The Kids Will Be Okay? Well, Maybe Not

Last week, amidst all the coverage of the campaigns and the (17 percent) federal government "shutdown," you may have missed the extensive media coverage of new academic research showing that children have significantly poorer outcomes in households with same-sex parents. Oh, wait, that's right. The media didn't cover that report. At all.

In one of the most extensive research projects on the issue of how children fare in homes where "both parents" are of the same sex, published in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household, researchers found that children of same-sex couples are only about 65 percent as likely to graduate from high school as the children of traditionally married, opposite-sex couples. Gender seems to matter as well. Girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of same-sex parents suffering from significantly lower graduation rates.

The study was done in Canada and evaluates a 20 percent sample of those who identified themselves as same-sex couples on that country's census. It’s important to note that, in Canada, same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005. Even with "recognition" and support of the government, children in same-sex households still suffered significant consequences.

Researchers were thorough in the study and ruled out several factors as contributors to the declines in outcomes. You can read more about the study in this blog post at the Witherspoon Institute's The Public Discourse, written by University of Texas Professor Mark Regnerus. Here's a telling excerpt:

So the study is able to compare — side by side — the young-adult children of same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, as well as children growing up in single-parent homes and other types of households. Three key findings stood out to Allen:

"children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes."

Employing regression models and series of control variables, Allen concludes that the substandard performance cannot be attributed to lower school attendance or the more modest education of gay or lesbian parents. Indeed, same-sex parents were characterized by higher levels of education, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school than even those of married, opposite-sex couples. And yet their children are notably more likely to lag in finishing their own schooling.

The media silence of course comes from the fact that the study doesn't support the narrative that kids will do just fine whether or not they have both a mom and a dad, so opposition to same-sex marriage can only be based on "hate." But don't worry. Once same-sex marriage advocates get their talking points together to attack the study, the media will start reporting.

Sadly, we need studies to prove what we intuitively already know — kids deserve, whenever possible, both a mom and a dad. That isn’t hateful. It's simple reality.

The question of Which parent does a child not need — a mom or a dad? is never answered by same-sex marriage advocates or their media apologists. It's ignored because they have no real, logical answer. Instead, they just scream "hate" and "intolerance" so they don't have to answer the tough questions.