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May 09, 2007

Same-Sex Parenting Study Rights, Law

A review of the research literature commissioned by the Canadian government found that same-sex couples (lesbian couples, in particular) parent as effectively as heterosexual couples. The study appears to have been suppressed by Canada's Conservative government. Its author had to resort to the Canadian equivalent of an FOIA request to get it released. The Province:

Parenting by same-sex families is just as good — if not slightly advantageous — for children when compared to heterosexual families, a [Canadian] Justice Department study has concluded.

Commissioned by the then-Liberal federal government in 2003 at the height of the same-sex marriage debate, the academic study was not released until recently when its main author, Professor Paul Hastings at Concordia University, obtained it by making a request using the Access to Information Act.

Hastings, with the assistance of research students, reached the study's conclusion after reviewing existing research relating to the impact on children of being raised in different family types.

The report says the strongest conclusion that can be drawn from empirical literature is that the vast majority of studies show that children living with two mothers and children living with a mother and father have the same levels and qualities of social competence.

"A few studies suggest that children with two lesbian mothers may have marginally better social competence than children in traditional 'nuclear' families, even fewer studies show the opposite, and most studies fail to find any differences," says the 74-page study.

The paper references about 100 studies on parenting and children's development.

The study found that most of the available research on gay parents is on lesbian mothers, which fits into other studies that conclude women generally spend more time with their children than men. But the report says there is still too little research, especially about gay male parents, to reach any final conclusions.

Hastings said it is only speculation but he believes that the study was being held back from being published by the Justice Department once Stephen Harper's Conservative government came into power in 2006. [Emphasis added]

When the facts fail to confirm your prejudices and preconceptions, suppress the facts. Ignorance is strength.

Posted by Jonathan at May 9, 2007 11:27 AM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb