Friday, January 15, 2010

Prop 8 Trial Coverage Day 5: Children Raised By Gay and Lesbian Parents Are Just As Well-Adjusted As Children Raised By Heterosexual Parents

Guest blogger Davina Kotulski of reports on the Prop 8 trial, day 5.

Michael Lamb, PhD discussed [today in trial] the impact of same-sex marriage on children. Lamb is the author of The Role of the Father in Child Development and co-author of Child Care and Its Impact on Young Children (2-5) published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USA (2004).

Lamb is a Professor at University of Cambridge, England. For seventeen years, he was the head of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Since the 1970s, for nearly 40 years, Lamb has conducted research about children’s social and emotional development. He is achieved prestigious awards for his lifetime contributions to psychology.

He has two primary areas of study:

1. Investigation of sex crimes involving children and interviewing children who are young victims.

2. Factors that affect children’s adjustment, those aspects of children’s development that allow them to function effectively in their environment and to interact effectively with society.

He stated that over the past 40 years there are over 100 peer reviewed professional articles on children being raised by gay and lesbian parents.

He has two opinions on same-sex marriage with regard to LGBT people raising children. He stated:

1. Children raised by gays and lesbians are just as well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.

2. The emotional and social adjustment of children raised by gay and lesbian parents would be promoted if their parents could get married.

Lamb says that the consensus over 40 years of research indicate that there are three broad factors that impact the healthy adjustment of a child.

1. The quality of relationship with parent or parent figures.

2. The quality of relationship between the two parents or significant adults.

3. The environment the child is raised in has adequate economic and social resources.

Lamb states that “a good parent is someone who is committed to, loves the child, is engaged with the child, focuses attention on that child, can read the child’s signals, has an understanding of what the child needs, provides the child with stimulation, and provides appropriate guidance for and limits on that child.”


Attorneys introduced a quote from President Obama that stated “Statistics show that children who grow up without a father are 5xs more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, 9xs more likely to drop out of schools, 20xs more likely to end up in prison.”

Lamb says that “actually the factors that better explain this is not that there is no father, it is that these children grow up in households with more conflict between parents, have fewer economic resources…”

According to Lamb, “our research on masculine and feminine parents has made clear that that initial prediction (a child needs a mother and a father as parents) is incorrect. We’ve come to a new conclusion. What makes a good parent is the same for either a male or a female, a child does not specifically need a mother or a father.”

The attorney asks Lamb to read a policy statement from the American Psychological Association in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples and their families. He then reads the names of the following organizations who have also submitted policy statements affirming same-sex marriage.

American Psychological Association

American Academy of Child Psychology

American Pediatric

Psychiatric Association

Psychoanalytic Association

Child Welfare League of America

Social Workers

North American Council on Adoptable Children



Yesterday, Edmund Egan, PhD. San Francisco’s Chief Economist, spoke about the cost of discrimination to the City & County of San Francisco. Egan discussed all the lost revenue in marriage licenses and weddings since Prop 8 passed and stopped happy couples from saying “I do.”

Just a little tease, my new book, Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why It Will Prevail explores in greater detail the cost of marriage discrimination across the nation. Children raised by G&L parents are NOT more likely to develop a gender identity disorder.

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