice, don't you?

  5. John Noe
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Excellent analysis Barb and Ash as you point out the need for fathers and the damage done when no father is there.
    Very sadly two lesbians provide no father figure. It is really bad when they have a boy as the poor kid is raised as damaged goods. But as you both and the article pointed out it is just as bad for girls as well. Lesbians very much have the same attitude as radical feminists. That is why they both act the same.
    The other significant part of this study is showing how the raised girls are more likely to end up lesbians themselves. One more proof that they were not born that way.

  6. Matt W.
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    This scares me. I was married for 10.5 years and in September of 2011 I found out my wife was having a lesbian affair. We are now in the process of divorcing and my wife continues in her relationship. We have a 6 year old daughter, and I am worried for what her future will be like. I will still be very involved in her life, and can hopefully offset the lifestyle my wife will be living.

  7. John M.
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    You should have stopped with the heart strings of the dead soldier Dad remark. The man hating anger made the screen name pop out. How bad was that dental visit?

  8. QueerNE
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    This is silly. All it suggests that a male who is bad a being the heteronormative version of 'masculine' is also a bad father. This 'other gendered affirmation' ideal boldly skips over the fact that not all people fit that definition. What makes a person a 'man', as far as gender goes, and what makes women incapable of fitting that bill? I've met some immensely masculine women, and extremely effeminate men.

  9. Anna
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    My Dad was my best friend. I cannot even imagine growing up without one on purpose (I understand that divorces and deaths happen, but those are the exceptions, and no one in their right mind would do that on purpose anyway.)

    If I had my life to do over and was able to choose to be raised by two women, I'd rather not be born. My Dad was my life!

  10. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    @Anna - thanks for your comment. It was the same for me and my Dad. And I see the same thing with my daughter and husband. It's laughable to say that Dads aren't necessary.

  11. Ash
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Amen, Barb and Anna. I love my dad, too. So sad that many inner-city and low-income youths have missed out on a dad and sorely wish he was a part of their lives. I'd dare someone to go to a young Black man who wish he had his father and tell him that "two moms" would have done the trick.

    And Anna, you make a great point about how not having a dad is typically seen as a tragedy. Funny that something celebrated by SSMers (lesbian parenting) is compared to/justified by tragedies, like your father dying in a war.

  12. QueerNE
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    @Anna, while I appreciate your comment about being inseparable from your father, you might think very differently if you were raised by a different dad, or even two women. It's difficult or impossible in that situation to speak outside your sphere of experience.

    @Barb, there's nothing laughable about it. You just agreed because you had a similar experience. Again, speaking outside your sphere....

  13. David
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    What a simplistic heading: so, children raised by lesbians are not problem-free; are any children problem-free? The answer is "No."

    Stanton's comment about young girls needing a good male role model makes sense as we all need good role models of both sexes. However, as it reads in this article, he (unintentionally) insults those women who are lone parents through no fault of their own.

    As for the likelighood that children raised in same-sex households are more likely to experiment in that area, it sounds feasible. However, experimentation is one thing and orientation quite another.

    Those fighting to preserve marriage for heterosxual couples will have to do better than this simplistic drivel.

  14. Jamal
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I'm a teacher. There are 2 types of student, emotionally led students and the ones who are led by their intellect. When you tell a child the stats on single parent families, or the stats on teen sexual activity and the lower levels of achievement later in life, two things happen. The sexually active ones who have an emotional attachment to the subject matter... Well they cry foul. And the ones with a single parent cry foul. As the teacher I'm supposed to ask why they believe that the stats are lying. I always find out that they have confused possibility with probability. And then I have to help them sort it out by saying something like, "a one legged runner can win a race against a two legged runner, but it isn't probable. On a race by race basis, no one would bet on such a thing to happen". If statistically the two parent model has better outcomes. Then that is the horse that society should bet on. Society can not place bets on anomalies.

  15. TC Matthews
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Good point Jamal.

  16. Ash
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Great point, Jamal. It can be difficult discussing family structure issues, because there is always some group which doesn't win out statistically, and the members of that group take personal offense at what's obvious. Intellect can go flying out the window with these discussions.

  17. RichardCortijo
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Dan, I was raisied in a 100% heterosexual household. why didn't your standard apply?? hmm? "the affirmation of hometerosexual behavior in such households which has the potential to influence the children being raised therein to go in that direction. "

  18. John N.
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Post#6 is the saddest post on here and you cannot help but feel for this poor father and the upcoming ordeal he will have to go through just to be a father for his daughter.

    Once again another proof that they were not born that way.

  19. Chairm
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    RobertCortijo, sphere of experience as QueerN would say

    The cumulative evidence points to disproportion and not to certainty.

    David, is the social scientific evidence to be cleansed of whatever you might fear would offend? I'd hope you'dsay no

    If cleansing is mdated by those who would claim the thinnest skin, or by those wh merely imagine someone else' thinnest skin, why bother doing the research a all?To confirm the bias of the thinnest-skinned, perhaps.

    The lack of a father's presenceis a structural factor that oes impact daughters in single mom households. That the impact is similar ... and plausibly more pronounced ... in the female homosexual led household is supported by the available, if limited, evidence.

    Sex differece works its mysterious ways. See the point about disproportion.

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