Who's Your Daddy

That’s a fact

I like to think that I’m pretty tolerant of other people’s opinions. Where I’m not so open-minded is when people mistake opinions for facts. The former is just preference; the latter can be supported by evidence. A lot of folks tend to confuse the two; just because you hold a certain view doesn’t mean it’s true. And when those unsubstantiated beliefs are about other groups of people, they can be downright dangerous.

There are a lot of hurtful myths about gay parents. Unfortunately, all too often, people opposed to the idea of two dads or two moms cite them as fact.

Let’s take a look at some of these more common myths.

  1. Kids of same-gender parents are at risk for sexual abuse. There is absolutely zero basis for this crap. In fact, according to Adoptions from the Heart, a Pennsylvania-based organization, multiple studies have shown that gay men are no more likely to “be attracted to, or sexually abuse, children” than their straight counterparts. In fact, they note that the only “study” (their emphasis) to argue otherwise was conducted by the co-founder of the Family Research Institute. Although regularly cited, his research is rejected by the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. The “research institute” is also designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  2. Children need a mom and dad. OK, yeah, I agree. But those with single moms, single dads, two moms, or two dads do not fare any worse than those with so-called traditional parents. One study examining 25-year-olds who were raised by two moms found “no significant difference in measures of mental health” when compared to their peers raised by straight parents. In another study cited in The Journal of Marriage and Family, sociologist Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California said, “The bottom line is that the science shows that children raised by two same-gender parents do as well on average as children raised by two different-gender parents. This is obviously inconsistent with the widespread claim that children must be raised by a mother and a father to do well.”
  3. Being raised by gay parents means the kids will be gay themselves. The “scientist” over at Family Research Institute thinks so. And he’s not alone. A full 10 percent of the 72 studies that were reviewed for a paper in the Journal of International Women’s Studies showed children of LGBT+ parents were more likely to identify as queer than those raised by straight parents. But the authors also noted that not only did 90 percent of studies say that wasn’t true, many of those that made the claim seemed to have small sample sizes or be scientifically flawed. Um, my family: two gay dads raised two straight sons.
  4. Kids of LGBTQ+ parents struggle with mental health and behavioral issues. There’s actually no evidence for that claim. In fact, a paper reviewing several studies published in Humanities and Social Science Communications showed there are no statistically significant differences between the two groups. In fact, one study found that “children with same-sex male parents have fewer anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal issues than children with different-sex parents.”
  5. Children with gay parents will get picked on. They almost certainly will. But Adoptions from the Heart cites studies showing that it won’t be any more or less than those raised by straight parents.

I admit that sometimes, being tolerant of people who confuse beliefs with evidence is difficult. I just try to remember that everybody’s entitled to their opinion, no matter how stupid it is. And that’s a fact!

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