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Gary Morella: American College of Pediatricians Assert Heterosexual Parenting Remains Best for Kids

The following letter appeared in the Centre Daily Times, State College, PA Feb 22, 2007:

Evidence contradicts conclusion

In his past two columns, Leonard Pitts has written at length about why he believes that gay and lesbian couples should not have children.

He couched the issue in terms of his perceived need for the biological father to be present at home.

Last Sunday, he cited research that supposedly shows that children in a home without a biological father were at greater risk for all sorts of problems.

In citing that research, however, he inappropriately conflated two issues: risks to children in single-parent homes and risks to children in two-parent gay and lesbian families. The research on the gay and lesbian families provides a different picture than he provided.

Children who are raised in two-parent gay and lesbian homes do just as well as children who are raised in two-parent heterosexual homes.

The American Psychological Association reports: “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.”

Lisa Stevenson
State College

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A response to this letter from Gary L. Morella follows:

Lisa Stevenson stated that “The American Psychological Association reports: ‘Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.’”

This is not true per The American College of Pediatricians, which is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents.

In a report entitled Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time For Change?

The ACP said the following.

“Those current studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable results from homosexual parenting have critical flaws such as non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, lack of proper controls, and failure to account for confounding variables. Childrearing studies have consistently indicated that children are more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically in a home with two heterosexual parents versus a home with a single parent.”

Citing 26 references on the risks of homosexual lifestyle to children, the ACP concludes:

“The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, The American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.”

For the difficulties in blindly referencing the American Psychological Association see the following:

Gary Morella is a Catholic member of the research faculty of Penn State University, and a father and grandfather who is concerned whether there will be a recognizable faith left to his children and grandchildren.

This article was posted on Sunday, February 25th, 2007 at 11:34 am and is filed under Adoption & Foster Parenting, AFT Mail Bag, Catholic, Conception, Custody, Mental Health, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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