Monday, May 07, 2007

Gay moms just as good -- if not better -- for kids: study
Jack Aubry, CanWest News ServicePublished: Monday, May 07, 2007

OTTAWA -- Parenting by same-sex families is just as good -- if not slightly better -- for children than heterosexual parenting, a study for the federal Justice Department has concluded.
Commissioned by the former Liberal government in 2003 at the height of the same-sex marriage debate, the study was not released until recently when its main author, Paul Hastings of Concordia University in Montreal, obtained it by making a request using the Access to Information Act.
Hastings, with the assistance of research students, reached his conclusion after reviewing existing research relating to the impact on children of being raised in different types of families.
The report says the vast majority of studies show that children living with two mothers are as socially competent as children living with a mother and father.
"A few studies suggest that children with two lesbian mothers may have marginally better social competence than children in 'traditional nuclear' families, even fewer studies show the opposite, and most studies fail to find any differences," says the 74-page study, which cost $25,000 to produce. The paper refers to about 100 studies on parenting.
It reported that most of the available research on gay parents is on lesbian mothers. It says there is still too little research, especially about gay male parents, to reach any final conclusions.
Hastings speculated that the study was quietly shelved by the Justice Department after Stephen Harper's Conservative government came into power in 2006.
He noted that the Conservatives upheld their election promise to review the issue of same-sex marriage when a government motion focusing on the definition of "marriage" was defeated in the House of Commons in December.
Briefing notes prepared for government ministers for possible use during question period sessions in Parliament and in response to reporters' questions, obtained by CanWest News Services via an Access to Information request, reveal the department seeming to distance itself from the research paper by stating that it represents the opinions of the study's author "and not those of the department."
Virginia West, who is raising Rowan, a two-year-old boy, with her partner, Cheryl Reid, in Toronto, said the study confirms what she already knew.
But she said she is pleased it was commissioned by the federal government,
"No, I am not surprised that the study's release has been delayed," she said.
"The fact that it was done at all is great, and the fact that it is coming out is great. I think if we were living in the United States, it would not have even been done."



MSEH said...

Thanks for posting that! :-)

West End Bound said...

I agree totally with Virginia West's comments . . . .

Great post!