Add this one to the pile of studies that confirms what we on the side of fairness, equality and love have been saying forever: Kids do best when raised by two committed parents, regardless of sexual orientation, which is completely different from the constant Religious Right Lying Machine, where they pit children of married heterosexuals against kids from single parents homes, and then use that as “evidence” against gay couples having children. From Stanford’s website:
In a study published this month in the journal Demography, [Stanford sociologist Michael] Rosenfeld concludes that children being raised by same-sex couples have nearly the same educational achievement as children raised by married heterosexual couples.
By mining data from the 2000 Census, Rosenfeld was able to figure out the rates at which children in all types of families repeated a grade during elementary or middle school. According to his findings, nearly 7 percent of children raised by heterosexual married couples were held back a year, while about 9.5 percent of children living with adults identifying themselves as same-sex partners repeated a grade.
The difference between the groups pretty much vanishes when taking into account that the heterosexual couples were slightly more educated and wealthier than most gay parents, Rosenfeld said.
“The census data show that having parents who are the same gender is not in itself any disadvantage to children,” he said. “Parents’ income and education are the biggest indicators of a child’s success. Family structure is a minor determinant.”
Duh. The sample size involved in this study is significant:
Because gays and lesbians make up such a tiny sliver of the American population – only 1 percent – it has been difficult for researchers to conduct a representative study of how their children perform in the classroom. And gay marriage opponents have criticized earlier studies for having sample sizes that are too small.
“Sample size is power,” Rosenfeld said. “And the census is the biggest sample we have. This study is based on a sample of thousands and thousands of kids.”
Most personal decisions about gay marriage are based on gut feelings, religious beliefs and individual experiences. Rosenfeld knows his research isn’t going to change the minds of most people opposed to same-sex unions. But he has added new data to the debate that helps debunk assertions – whether based on a lack of knowledge or some unfounded fear – that children raised by gay couples cannot thrive.
It’s good to see that, more and more, it’s being pointed out that opposition to gay marriage is rooted in absolutely nothing of any factual or rational merit, but rather unfounded fear and prejudice.
[h/t The Advocate]