Last month, we reached two big milestones in the gay rights movement: the overturning of DOMA and Prop 8. While these Supreme Court rulings were certainly a big step towards receiving full equality in our country, we still have a long way to go to finally put an end to discrimination of the LGBTQ community.
One area that still needs some work? Parenting. In the past several years, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding how the sexuality of a child's parents affect his or her life. Many anti-gay rights organizations and even famous designers (ahem, Karl Lagerfeld) insist that kids raised by gay parents are more at risk for mental disorders, depression, criminal activity and other negative effects, but studies have shown that this is simply not true.
According to a recent study from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, children are far more affected by the relationship of their parents than their sexual orientation. They compared 104 families — 50 of which had opposite-sex parents, 29 with gay fathers and 25 with lesbian mothers — with regard to how happy and well-functioning the children were.
Researchers found that in gay families, childcare activities were more evenly split; in opposite-sex parented families, the tasks were split more by traditional gender roles. But regardless of sexuality, the researchers discovered that the behavioral well-being of the child depended considerably more on how happy the parents were with the way they had divided childcare chores.
"While actual divisions of childcare tasks such as feeding, dressing, and taking time to play with kids were unrelated to children's adjustment," said researcher Rachel H. Farr, "it was the parents who were most satisfied with their arrangements with each other who had children with fewer behavior problems, such as acting out or showing aggressive behavior."
In the United Kingdom, a similar study was released this past March, revealing that there isn't a difference between the ability to do well in children whose parents are gay. As a matter of fact, they were praised as "thriving." Sound "disadvantaged" to you?
Children whose parents are LGBTQ are not somehow inherently disadvantaged to those that are heterosexual. In fact, the only real disadvantage they face is the unnecessary discrimination and inexplicable prejudice from ignorant groups of people. Those who criticize them are not only not helping, they're also the only ones really harming these kids.
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