Adolescent children of lesbian mothers lead as good quality of life as those with heterosexual parents, a new study has revealed.
"Adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families do not show differences in quality of life when compared with adolescents reared in heterosexual families," concluded the new research, led by Loes van Gelderen, MSc, of University of Amsterdam.
In the study, 78 U.S. adolescents with lesbian mothers--39 girls and 39 boys, average age 17--completed an online survey regarding quality of life. The teens were drawn from a long-term follow-up study of lesbian mothers, initially enrolled when they were pregnant or planning to become pregnant via sperm donation.
These adolescents' responses were compared with those of a group of adolescents with heterosexual parents who completed the same survey. Key aspects of quality of life were compared between the two groups of teens. The results showed that the teenaged children of lesbian mothers rated their quality of life similar to that of teens with heterosexual parents.
About 40 percent of teens reported some kind of unfair treatment related to having a lesbian parent--being teased or ridiculed, being stereotyped, or being excluded from activities. However, these kinds of stigmatization did not affect the quality-of-life scores, suggesting resilience among these teens.
"Adolescents living with lesbian parents function as well as, or sometimes better than, those reared by opposite-sex parents," van Gelderen and coauthors wrote. The study appeared in the January Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.