, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 799–821 | Cite as

School Progress Among Children of Same-Sex Couples

  • Caleb S. Watkins


This study uses logit regressions on a pooled sample of children from the 2012, 2013, and 2014 American Community Survey to perform a nationally representative analysis of school progress for a large sample of 4,430 children who reside with same-sex couples. Odds ratios from regressions that compare children between different-sex married couples and same-sex couples fail to show significant differences in normal school progress between households across a variety of sample compositions. Likewise, marginal effects from regressions that compare children with similar family dynamics between different-sex married couples and same-sex couples fail to predict significantly higher probabilities of grade retention for children of same-sex couples. Significantly lower grade retention rates are sometimes predicted for children of same-sex couples than for different-sex married couples, but these differences are sensitive to sample exclusions and do not indicate causal benefits to same-sex parenting.


Same-sex parents Academic achievement Family dynamics 



I thank Charles Baum, Joachim Zietz, Mark Owens, Jason DeBacker, Michael Roach, seminar participants at Middle Tennessee State University, and anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Finance and EconomicsUniversity of Tennessee at ChattanoogaChattanoogaUSA

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