Study Finds Same-Sex Parents More Likely to Feel Bothered By and Angry at Their Children Than Opposite-Sex Parents

Valeria Tanco (L), and Sophy Jesty pose with their new baby girl, Emilia, at their home in Knoxville, Tennessee April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Wade Payne
Valeria Tanco (L), and Sophy Jesty pose with their new baby girl, Emilia, at their home in Knoxville, Tennessee April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Wade Payne

Mothers in same-sex parenting households are more likely to feel bothered by and angry at their children, and believe their children are harder to care for than most other children, according to an academic study.

“Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Households and Child Health Outcomes: Findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health,” was published in the April 2016 issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

Based upon a survey using a nationally representative sample, the study compares 95 female same-sex parent households with 95 opposite-sex households. (That the same-sex parents are gay is assumed but was not confirmed by the authors.)

The parents were asked how often in the last month they, “Felt that their child is much harder to care for than most children his/her age,” “Felt that their child does things that really bother you a lot,” and “Felt angry with their child.”

The same-sex parents were more likely to report such feelings, which the authors labeled “parenting stress,” and the difference was statistically significant when controlling for other factors.

Despite that finding, the authors concluded that, “Children with female same-sex parents and different-sex parents demonstrated no differences in outcomes, despite female same-sex parents reporting more parenting stress.”

But this conclusion is dubious, given the nature of the study, notes University of Texas associate professor of sociology Mark Regnerus.

There are three main problems with arguing that there are no differences between gay and straight parents based upon this study, Regnerus wrote for The Public Discourse: 1) the authors didn’t look at many important measures related to child well-being (even though the measures were available), 2) the sample is too small to draw such a conclusion, and 3) the data is based on interviews with the parent rather than actual outcomes of the children.

First, the authors didn’t include “school progress, problems in school, participation in sports and recreational activities, volunteering, sleep, exercise, media consumption, reading, depression, bullying behavior, and all but one of five different measures of flourishing,” Regnerus wrote.

All of these measures were available to the authors and would have provided a fuller picture of the outcomes of the children.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Napp Nazworth