Lesbian couples raise well-adjusted teenagers


17:25 15 November 04

NewScientist.com news service

Teenagers raised by lesbian mothers show no developmental differences compared to those brought up by heterosexual parents, according to the first large national study in the US.

Previous research has focused mainly on younger children and found no significant disparities in child welfare between same-sex and heterosexual families.

But few studies have been done on adolescents, who some researchers think may be more prone to - or conscious of - discrimination against their families. Others have speculated whether a teens' own sexuality is affected by that of their parents.

"There's been this debate about whether being raised by single-sex couples is good or bad for children," says Stephen Russell, a sociologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, US. "We would call into question suggestions that growing up with single-sex parents is somehow problematic."


12,000 interviews


Russell and colleagues Charlotte Patterson and Jennifer Wainright at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, US, came to this conclusion after sifting through interviews from 1995 with about 12,000 US teenagers and their families. The teens were part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the largest and most comprehensive study of the age group in the US.
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