Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 635–658 | Cite as

High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households

  • Douglas W. AllenEmail author


Almost all 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. Recently, some work based on the US census has suggested otherwise, but those studies have considerable drawbacks. Here, a 20 % sample of the 2006 Canada census is used 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. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.


Same sex households Same sex parents High school graduation 

JEL Classification

I21 J12 J16 



Thanks to Sonia Oreffice, Krishna Pendakur, and three journal referees for their comments. This project was funded by the Social Sciences Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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