This will not surprise many of my readers, or others in the reality-based community (borrowing Pam Spaulding’s phrase), but lesbians make better parents. The evidence from research has shown this for years, and is now accepted wisdom among professionals in the field. Here in the UK, the authoritative social attitudes survey has found that a third of British adults now agree that same sex couples make “at least” as good parents as other couples – to say noting of the comparison with single parents, or with no parents at all.
This all makes intuitive sense: lesbian couples by the very nature of things are most unlikely to have unplanned pregnancies and unwanted children. Lesbian parenting is generally a carefully thought through, deliberate decision. The parents themselves will have had to negotiate the difficult process of coming out, which is often a psychological growth experience, and will have had to deal with prejudice, possible discrimination and sometimes outright hostility in their own lives – and have learnt to deal with it. It is to be expected, as research confirms, that
“children brought up by female couples are more aspirational and more confident in championing social justice. They show no more tendencies towards homosexuality than the offspring of heterosexual parents.”
All of this by now should be old hat, hardly worth a second glance. So why do I repeat and promote the story below, from Times Online?
Because too many of the power elite in the Catholic Church and their unthinking claque of supporters, have yet to join the reality based community. They consistently ignore their own teaching that theology must pay attention to the findings of science and scholarship, and instead condemn even their own experts who state what is widely accepted by professionals, and would rather blackmail civic authorities than countenance the possibility of placing an adoptive child with same sex parents, no matter how sparkling their personal qualities or potential as parents.
As long as the bishops insist on placing church ideology (it does not even qualify as sound theology) over the welfare of children, we must continue to publicise the findings of research and experts, aiming to build the sound theology, based on science together with faith and reason, that the establishment is singularly failing to do.
Here is the Times news story:
Lesbians make better parents than conventional couples, according to a director of the government’s parenting academy.
Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, told a meeting last week that the latest research showed that children of such couples did better in life.
Speaking at the launch at the think tank Demos of a report on the influence of character on life, Scott said: “Lesbians make better parents than a man and a woman.”
His arguments are supported by experts who have found, over years of research, that children brought up by female couples are more aspirational and more confident in championing social justice. They show no more tendencies towards homosexuality than the offspring of heterosexual parents.
Such strong endorsement from the government’s main agency for parenting will give a boost to gay parents. The speech from the academy, set up by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2007, will alarm traditional family supporters and those who raise concerns about the lack of a father figure in a child’s life.
Parenting groups have recently been accused of turning into vocal advocates for the tiny minority of parents who are gay couples. There was a row this year when the British Association for Adoption and Fostering described opponents of gay adoption as “retarded homophobes”. It had to pulp copies of a guide using the phrase.
However, more than a third of people now believe a lesbian couple can be at least as good parents as a man and a woman, according to the annual British Social Attitudes report.
Research at Birkbeck college, part of London University, and at Clark University in Massachusetts, says there is no evidence to show children of lesbian parents are disadvantaged in any way.
By the nature of their relationship, lesbian couples cannot have children by accident. They use a sperm donor, often a gay man, or adopt. The child then has two “mothers”.
Daughters of lesbians are more likely to aspire to professions that were traditionally considered male, such as doctors or lawyers.
Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney, the former American vice-president, who is expecting her second baby later this month, said in a recent interview: “Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents. What matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment.”