About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER

Same-sex Parents are Judged More Harshly Than Heterosexual Parents Suggests A New Study

by Rukmani Krishna on March 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Font : A-A+

 Same-sex Parents are Judged More Harshly Than Heterosexual Parents Suggests A New Study

Do gay parents hold double standards? A new study suggests that gay parents are being judged more harshly than straight parents. The study was published this month by a Binghamton University research team.

Members of Binghamton University's Interdisciplinary Research Group for the Study of Sexuality and Gender conducted a study of people's reactions to the parenting behaviors of gay and straight parents. Their results showed a clear pattern of negative reactions from study participants towards a gay couple engaging in exactly the same negative parenting behaviors as a straight couple.


Research Associate Professor Sean Massey and Instructor Ann Merriwether of Binghamton, and Justin Garcia from The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, published the results of their study earlier this month in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies.

"We noted that when parents displayed favorable parenting behaviors like comforting an upset child, gay and straight parents were judged in a similar, positive manner," said Massey. "However, if parents got frustrated - raised their voice or slapped their child on the hand, the gay parents were judged more negatively than the straight parents."

Massey says this marked difference in the study groups' reactions is significant. While no parent is perfect, the researchers believe that holding gay parents to a different standard adds additional stress to the already stressful job of parenthood. It can also negatively affect their chances of adopting or becoming foster parents.

"We feel that it is very important for social workers and adoption counselors to be made aware of the effects of modern anti-gay prejudices and they need to educate themselves and develop policies that help protect against these potential biases," said Massey.

There is a serious shortage of people stepping up to foster or adopt the hundreds of thousands of children who are in the system waiting to find a new foster family or adopted family. The gay community is a resource for many of these children but this study indicates that if judged more harshly than their straight counterparts, gay parents are at a disadvantage.

"Raising awareness of these attitudes is a critical step in being able to utilize a potentially valuable pool of prospective adoptive and foster parents," said Massey, "but it is also vital to improving the day to day lives of our families and our children."

On Thursday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement supporting same-sex marriage and reiterating its support for the adoption of children by gay families. The researchers say that with strong support for gay marriage coming from the medical and psychological professional organizations, and with increasing support among the general public (58% of whom now support same-sex marriage), the next frontier for gay rights may be same-sex parenting. Massey says although overt and hostile prejudice may indeed be diminishing, modern, subtle prejudice continues to affect the lives of lesbians, gay men, and their families.

"Prejudicial judgments, however subtle, that serve to limit access of these families to potential support and resources, ultimately harm today's youths," says Massey.

The researchers strongly encourage the continued exploration of the effect this subtle prejudice has on the wellbeing of same-sex families and how best to work toward its elimination.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Rights of Three or More Gay Parents Debated By Dutch Government
Simon, 6 said, "I think my friends are a little jealous because I've got two mummies and two ......
Gay Marriage Fight in the US Reaches Supreme Court
Two different crowds are brushing up against each other as they seek to make their voice heard ......
Anti-Gay Marriage Activists Continue to Protest in Paris
With gay marriage looking increasingly likely to be legalized in France, tens of thousands of ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use