myth realityI just discovered this website called How Stuff Works. Its my new favorite go-to website. Check out this article about the 5 myths about LGBT gay and lesbian parenting or the 5 myths of gay parenting video . The author Cristen Conger sets out to debunk the assumption of many people that allowing an LGBT couple to raise a child endangers the child’s healthy development in many ways. I like the phrasing he uses in framing the negative assumption: “negative views on same-sex parenting tend to liken a couple’s sexual orientation to a bacterial contagion that’s passed along from adults to kids, thus altering the younger generation’s self-perceptions of gender and setting them up for social and psychological problems along the way.”

Myth 1: Scientific evidence doesn’t support same sex parenting.

Reality: Research conducted on LGBT parents and their children has been overwhelmingly positive, causing many professional organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to give gay parenting their stamp of approval. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated, “children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual”.

Myth 2: In order to thrive, a child needs both a mother and a father.

Reality: The American Psychological Association has stated that parental gender has little bearing on kids’ well-being. The most influential variables were resources, commitment to child care, not sexual orientation.

Myth 3: Children with gay parents encounter more bullying or isolation, causing them to be more depressed and form fewer friendshps.

Reality: However, the University of California San Francisco collected data on children that were bullied and followed them 7 years later. They found no lasting psychological damage from any parent-related persecution. Other studies over 25 years have shown there is no difference in the rate of anxiety, depression, substance abuse or socialization of children raised in LGBT families over heterosexual-headed households.

Myth 4: Being raised by homosexual parents will make the kids homosexual.

Reality: Homosexual orientation is not a disorder or illness and cannot be contagious. Children do not inherit the identical gender and sexual identities of their parents. Although children raised by lesbian couples tend to identify less with the pink-and-blue gender roles, a majority ultimately identify as heterosexual in adulthood.

Myth 5: Same-sex couples raise children and manage households identically to straight parents.

Reality: There are some unique hallmarks of lesbian parenting, including more equal division of chores and childcare and greater parent-child emotional openness, that can be of greater benefit to children’s long-term emotional development over heterosexual households. Just as not all heterosexual couples make identical decisions or have uniform household rules, neither do LGBT parents.

Thus, the scientific evidence shows that there is more than one road to raising a happy, healthy child. As society’s definition of “family” has broadened beyond the heterosexual nuclear unit, negative stereotypes about gay and lesbian parenting are falling by the wayside.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 30+ years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 30+ years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW for multiple years. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.