Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American psychological association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting
In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued an official brief on lesbian and gay parenting. This brief included the assertion: “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents” (p. 15). The present article closely examines this assertion and the 59 published studies cited by the APA to support it. The author looks at seven issues or problems:
1. homogeneous and non random sampling,
2. absence of comparison groups in some studies
3. When there were comparison group were they appropriate control groups
4. Data is often contradictory data
5. The limited scope of children’s outcomes studied,
6. No long-term outcome data
7. Many of the studies lacked statistical power.
1. 26 of 59 APA studies on same-sex parenting had no heterosexual comparison groups.
2. In comparison studies, single mothers were often used as the heterosexual comparison group.
3. No comparison study had the statistical power required to detect a small effect size.
4. Definitive claims were not substantiated by the 59 published studies.
The author concluded that the studies were of insufficient statistical quality and power to prove anything conclusively. He states that based on these studies, strong assertions, including those made by the APA, were not empirically warranted. Recommendations for future research are offered.
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