Friday, June 8, 2007

Nobody tell Romney

It could upset him.
A PROPOSAL to allow gay couples to adopt children will be considered by state and federal governments next month in the wake of a Victorian inquiry which found having same-sex parents posed no risks to children.

The office of the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said yesterday the ban would be reviewed at the end of July at a meeting of attorneys-general, who had agreed to base their discussions on the Victorian inquiry. Under current laws, same-sex couples in NSW are banned from adopting as a couple, but individuals are allowed to adopt.


The report released yesterday by the Victorian Law Reform Commission found having single, gay or lesbian parents posed no risk to a child's wellbeing.

"Research shows that a parent's sexuality is not a predictor of harm to children," the report found. "The commission believes it is important the widest possible pool of people is available to help these children … However, people with histories of violence, sexual abuse or neglect of children do pose a risk."

Naturally, people jumped all over this to demand that gays be given the right not only to adopt, but also to marry.
Dr Pell said there was "significant evidence about the benefits of marriage" over same-sex partnerships... .

Oh wait, no. Pell is the Archbishop of Sydney, and is opposed to same-sex marriage because children need a mother and a father... except that they don't... but, uh... hey, look over there!

This page has links to the report in PDF format. This PDF is only one of the appendices, with a large table (it spans 10 pages) listing numerous studies performed between 1986 and 2006 of gay and lesbian parents (around 27 in all), with bullet points listing their methodologies, results, and conclusions. Some choice quotes from the full paper:

Contrary to the efforts of James Dobson et al. to claim a monopoly on the term "family", people recognize households led by same-sex couples as families:
A ... significant proportion of respondents (42%) said that same-sex couples with children are families (50% of women, 34% of men).


More than half of the respondents under 49 (65% of people aged 18–34 and 56% of people aged 35–49) think that same-sex couples with children are families. Just over a third of respondents said that the law should recognise same-sex couples, with support higher among younger people (49% of people aged 18–34) and women of all ages (40%).

A portion from the section summarizing the papers the commission examined:
Several analyses and literature reviews of gay and lesbian parenting studies have been published over the past two decades. These meta-analyses confirm that there are no significant discrepancies between studies which report favourable outcomes for children brought up by same-sex couples. This research provides strong evidence that it is the quality of family processes and relationships which determines emotional, social and psychological outcomes for children, rather than the structure of the family into which they are born. Relevant processes are such things as the quality of parenting, the quality of relationships within the family, including the level of cooperation and harmony between parents, the family's social support and level of connection with others, and the family's access to resources. Family structure, such as the gender of parents and the number of parents, is not shown to be a significant factor in child outcomes.

The research indicates that children with lesbian and gay parents do not differ at all, or significantly, from children with heterosexual parents when assessed according to a range of standard criteria measuring parent–child relationships, socio-emotional development, psychiatric ratings and gender development.

In their longitudinal study of children raised in fatherless families, Fiona MacCallum and Susan Golombok found there were no major differences in child development between families headed by lesbian and single heterosexual mothers compared to coupled heterosexual mothers, and no evidence that the sexual orientation of the mother influences parent–child interaction or the socio-emotional development of the child.

And this part ought to really tick off some fundies... that is, if they didn't tend to assume that lesbians didn't exist:
Some studies have found that being raised in households run by women, and in which no men are present, has particular advantages for children, including strikingly diminished figures for physical and sexual abuse. In addition, lesbian couples tend to balance work and family more equitably, and each member of the couple tends to be able to give time and attention to children.

Lesbians also play hell with fundies' obsessions with anal sex, AIDS, and Leviticus. No wonder they ignore them.


Priya Lynn said...

Skemono, your links to the studies showing that children do well in same sex headed families are no longer valid. If you relocate these pages on the victorian law reform commission site could you email me at priya dot lynn at sasktel dot net

Skemono said...


Well, for everybody else, here's the current site with the final report. You can just look at the appendices in their own PDF file.