Children in lesbian and single-parent households: psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1983 Oct;24(4):551-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1983.tb00132.x.


Thirty-seven school-age children reared in 27 lesbian households were compared with 38 school-age children reared in 27 heterosexual single-parent households, with respect to their psychosexual development and their emotions, behaviour and relationships. Systematic standardized interviews with the mothers and with the children, together with parent and teacher questionnaires, were used to make the psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal. The two groups did not differ in terms of their gender identity, sex role behaviour or sexual orientation. Also, they did not differ on most measures of emotions, behaviour and relationships--although there was some indication of more frequent psychiatric problems in the single-parent group. It was concluded that rearing in a lesbian household per se did not lead to atypical psychosexual development or constitute a psychiatric risk factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child Rearing
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Legal Guardians / psychology
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Psychosexual Development*
  • Single Person / psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment