High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households
- 4.3k Downloads
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.
KeywordsSame sex households Same sex parents High school graduation
JEL ClassificationI21 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.
- Allen, D. W. (2012). More heat than light: A critical assessment of the same-sex parenting literature, 1995–2012. Working paper, Simon Fraser UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Barrett, H., & Tasker, F. (2001). Growing up with a gay parent: Views of 101 gay fathers on their sons’ and daughters’ experiences. Educational and Child Psychology, 18(1), 62–77.Google Scholar
- Becker, G. (1981). A treatise on the family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Black, D., Sanders, S., & Taylor, L. (2006). The measurement of same-sex unmarried partner couples in the 2000 US Census. California Center for Population Research Working Paper, 2007b.Google Scholar
- Chan, R., Raboy, B., & Patterson, C. (1998b). Psychosocial adjustment among children conceived via donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers. Child Development, 69(2), 443–457.Google Scholar
- Cloughessy, K. (2010). Sorry, but you’re not a mother: An examination of the validity of the de facto threshold in determining motherhood for the non-birth mother in lesbian-parented families. Gay& Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 6(2), 82–90.Google Scholar
- Gartrell, N., Bos, H. (2010). US national longitudinal lesbian family study: Psychological adjustment of 17 year old adolescents. Pediatrics, doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3153.
- Nock, S. L. (2001). Sworn affidavit of Stephen Lowell Nock. Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Between Hedy Halpern et al. and the Attorney General of Canada et al.: Court File No. 684/00.Google Scholar
- Patterson, C. (1995). Families of the lesbian baby boom: Parent’s division of labor and children’s adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 31(1), 411–419.Google Scholar
- Power, J., Perlesz, A., Brown, R., Schofield, M., Pitts, M., Mcnair, R., Bickerdike, A.et al. (2010). Diversity, tradition and family: Australian same sex attracted parents and their families. Gay& Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 6(2), 66–81.Google Scholar
- Regnerus, M. (2012). How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study. Social Science Research, 41(4), 752–770.Google Scholar
- Sarantkos, S. (1996). Children in three contexts: Family, education, and social development. Children Australia, 21, 23–31.Google Scholar
- Sutfin, E. L., Fulcher, M., Bowles, R. P., & Patterson, C. J. (2008). How lesbian and heterosexual parents convey attitudes about gender to their children: The role of gendered environments. Sex Roles, 58, 501–513.Google Scholar
- Sweet, M. (2009). The science of unisex parenting: A review of published studies. (unpublished manuscript).Google Scholar