The “no difference” theory is dead

MetcatorNet 9 February 2015
Fresh research has just tossed a grenade into the incendiary issue of same-sex parenting. Writing in the British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, a peer-reviewed journal, American sociologist Paul Sullins concludes that children’s “Emotional problems [are] over twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents”.

He says confidently: “it is no longer accurate to claim that no study has found children in same-sex families to be disadvantaged relative to those in opposite-sex families.” This defiant rebuttal of the “no difference” hypothesis is sure to stir up a hornet’s next as the Supreme Court prepares to trawl through arguments for and against same-sex marriage. It will be impossible for critics to ignore it, as it is based on more data than any previous study — 512 children with same-sex parents drawn from the US National Health Interview Survey.

The emotional problems included misbehaviour, worrying, depression, poor relationships with peers and inability to concentrate. After crunching the numbers, Sullins found opposite-sex parents provided a better environment. “Biological parentage uniquely and powerfully distinguishes child outcomes between children with opposite-sex parents and those with same-sex parents,” he writes.

…Until recently nearly all studies of same-sex parenting were very small. In a survey of 49 studies in 2010, one researcher found that their mean sample size was only 39 children. Only four of these were random samples; the others had been selected by contacting gay and lesbian groups. An ambitious 2012 study by Mark Regnerus, of the University of Texas at Austin, identified only 39 young adults who had lived with a same-sex couple for more than three years out of 2,988 cases.
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