Larry Mantle |

The success of lesbian parents

On Friday morning's "AirTalk" we talked with the lead author of a longitudinal study on the kids of lesbian parents. The kids, now 17-years-old, were assessed on how well-adjusted they are. The findings were that this group of kids outperformed their counterparts from hetero parents.

Critics have laid into the methodology of the study and the limits of its comparisons between the two groups of parents. However, it provides a good opportunity to talk about the strengths and challenges of same-sex couples raising kids.

One factor I raised was that any gay or lesbian couple is making an affirmative act in deciding to have a child. Some hetero couples become parents by accident or resulting from familial or cultural pressure. Not so with same-sex couples who decide to become parents.

However, I wonder about how gender roles are modeled in same-sex parenting situations. Our world still has gender roles expressed culturally and physically. A child of hetero parents will be exposed to two different genders relating to the larger world, just as the child of lesbian parents will observe his/her parents relating as women to the larger world.

I'm interested in how same-sex couples deal with that issue. If you are part of a same-sex couple with children, let me know how you deal with exposure to both genders. Is it similar to what many single parents do in making sure their kids have a male or female presence in their everyday lives?