Effects of Same-Sex Parenting on Children Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1548 Words
Date:  2022-06-27

Over the past decades, there has been a great diversity in the norm of traditional family setup. The society has become less discriminatory and more supporting towards the modern unions or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. However, same-sex parents still face a lot of criticisms alongside other struggles. Ideally, the assumption and conjecture of the society are that everybody is born heterosexuals and is supposed to be raised by straight parents. LGBT parenting refers to the raising of children by individuals whose sexual orientation is not straight. While LGBT couples or singles may become parents through past heterosexual unions they may also achieve that through surrogacy, donor insemination, co-parenting, adoption, kinship or foster care. A lot of discussions about LGBT parenting are dominated by negative myths and stereotypes. Interestingly, the debate mostly concerns the children under the care of same-sex parents. Good parenting should not be judged by sexual orientation but the ability to love and care. However, raising children in nontraditional family setup can have a lot of negative impacts on their lives.

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Living arrangements are fast changing in the United States, especially when it comes to same-sex marriages. Although LGBT couples are less likely to sire children compared to their heterogeneous counterparts, there is an increasing number of children under gay households. According to Gates (2013), as many as over six million children and adults in America have the same sex-parents. While American support for gay marriages continues to rise, prejudice against such settings persists. Heterosexual parents have always judged the parenting skills of LGBT couples harshly arguing that they complicate identification and affect various aspects of childhood development.

Critics of the same sex-parenting have argued that it directly affects children's development of gender conception which might cause them to be unsure of their gender identity thereby operating outside social norms and roles. Such concerns have been sustained by psychiatric evaluations and behavioral assessment of children in homosexuals. There are also fears that children in same-sex unions could be a lifelong disadvantage given their gender confusion and potential of disrupting the society by operating outside social norms and roles (Farr, Bruun, Doss & Patterson, 2018).

Growing up with gay parents is a big deal. Studies documented for decades show that mothers and fathers play a critical role in childhood development. Herbrand (2018), argues that there are a lot of social and psychological effects for children deprived of growing up with both biological parents. Mothers to be specific play an important role in childhood development. Infants find their mothers more soothing than their fathers when seeking solace from fear, hunger or sickness. Motherly instinct is critical in determining a child's distress and can easily detect their emotions just by looking at their physical appearance. Therefore, children in male to male unions tend to be deprived of natural motherly maternal care during their early stages of life. Children in homosexuals often exhibit hostile or antisocial tendencies as they transition into adulthood (Herbrand, 2018).

Just like mothers, fathers also play a critical role in the whole parenting enterprise. Growing up with a father can have many positive impacts on children's social behavior and general health. Fathers are role model figures especially to their sons which influences their interaction with their peers. Their presence is also important when it comes to discipline, development of motor skills and challenging children to embrace challenges of life. Children usually feel secure in the presence of their dads and this strengthens their ability to be fearless and safe. Lesbian parents may not fit into the shoe of fathers thus affecting their children's development. Lesbian fatherhood can be a challenge to children especially when it comes to titling. Given that parent, naming communicates identity and roles children might find it difficult or uncomfortable calling their LGBT parents names that do not match their gender identity.

Regardless of their sexual orientation, children in gay or lesbian unions become part of the LGBTQ community and are also likely to encounter criticisms form anti-gay societies. Some of these children are often bullied at school as a result of their parent's sexual orientation (Frank,2016). For reasons of stigmatization, LGBT parents fail to disclose their marital status with the school staff in which their children are associated. In addition to bulling studies reveal that children in same-sex families especially opposite sex to their parents do not perform so well in school due to lack of support systems. Furthermore, they usually exhibit negative connotations such as shyness, low self-esteem and lack of aggressiveness. Such indicators cannot be ignored because they affect the physical state and mental well being of these children.

According to Frank (2016), a large body of research indicates that children's' educational development is less affected by parents' sexual orientation but their involvement in the academic life of their children. Ideally, this is not the same case in same-sex families. In such settings, the nature of the home-school relationship is often determined by the school's environment setting with regards to bullying and stigmatization. Children of homosexuals are often harassed and ridiculed by their peers for having homosexual parents. Where the factors do not favor the latter most parents decide to remain low key in their children's academic life to save name and image. For instance, where both parents are needed for meeting tough decisions are often made and one parent is likely to be left out. Also, lack of inclusive classroom settings present adverse contexts for children in LGBTQ communities and this affects their academic achievements.

Same-sex families often find themselves in constant stress. Unlike straight families, they deal with a lot of issues in their daily life. Stressful life can lead to psychiatric disorders in both parents and their children if there is no intervention. New data on LGBTQ mental disorders show high rates of depression and anxiety among children from same-sex families compared to heterosexuals. Stigmatization, identity, and role confusion are at the center of these higher rates. Population-based studies indicate that individuals between age 15-54 with gay and lesbian parents have high rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders and suicidal intent. Higher use of psychological counseling services among same-sex partners indicate more challenges in such family setups. Parenting settings where the couples themselves are dealing with mental health problems can have detrimental effects on the children mental state. Strong evidence for a national study indicates that suicidal attempt tends to be higher in sexual minority families than heterosexuals. Furthermore, there is a strong link between suicide deaths and mental health problems.

Utilitarian arguments state that an act is right when it maximizes the well-being of individuals involved. The moral status of such acts entirely depends on their consequences. From a utilitarian perspective, same-sex parenting is harmful to children because it increases the likelihood of children becoming homosexuals themselves (Manning, Fettro, & Lamidi, 2014). Homosexuality has a lot of disadvantages, especially when dealing with homophobic societies. It causes suffering and is against the best interest of the children involved in sexual minority families. Other than stigmatization, highly homophobic religious societies like the Muslim punish homosexuals with death sentence mostly through mob justice. Many societies still continue to struggle with accepting people of different sexual orientation. Homosexuals are high discriminated and lack same opportunities as their heterosexual counterparts. Societal prejudice and condemnation is a consequence of same-sex families which seems to mostly victimize the children.

It has been demonstrated that many homosexuals have a history of abuse in their early childhood development (Manning et.al, 2014). Psychologists agree that people who have been abused have a likelihood of being abusive to others. Given this fact, same-sex parents may be harmful to their children. As a result, it may affect their parenting skills. Findings have also shown that homosexual adults have a history of child molestation and this brings to doubt whether they can be trusted with non-abusive parenting. Adopting children has also been proven to be a major challenge to homosexuals. Due to lack of bloodline connections, the parents may lose touch of love, care and support towards adopted children and is the reason for increased runaways and homeless children.


While some believe that homosexuality is by virtue of choice others agree that some are born with non-straight sexual orientation. Well, none of that matters. However, when children are involved it becomes a huge problem let us face it. To a larger extent, people's perceptions and attitudes towards homosexual parents highly affect their children's' sense of belonging and safety in the society. Therefore, same-sex parenting holds a great risk that children raised in such settings will not have a reasonably happy life.


Farr, R. H., Bruun, S. T., Doss, K. M., & Patterson, C. J. (2018). Children's gender-typed behavior from early to middle childhood in adoptive families with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents. Sex Roles, 78(7-8), 528-541.

Frank, N. (2016). Moving Beyond Anti-LGBT Politics: Commentary on "Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Households and Child Health Outcomes Findings from the National Survey of Children's Health". Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(3), 245-247.

Gates, G. J. (2013). LGBT parenting in the United States.

Herbrand, C. (2018). Ideals, negotiations and gender roles in gay and lesbian co-parenting arrangements.

Manning, W. D., Fettro, M. N., & Lamidi, E. (2014). Child well-being in same-sex parent families: Review of research prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief. Population Research and Policy Review, 33(4), 485-502.

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Effects of Same-Sex Parenting on Children Essay. (2022, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/effects-of-same-sex-parenting-on-children-essay

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