Lesbians raise better kids

The longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families has found that the 17-year-old sons and daughters of lesbian mothers, all conceived through donor insemination, rate higher than their peers in social, academic and overall competence, and lower in aggressive behavior, rule breaking and social problems, on standardized assessments of psychological adjustment.

The data come from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, which has followed a group of lesbian families recruited between 1986 and 1992 and is the only study ever to track lesbians’ children from conception to adulthood. The results were released June 7 by the Williams Institute, a research center on sexual-orientation law and public policy at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law.

The new findings — on 39 girls and 39 boys from 77 families — also show no difference in the psychological adjustment of adolescents whose sperm donors are known, not-yet-known or will never be known, nor between adolescents who have experienced homophobic stigmatization and those who have not.

The NLLFS is headed by University of California San Francisco psychiatry Prof. Nanette Gartrell.

“Our data show that adolescents reared in lesbian parent households are psychologically healthy and high-functioning,” Gartrell said. “The mothers provided healthy, loving and safe environments where their daughters and sons could grow and thrive. We have followed these families since the mothers were inseminating or pregnant, and at each interview, we have been impressed with how well the kids are doing. At 17, we find that the kids are well-adjusted and well-equipped for college and beyond.”

The full study is available free on the website of the journal Pediatrics. Visit tinyurl.com/2eao6cx.

By Rex Wockner


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