Children raised in lesbian-mother families appear to grow up to be well adjusted and have fewer psychological problems than do children reared in more traditional families.
This was a key finding in the recently published “US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents”1 — the largest and longest running investigation of its kind. The authors compared maternal reports of the psychological adjustment of 78 biological offspring of lesbian mothers with those of a group of age-matched American teenagers. The study is still ongoing.
Both the mothers and teenagers were asked questions to determine any direct negative effects of their upbringing. For the teens, there were questions such as “Did other kids ever say mean things to you about your mom[s] being lesbian?” The mothers were asked their perspective, with questions like, “Has your teen been explicitly teased or taunted about having a lesbian mom?”
Teens raised by lesbian mothers had higher rates of anxiety and depression than their peers. Nevertheless, they rated significantly higher socially and academically, and had lower rates of social problems, aggressive behavior, and rule-breaking behavior.
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1. Gartrell N, Bos H. US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-old Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2010. Available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2009-3153v1.pdf