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Unpublished Paper
More Heat Than Light: A Critical Assessment of the Gay Parenting Literature, 1995--2010
ExpressO (2011)
  • Douglas W Allen, Professor, Simon Fraser University
Since 1995 there have been fifty-two studies of gay parenting which include some type of child outcome measure. The vast majority of these studies conclude that children raised by gay parents perform as well, if not better, than their counterparts in heterosexual families. This conclusion, which may or may not be true, is not scientifically warranted due to the limitations of the studies These include: some results are misreported; the entire literature is exploratory in nature and made up of small qualitative samples, biased data, and other research design failures; the studies concentrate almost exclusively on lesbian families; and outcome measures have been limited. Although these problems prevent scientific generalizations, social scientists have treated the preliminary, non-conclusive research as authoritative. Regardless of what science ultimately demonstrates about same-sex couples or gay single parents as a family structure, it is important to safeguard the research process from political pressures: either anti-gay marriage or pro-gay rights.
  • family law,
  • same sex families
Publication Date
December 27, 2011
Citation Information
Douglas W Allen. "More Heat Than Light: A Critical Assessment of the Gay Parenting Literature, 1995--2010" ExpressO (2011)
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