Recent studies claiming children raised by lesbian couples are no different than children raised by a mother and a father are flawed, according to a marriage and family expert at Focus on the Family.
Glenn Stanton, director for family formation studies at FOTF, has looked at these reports and told The Christian Post that they don't tell the whole story.
He released two separate analyses of same-sex studies and found that "these studies consistently show a markedly greater likelihood of children raised by same-sex parents to identify with and experience same-sex or bi-sexual contact than children raised in heterosexual homes."
The U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) found that 49 percent of girls raised by lesbian mothers identified as either bi- or lesbian, compared with only 7 percent of girls raised in heterosexual-headed households.
Stanton writes in his analysis that the NLLFS study also found that "daughters of lesbian mothers were significantly more likely to have had same-sex contact compared with peers from heterosexual-parented homes. Boys in a few studies were more sexually reticent."
Lesbian-parented girls also have a higher likelihood of having used emergency contraception (35 percent vs. 5 percent), indicating a higher prevalence of careless sexual activity.
Stanton also found in looking at this study that young adults raised by lesbian moms are seven times more likely to have considered same-sex relationships and six times more likely to have actually had a same-sex relationship.
Aside from looking at the findings and effects on the orientation of children raised in same-sex homes, Stanton also looked at the methodology used to conduct the research.
He told The Christian Post that it was not "representative or objective in any way," which is a problem since it's the longest, largest study of same-sex families to date.
He said that the research only focuses on a small population sample of "highly educated upper middle class women that are in their 30s" – all from Boston, Washington, D.C., or San Francisco. He said most of them were recruited through gay activist channels and the parents self-report the well-being of their own children for the study.
"What's more, 80 percent of the study participants said – when asked – they would choose to be lesbians if such a thing were a choice," Stanton writes.
The moms reported their children showed no adverse effects from any family break-up, even though the break-up rates of these mothers were much higher than mom/dad homes: 56 percent vs. 36 percent.
In Stanton's analysis, he quotes professor Mark Regnerus, a research sociologist at University of Texas at Austin, who said of the study, "The bottom line is that snowball samples are nice for undergrads to learn about data collection, but hardly high-quality when you're a professional sociologist working on a complex research question with significant public ramifications. It's not fair, not even close, to compare parenting and child outcomes from a national probability sample of hetero parents and a snowball sample of lesbian parents."
Stanton wrote in his memo that "This study is not a sophisticated, dispassionate academic investigation, but rather an orchestrated persuasion piece conducted and funded by gay-rights activists."
He read over all of the most recent research on same-sex parenting and said he would encourage people to do the same. He said these studies and their findings have big implications – especially when many lesbian couples say "kids growing with lesbian parents look the same. Their own data shows that, 'No they don't.'"