Time and time again, critics of same-sex marriage in the US have argued that same-sex parents are likely to abuse their kids and therefore should not be granted the right to raise children and start a family. A new US study is suggesting otherwise, claiming that teenagers with lesbian parents are less likely to experience physical or sexual abuse by a parent or caregiver.
The study was conducted by the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), a research initiative that has examined social, psychological and emotional development in planned lesbian families since the 1980s.
“A key ﬁnding in the current study was that none of the NLLFS adolescents reported physical or sexual abuse by a parent or other caregiver,” states the report, which was pioneered by researcher Nanette Gartrell, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
“This ﬁnding contradicts the notion, offered in opposition to parenting by gay and lesbian people, that same-sex parents are likely to abuse their offspring sexually,” the report states.
The study saw children of lesbian mothers, 39 sons and 39 daughters, all aged 17, to complete an online questionnaire. The children reported a zero-percent rate of sexual or physical abuse, suggesting that women are less violent and that children with lesbian parents are less prone to abuse.
The report cited the US Office of Juvenile of Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure, which shows that 26 per cent of US adolescents have reported being physically abused by a parent or caregiver; 8.3 percent have reported being sexually abused.
The mothers who participated in the NLLFS study all conceived through donor insemination and volunteered for the study between 1986 and 1992. The findings were published last week in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, a peer-reviewed academic journal in sexology.