5 Gay Parenting Myths

Gay Parents Raise Kids the Same as Straight Parents
Gay parents may be different, but they aren't deficient.
Gay parents may be different, but they aren't deficient.
Kevin Kornemann/Getty Images

The idea that same-sex couples raise children and manage households identically to straight parents might seem like something gay parenting advocates would want to preserve, but it simply isn't accurate. And that isn't a negative thing.

Until the early 2000s, research on gay parenting and child development outcomes were largely focused on drawing parallels between LGBT and heterosexual parents as a way to remove sexual orientation as some sort of dangerous ingredient in the complicated stew of child rearing. But, as New York University sociologist Judith Stacey points out, differences don't equate deficiencies in this case [source: Stacey and Biblartz]. Research has highlighted some unique hallmarks of lesbian parenting, including more equal division of chores and childcare and greater parent-child emotional openness [source: Belkin].

Of course, just as not all heterosexual couples make identical decisions and establish uniform household rules, neither do LGBT parents. But since data have clearly demonstrated that kids raised by gay and lesbian parents grow into successful, well-adjusted young adults, parents of all stripes can take away an important lesson: There is more than one road to raising a happy, healthy child.

More to Explore