BURNABY, British Columbia, October 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new large-scale study by a Canadian researcher has found that children in same-sex households were only 65 percent as likely to graduate from high school as those living in traditional opposite sex marriage families.
In the preface to his new study study Douglas W. Allen, professor of economics at BC's Simon Fraser University, notes that while almost all previous studies of same-sex parenting have concluded there is “no difference” in a range of outcome measures for children who live in a household with same-sex parents compared to children living with married opposite-sex parents, his analysis of a large random sample taken from the 2006 Canada census suggests otherwise.
Allen used a massive 20% sample of the census data to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates.
The random sampling allowed for control of parental marital status such as single parents and unmarried opposite sex parents, distinguished between gay (male) and lesbian (female) families, and was large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children.
Besides lower overall high school graduation outcomes for children in same-sex households, the study found that daughters of same-sex parents had lower graduation rates than sons, and that daughters of homosexual male couples have significantly worse graduation rates than the daughters of lesbian couples.
Among boys in same-sex households, those in homosexual male households fared better than those in lesbian households.
An unexpected finding was that children of single parents had higher graduation rates than children in same-sex households.
"The particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation,” Allen wrote. “Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes." The study corroborates the findings of another large-scale study by Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
In his conclusions to the study, Allen states that "children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes."
The Regnerus study, titled "New Family Structures Study", had unearthed alarming disparities between the two family models, from increased risk of suicide attempts and unemployment rates to sexual abuse. While gay activists had vilified that study and asked his university to punish him, the University of Texas later announced that after an investigation it had found nothing wrong with the study.
In an article published in The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse, Mark Regnerus commented that Allen's research provides "a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing."
Regnerus points out that unlike US-based studies, Allen's study evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.
"While in the US Census same-sex households have to be guessed at based on the gender and number of self-reported heads-of-household, young adults in the Canadian census were asked, 'Are you the child of a male or female same-sex married or common law couple?'" Regnerus said. "So the study is able to compare—side by side—the young-adult children of same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, as well as children growing up in single-parent homes and other types of households."
"The study’s publication continues the emergence of new, population-based research in this domain, much of which has undermined scholarly and popular claims about equivalence between same-sex and opposite-sex households echoed by activists and reflected in recent legal proceedings about same-sex marriage," Regnerus stated.
"Might the American Psychological Association and American Sociological Association have been too confident and quick to declare ‘no differences’ in such a new arena of study, one marked by the consistent reliance upon small or nonrandom ‘convenience’ samples? Perhaps. Maybe a married mom and dad do matter, after all," he concluded.
The study by Douglas W. Allen, titled "High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households," was published in the September edition of the journal "Review of Economics of the Household."