Study shows cooperation more important for children than sexual orientation

A study published in the journal Child Development suggests that cooperation between parents is much more important to children than the sexual orientation of parents.

The study concluded that children’s behavioral issues can be tracked to the level of satisfaction and cooperation among the parents.  The children that showed the highest level of behavioral problems were those with parents most dissatisfied with the division of child-care responsibilities.

“While actual division of childcare tasks such as feeding, dressing, and taking time to play with kids were unrelated to children’s adjustment, it was the parents who were most satisfied with their arrangements with each other who had children with fewer behavioral problems, such as acting out or showing aggressive behavior.”

The study showed that gay and lesbian couples were better at sharing tasks equally, while the heterosexual couples primarily specialized in certain areas, with child-care being predominantly in the domain of the mothers.

“Lesbian and gay parents participated more equally than heterosexual parents during family interaction.  Lesbian couples showed the most supportive and least undermining behavior, whereas gay couples showed the least supportive behavior, and heterosexual couples the most undermining behavior,” according to the report’s abstract.

The study, conducted by Rachel Farr of the University of Massachusetts and Charlotte Patterson of the University of Virginia, looked at 104 adoptive couples, 25 lesbian couples, 29 gay male couples, and 50 heterosexual couples, all having adopted children within the first few weeks of birth. The study took place when all of the children were three years old.




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