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Kids with gay and lesbian parents do just fine

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A study of 21,103 kids aged between four and seventeen found those with gay and lesbian parents fare just as well as those with heterosexual parents in terms of emotional and mental health difficulties, according to questionnaires filled out by parents. Kids of bisexual parents did have greater difficulties, but that was accounted for by societal stress related to sexual orientation. A more inclusive society might help reduce that stress, and improve the mental wellbeing of kids with bisexual parents, suggest the authors.

Journal/conference: Child Development

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12989

Organisation/s: San Diego State University and Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, USA

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Swedish Society for Medical Research, Swedish Research Council.

Media Release

From: Wiley-Blackwell

Parental Sexual Orientation and Children’s Psychological Well-Being

In a Child Development study of 21,103 children aged 4-17 years, those with lesbian and gay parents did not differ from children of heterosexual parents in terms of emotional and mental health difficulties, as assessed on parental questionnaires. Children of bisexual parents appeared to have greater difficulties, but this difference disappeared after taking into account markers of greater minority stress among bisexual parents.

 “As lesbian, gay, and bisexual parented families become more visible, the findings bolster previous studies revealing that children raised in these families have comparable psychological well-being compared with children raised by heterosexual parents,” said lead author Dr. Jerel Calzo, of the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health. “In addition, the results indicate the need for continued investment in strategies to prevent sexual orientation–based discrimination and to support sexual minority parents who may experience minority stress.”


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