News & Politics

We Are Good Parents

The results of recent studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual couples. For instance, Flaks, Fischer, Masterpasqua, and Joseph (1995) reported that lesbian couples’ parenting awareness skills were stronger than those of heterosexual couples. This was attributed to greater parenting awareness among lesbian nonbiological mothers than among heterosexual fathers.

In one study, Brewaeys and her colleagues (1997) reported more favorable patterns of parent-child interaction among lesbian as compared to heterosexual parents, but in another, they found greater similarities (Vanfraussen, Ponjaert-Kristoffersen, & Brewaeys, 2003). A recent study of 256 lesbian and gay parent families found that, in contrast to patterns characterizing the majority of American parents, very few lesbian and gay parents reported any use of physical punishment (such as spanking) as a disciplinary technique; instead, they were likely to report use of positive techniques such as reasoning (Johnson & O’Connor, 2002).

Research has found no reasons to believe lesbian mothers or gay fathers to be unfit parents (Armesto, 2002; Barret & Robinson, 1990; Bigner & Bozett, 1990; Bigner & Jacobsen, 1989a, 1989b; Bos et al., 2003, 2004; Bozett, 1980, 1989; Patterson, 1997; Patterson & Chan, 1996; Sbordone, 1993; Tasker & Golombok, 1997; Victor & Fish, 1995; Weston, 1991). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive home environments for children.

Source: American Psychological Association