A quarter of a decade since the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study began researchers can finally reveal that good parenting has nothing to do with sexuality.
In 1986, 154 prospective lesbian mothers from across the country were asked to take part it what has become the longest study monitoring the mental and emotional well-being of children raised by same-sex families. Now, a quarter of a decade since the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study began, and researchers can finally reveal that good parenting has nothing to do with sexuality.
With half of all mental health disorders emerging by the time your 14, going up to three-quarters by the time you hit your mid-20s, researchers paid close attention to their formative years to see if they were living their best life.
Raised by 84 different couples, the offspring showed no “significant differences” between those raised by straight couples. From building relationships to job performance and clinical diagnosis—overall the children turned out to be simply the same as your average Joe.
The news comes as no surprise to LGBT rights advocates who have to repeatedly dispell myths surrounding how to raise a family and adds to a long line of research proving sexual-discrimination is never in the interest of the child.
Yet same-sex parents continue to face a myriad of complications. Yes, gay marriage may be legal, but when having kids is brought into the equation, the state by state laws turn family life into a zip code lottery. According to the Movement Advancement Project, only 46 % of the LGBT population live in states with “high sexual orientation policy tallies”. What that means is less than half of lesbian and gay population reside in parts of the country where they’re protected by the top end of policies aimed at bolstering and protecting them. Whereas the rest of the population, are more vulnerable to hate crimes and discrimination. Florida and New Hampshire still have laws that expressly bar lesbians and gay men from ever adopting children – and in Arkansas, lesbians, gay men, and those who live with them, cannot be foster parents.