Another study finds that good parenting is just good parenting, no matter what the sexual orientation of the parents.
A New UMass Amherst study released this week found that adopted children are not impacted by their parents sexual orientation. What the study did find was that parental support for one another and their satisfaction with the “division of childcare labor” were what really mattered.
The study looked at gay couples, lesbian couples, and heterosexual couples. All of the couples had been parenting a child, adopted at birth or within the first few weeks of life, for three years. The study did report “differences” in the way labor was divided within individual couples: heterosexual couples divided the labor in a more “traditional” fashion, with mothers doing more parenting work than fathers, while same-sex couples more often shared childcare tasks equally. This difference, however, did not appear to have any direct impact on children’s behavioral problems.
Rachel Farr, the lead researcher in the study, explained it’s the “harmony” between the parents that matter most. She said:
While actual divisions 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 behavior problems, such as acting out or showing aggressive behavior.
It appears that while children are not affected by how parents divide childcare tasks, it definitely does matter how harmonious the parents’ relationships are with each other … It was clear that other aspects of co-parenting, such as how supportive parents were of each other, or how much they competed, were connected with children’s behavioral problems.
The study showed that for all three of the family structures, children behaved better when there was “greater pleasure and engagement between the parents.”
Photo: Elvert Barnes/Flickr