Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cross-post...sorta: Gay Parenting

I've just not been in the blogging mood lately, probably because of my exam last week. I hope to pick things up again soon.

As a warm up, here's an article I wrote for our student paper:
Imagine my surprise when my gay med-student friend says to me “Yeah, but I don’t think gays should be having kids or adopting. Kids need a mom and a dad.”

Gay! Med student!

It’s surprising that misconceptions still exist about gay parenting even among the medical community. Of course, even though we’re all pretty fantastic people, I guess no one’s perfect, right?

Still, it seems like a logical premise. If two dudes are raising a kid, where will they get the female “mom” influence? Won’t they be more likely to be gay, or gender-confused? Turns out the answer is no. According to current research, kids raised by gay parents fit into normal gay-to-straight ratios. In fact, their development is indistinguishable from their peers raised by heterosexuals.

As far as the opposite-sex influence is concerned, one can easily apply the same logic to kids raised by single parents; just because they only have one gender parent doesn’t mean they don’t have aunties and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, and friends of both genders at school. The same goes for kids with two same sex parents (with the added benefit of having two parents instead of one!).

Gay parents have been found to be more involved with their childrens’ school life than heterosexual parents are, and have been shown to be exceptional parents even despite facing the additional stresses of discrimination. In fact, groups such as the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, who are kind of a big deal, agree that there is no evidence to suggest that gay parents are any less fit than their heterosexual counterparts.

My friend was surprised about these researched facts (and he did, in fact, want to see the evidence), but in the end I think he sees the logic of it. After all, as the AAP says: A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual.” Contrary to our pre-conceived notions of what type of family is “best,” kids raised by gay parents turn out just fine.

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