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Study Says: The Kids Are All Right

Study says kids of gay parents are no worse off than those with straight parents.
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

With both DOMA and Prop 8 getting thrown out by the courts last month, the gay marriage movement has really made some big strides lately. Another big win? Science is finally starting to address the decades-old debate at the center of the issue: what effect does gay marriage have on the kids?

Well, according to a recent study at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the kids are doing just fine after all. In fact, researchers found that our parents' sexual orientation has little to no impact on our long-term happiness—but that the relationship they have with each other matters more than we think.

How so? The study followed 104 families in total—50 with straight parents, 29 with gay dads, and 25 with lesbian moms—to determine whether or not kids with gay parents were prone to mental or emotional disorders (something anti-gay activists have been arguing without much evidence for years).

Here's what they found: In families with gay parents, chores and other parental duties seemed to be split down the middle in terms of responsibility. On the flip side, families with straight parents divvied up the tasks more or less by gender, which no doubt led to an imbalance of responsibilities and some deep-seated resentment over the years.

"While actual divisions of child care tasks such as feeding, dressing, and taking time to play with kids were unrelated to children's adjustment," said researcher Rachel H. Farr to YourTango.com, "it was the parents who were most satisfied with their arrangements with each other who had children with fewer behavior problems, such as acting out or showing aggressive behavior."

This wasn't the only recent study to support gay marriage. Last March the Cambridge News reported on a UK study that pointed to similar findings—and described the kids they studied to be "thriving."

Will this news help quiet gay marriage critics? Only time will tell.

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