Gay and lesbian parents

J Homosex. 1985;12(2):101-13. doi: 10.1300/j082v12n02_07.


An anonymous survey of 23 gay and lesbian parents and 16 heterosexual single parents was conducted in order to see whether the parents' homosexuality created special problems or benefits or both, for their children. Both sets of parents reported relatively few serious problems and generally positive relationships with their children, with only a minority encouraging sex-typed toys, activities, and playmates. Heterosexual parents made a greater effort to provide an opposite-sex role model for their children, but no other differences in their parenting behaviors were found. Gay and lesbian parents saw a number of benefits and relatively few problems for their children as a result of their homosexuality, with lesbians perceiving greater benefits than gay men. Conversely, the gay males reported greater satisfaction with their first child, fewer disagreements with their partners over discipline, and a greater tendency to encourage play with sex-typed toys than did the lesbians. The findings suggest that being homosexual is clearly compatible with effective parenting and is not a major issue in parents' relationships with their children.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires