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.