American Academy of Pediatrics Backs Same Sex Marriage

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement supporting gay marriage, finding that having two parents is best for optimal health and well-being of all children. They point out that research has shown similar benefits regardless of whether children are raised by parents of the same or different genders:

To promote optimal health and well-being of all children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports access for all children to (1) civil marriage rights for their parents and (2) willing and capable foster and adoptive parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation. The AAP has always been an advocate for, and has developed policies to support, the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. In so doing, the AAP has supported families in all their diversity, because the family has always been the basic social unit in which children develop the supporting and nurturing relationships with adults that they need to thrive. Children may be born to, adopted by, or cared for temporarily by married couples, nonmarried couples, single parents, grandparents, or legal guardians, and any of these may be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or of another orientation. Children need secure and enduring relationships with committed and nurturing adults to enhance their life experiences for optimal social-emotional and cognitive development. Scientific evidence affirms that children have similar developmental and emotional needs and receive similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders. If a child has 2 living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interests of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so, irrespective of their sexual orientation. If 2 parents are not available to the child, adoption or foster parenting remain acceptable options to provide a loving home for a child and should be available without regard to the sexual orientation of the parent(s).

The New York Times report includes additional background information:

The academy cited research finding that a child’s well-being is much more affected by the strength of relationships among family members and a family’s social and economic resources than by the sexual orientation of the parents. “There is an emerging consensus, based on extensive review of the scientific literature, that children growing up in households headed by gay men or lesbians are not disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” the academy said.

A large body of evidence demonstrates that children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive and social functioning as peers raised by heterosexuals, the academy said.

One study in England compared 39 families with lesbian mothers to 74 heterosexual parents and 60 families headed by single heterosexual women. No difference was found between the groups in emotional involvement, abnormal behaviors in children as reported by parents or teachers, or psychiatric disorders in them. Both mothers and teachers reported more behavioral problems among children in single-parent families than two-parent ones, whatever their sexual orientation.

A 2010 study of children born to 154 lesbian parents in the United States compared mothers’ reports of their 17-year-olds to a national sample of age-matched peers. The mothers’ reports indicated that their sons and daughters had high levels of competence and fewer social problems, compared with their peers.

“Marriage strengthens families and benefits child development, and it also increases a parent’s sense of competence and security when they are able to raise children without stigma,” said Dr. Nanette Gartrell, the lead author of the study and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

 

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Jeff S says:

    So, will this sway the Republican Party?  No, because it’s a SCIENTIFIC study.  Republicans never let facts get in the way of their ideology.

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