In a Family Process study conducted by Belgian, Italian, and American researchers, 134 European families (67 gay couples and 67 heterosexual couples) with children between the ages of 1.5 to 10 years old born through surrogacy were examined. The study dived into each families’ parenting style, how the families divvied up tasks, the parents’ satisfaction with their relationship, and if there were any behavioral issues with the children.
Additionally, families with gay dads were given additional examination into the impact that homophobia and support from community (relatives, friends, and the greater society) had on them. Finally, each family completed a comprehensive questionnaire about each parent and their children.
So what’s the verdict?
The research showed that children of gay dads were not only happier and better behaved, but that gay dads “reported greater positive coparenting, more equal sharing of childcare tasks, and greater satisfaction with task sharing, compared to heterosexual parents.” Basically, the kids of gay dads are alright and gay dads are fabulous at parenting at the same time.
The research comes at a time where anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and sentiment continues to ramp up within the United States. With the “Don’t Say Gay” bill signed in 2022, and an expansion on the bill in April 2023, discourse and instruction around sexual orientation and gender identity were effectively banned in Florida schools.
The bill sparked fervor and inspired similar legislation across the nation. To date, 506 anti-LGBTQ+ bills exist within the US.
While the “Don’t Say Gay” bill impacts the livelihood of LGBTQ+ children, it also hurts queer and trans parents, as they struggle to live openly and protect their families. However, studies like the one in Family Process highlights that gay parents and their children are doing just fine, if not better, because of their family unit.
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