Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Children of gay couples ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Children of gay couples
Category: Relationships and Society > Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual
Asked by: puppettalker-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 27 Nov 2003 20:55 PST
Expires: 27 Dec 2003 20:55 PST
Question ID: 281279
I am looking for information on children raised by gay couples.  In
particular I want to know whether these kids are in any way
"different" from kids raised by a heterosexual couple.  For example, I
know that some studies have shown that kids of inter-racial marriages
are more likely to become depressed, and are less likely to have a
secure sense of self and identity.  I am not asking whether a gay
couple is CAPABLE of raising a child "successfully"-- I am asking
whether studies/theories show that there are any trends.  For
instance, do children raised by a gay couple tend to develop
homosexual tendencies, or do they have trouble developing socially,
etc.  Please ask ANY questions to clarify... I know this is sortof a
touchy subject.
Subject: Re: Children of gay couples
Answered By: belindalevez-ga on 28 Nov 2003 04:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
<As you indicate this is a controversial subject which has prompted a
huge amount of debate. There have been a number of studies in this
area and plenty of criticism of the studies.

Charlotte J. Patterson, psychology professor at the University of
Virginia has written a review of the research carried out on these
parenting issues. I have summarised the findings. The full text can be
read at

The majority of the research has been carried out on the children of
lesbian women. A few studies have looked at the children of gay

Sexual identity
Three aspects of sexual identity have been studied. 
Gender identity ? a person?s self identification as male or female.
Gender role behaviour ? activities that are regarded by culture as
masculine or feminine.
Sexual orientation ? a person?s choice of sexual partners.

Gender identity.
Studies have been carried out on children aged 5 to 14. Children of
lesbian mothers showed normal development of gender identity.
Green 1978
Green, Mandel, Hotvedt, Gray & Smith 1986
Kirkpatrick, Smith & Roy 1981
Golombok, Spencer and Rutter 1983.

No evidence is available for the children of gay fathers.

Gender?role behaviour.
Studies of the children of lesbian mothers found that their behaviour
fell within the limits for conventional sex roles including toy
preferences, activities, interests and occupational choices. Rees
(1979) found that children of lesbian mothers reported greater
psychological femininity than children of heterosexual mothers.
Golombok et al., 1983; Gottman, 1990; Green, 1978; Hoeffer, 1981;
Kirkpatrick et al., 1981; Patterson, 1994a.

No evidence is available for the children of gay fathers.

Sexual orientation.

In all studies the majority of children of both gay fathers and
lesbian mothers described themselves as heterosexual. Analysing all of
the data shows that there are not elevated rates of homosexuality.
Bailey studied the adult sons of gay fathers and found over 90% were

Bailey, Bobrow, Wolfe, & Mikach, 1995; Bozett, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1989;
Gottman, 1990; Golombok et al., 1983; Green, 1978; Huggins, 1989;
Miller, 1979; Paul, 1986; Rees, 1979

The sites also identifies other aspects of personal development which
fall within a normal range.

Social relationships.
Research has found normal development of peer relationships with
lesbian mothers. There is no data for the children of gay fathers.
Golombok et al (1983)  found differences in the contact with divorced
parents. Children of divorced lesbian mothers were more likely to have
contact with their fathers than children of divorced heterosexual
mothers. However this difference was not found in the study conducted
by Kirkpatrick et al (1981). Research has also been carried out in
this area on gay fathers by Harris and Turner (1985/6). They found
heterosexual parents were more likely to report that their children?s
visits with the other parent presented problems for them.

Criticism of studies.
Much of the criticism of these studies tends to come from
organisations promoting their own anti-gay views.

No Basis: What the Studies Don?t Tell Us About Same Sex Parenting by
Robert Lerner PhD. and Althea Nagai PhD. examines 49
parental studies on same sex parenting. They found at least one
?fatal? flaw in each study.
However there is a criticism of this study at this site which says
the study was commissioned by the right-wing Marriage Law Project
which is operated by the law school of the Washington, D.C. ? based
Catholic University of America. ?It is an entity that is not
interested in sponsoring genuine scientific research, since it
subscribes to a preconceived ideological viewpoint that same-sex
relationships are immoral.?>

<Additional links:>

<The findings of various studies.>

<Summaries of studies.>

<Chart of studies and what they measure.>

<A conversation with Judith Stacey of the University of Southern California.>

<Adopting the parent trap.>

<This site provides information on literature related to gay parenting.>

<Search strategy:>

<"children of gay couples" research >

<Hope this helps.>
puppettalker-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Perfect... just what I wanted.
Thanks so much for your prompt answer.

Subject: Re: Children of gay couples
From: raxis-ga on 03 Oct 2004 20:54 PDT
Just my personal opinion here in regards to adoption here.

There is a lot of argument about if a child will suffer in a home with
same-sex parents. In relation to adoption there are fears of how they
will develop socially in comparison to having a female and/or male

However significant differences could potentially be found between
adopted children in Athiest, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and many
other religeous groups. There can also be many differences between
those in a wealthy family compared with those at the working class

I believe the significant question that needs to be asked is if these
children will grow and develop better in a loving household with one
or more parent of any combination of sex race and beliefs or if they'd
do far better in foster homes and orphanidges.

Regardless of what any ethnic, spiritual or religeous group may want,
we must do what is in the best interests of the children, and if that
means they'd do better brought up by same-sex parents, then I'd agree
for the Children's sake if nothing else.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy