By No Author Family life is changing. Two-parent households are on the decline in the United States as divorce, remarriage and cohabitation are on the rise. And families are smaller now, both due to the growth of single-parent households and the drop in fertility. Not only are Americans having fewer children, but the circumstances surrounding parenthood have changed.
The review concluded that all of the studies lacked external validity and that therefore: Many of these studies suffer from similar limitations and weaknesses, with the main obstacle being the difficulty in acquiring representative, random samples on a virtually invisible population.
Many lesbian and gay parents are not open about their sexual orientation due to real fears of discrimination, homophobia, and threats of losing custody of their children. Those who do participate in this type of research are usually relatively open about their homosexuality and, therefore, may bias the research towards a particular group of gay and lesbian parents.
Because of the inevitable use of convenience samples, sample sizes are usually very small and the majority of the research participants end up looking quite homogeneous—e. Another pattern is the wide discrepancy between the number of studies conducted with children of gay fathers and those with lesbian mothers Another potential factor of importance is the possibility of social desirability bias when research subjects respond in ways that present themselves and their families in the most desirable light possible.
Such a phenomenon does seem possible due to the desire of this population to offset and reverse negative images and discrimination. Consequently, the findings of these studies may be patterned by self-presentation bias.
Most studies rely on small-scale, snowball and convenience samples drawn primarily from personal and community networks or agencies.
Most research to date has been conducted on white lesbian mothers who are comparatively educated, mature, and reside in relatively progressive urban centers, most often in California or the Northeastern states.
Herek's paper in American Psychologist stated: The overall methodological sophistication and quality of studies in this domain have increased over the years, as would be expected for any new area of empirical inquiry. More recent research has reported data from probability and community-based convenience samples, has used more rigorous assessment techniques, and has been published in highly respected and widely cited developmental psychology journals, including Child Development and Developmental Psychology.
Data are increasingly available from prospective studies.
In addition, whereas early study samples consisted mainly of children originally born into heterosexual relationships that subsequently dissolved when one parent came out as gay or lesbian, recent samples are more likely to include children conceived within a same-sex relationship or adopted in infancy by a same-sex couple.
Thus, they are less likely to confound the effects of having a sexual minority parent with the consequences of divorce. The methodologies used in the major studies of same-sex parenting meet the standards for research in the field of developmental psychology and psychology generally.
The studies specific to same-sex parenting were published in leading journals in the field of child and adolescent development, such as Child Development, published by the Society for Research in Child Development, Developmental Psychologypublished by the American Psychological Association, and The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the flagship peer-review journals in the field of child development.
Most of the studies appeared in these or similar rigorously peer-reviewed and highly selective journals, whose standards represent expert consensus on generally accepted social scientific standards for research on child and adolescent development.
Prior to publication in these journals, these studies were required to go through a rigorous peer-review process, and as a result, they constitute the type of research that members of the respective professions consider reliable. The body of research on same-sex families is consistent with standards in the relevant fields and produces reliable conclusions.
Rosenfeld, associate professor of sociology at Stanford Universitywrote in a study published in Demography that "[A] critique of the literature—that the sample sizes of the studies are too small to allow for statistically powerful tests—continues to be relevant.
Data on children of parents who identify as bisexual are still not available, and information about children of non-White lesbian or gay parents is hard to find but see Wainright et al.
However, the existing data are still limited, and any conclusions must be seen as tentative It should be acknowledged that research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, though no longer new, is still limited in extent. Although studies of gay fathers and their children have been conducted Patterson,less is known about children of gay fathers than about children of lesbian mothers.
Although studies of adolescent and young adult offspring of lesbian and gay parents are available e. Relatively few studies have directly examined gay fathers, but those that exist find that gay men are similarly fit and able parents, as compared to heterosexual men.
Available empirical data do not provide a basis for assuming gay men are unsuited for parenthood. If gay parents were inherently unfit, even small studies with convenience samples would readily detect it.
This has not been the case.
Being raised by a single father does not appear to inherently disadvantage children's psychological wellbeing more than being raised by a single mother. Homosexuality does not constitute a pathology or deficit, and there is no theoretical reason to expect gay fathers to cause harm to their children.
Thus, although more research is needed, available data place the burden of empirical proof on those who argue that having a gay father is harmful. According to sociologist Judith Stacey of New York University"Rarely is there as much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights".
Herek stated in American Psychologist: This pattern clearly has not been observed. Given the consistent failures in this research literature to disprove the null hypothesisthe burden of empirical proof is on those who argue that the children of sexual minority parents fare worse than the children of heterosexual parents.
Herek 's analysis in American Psychologistwhich said: Empirical studies comparing children raised by sexual minority parents with those raised by otherwise comparable heterosexual parents have not found reliable disparities in mental health or social adjustment.
Differences have not been found in parenting ability between lesbian mothers and heterosexual mothers."The book is unique in its focus on the role that procreative and child welfare considerations have played in policy and legal debates involving same-sex marriage - and how these considerations have been deployed by those who oppose marriage equality and parenting rights for same-sex couples.
Mar 31, · A federal judge ruled Thursday that Mississippi's ban on same-sex couples adopting children is unconstitutional, making gay adoption legal in all 50 states. Fewer than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage.
This is a marked change from , when 73% of children fit this description, and , when 61% did, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of. Parenting in America 1.
The American family today. Family life is changing. Two-parent households are on the decline in the United States as divorce, remarriage and cohabitation are on the rise. Couples Therapy Workbook is a series of guided questions to promote meaningful couple conversations and build ongoing, connected communication.
Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is pregnancy in females under the age of A female can become pregnant from sexual intercourse after she has begun to ovulate, which can be before her first menstrual period (menarche) but usually occurs after the onset of her periods.
In well-nourished females, menarche usually .