A new Dutch study has confirmed what Zach Wahls has been trying to tell us all along: that the quality of life among teens raised by lesbian parents did not differ from that of a matched group of adolescents who grew up in heterosexual parent families.
The study, titled "Quality of Life of Adolescents Raised From Birth by Lesbian Mothers" and published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, examined 78 17-year-olds with lesbian mothers matched on gender, age, parental education and ethnic background with teens in heterosexual parent households. Participants in both groups reportedly gave a numerical 0-10 score in response to statements like, "I feel I'm getting along with parents/guardians," and "I feel good about myself."
"Consistently, over the past three decades, researchers have found that the daughters and sons of same-sex parents are psychologically well-adjusted," lead author Loes van Gelderen of the University of Amsterdam is quoted as saying in a statement. "And now our new data demonstrate that 17-year-olds raised from birth by lesbian mothers are as happy as their peers."
Among the study's other intriguing findings: among those teens with lesbian moms, there was no difference in quality of life based on donor status (i.e. whether their donors were known or unknown) as well as whether or not they had experienced discrimination or even whether parents had stayed together or separated.
"The favorable outcomes for these adolescents are a reflection of good parenting by mothers who prepared their daughters and sons for the prospect of adversity,” Nanette Gartrell of the Williams Institute noted.
Gattrell authored a similar study in 2010, which reportedly found that children raised by lesbian parents develop into psychologically healthy teens and have fewer behavior problems than their peers. "Contrary to assertions from people opposed to same-sex parenting, we found that the 17-year-olds scored higher in psychological adjustment in areas of competency and lower in problem behaviors than the normative age-matched sample of kids raised in traditional families with a mom and a dad," she said at the time.
The study, of course, merely supports the moving argument delivered by the 19-year-old Wahls, who was raised by a lesbian couple, in front of the Iowa House of Representatives last year. Video of his speech became YouTube's most-watched political clip of the year after sweeping Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the ongoing debates about same-sex marriage and gay parenting in the United States.
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