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Mental Health Center

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Study: Same-Sex Parents Raise Well-Adjusted Kids

Researchers Say Children Who Grow Up in Households With Gay Parents Have Normal Self-Esteem

Equitable Division of Chores continued...

Children seem to adjust better when there is a more equal division of labor in the home and the parental relationship with the children had a higher rating, she says.

The combined data presented by Perrin showed that children whose parents are lesbian have no more problems than the rest of the children and actually may be more tolerant of differences, she says. There was suggestive evidence that there were more stresses due to the gender of same-sex parents, but the children also reported greater well-being, more nurturing, and a greater tolerance for differences.

What is striking is that there are very consistent findings in these studies," Perrin says.

Ryan Malone, who works in public relations in Washington, D.C., says after his parents were divorced he was reared by two "lesbian moms," while still staying in contact with his father.

"We lived in a small town," he says. "While I was open about my family, I didn't broadcast it."

At times he felt isolated because he didn't know any other families at the time headed by a same-sex couple, Malone says. "My parents overparented because they felt like the whole world was watching."

Emotional Topic

While further study should be done, this is important for pediatricians to know so they can learn more about variations in families and give appropriate advice in optimizing the child's development, Perrin says.

Carol Berkowitz, MD, former president of AAP, says this analysis is important in that it combines evidence-based studies.

"This subject evokes a lot of emotions," she says. "Some of the studies on this subject in the past have been weighted and biased, based on nothing more than the researcher's views."

Evidence-based studies are important in helping pediatricians in their practices and creating policy for the future, she says.

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