For Immediate Release
January 22, 2004 - Bristol, TN
Contact: Joseph Zanga, M.D., President
Website contact: www.acpeds.org
Are children reared by two individuals of the same gender as well
adjusted as children reared in families with a mother and a
father? Until recently the unequivocal answer to this question
was "no." Policymakers, social scientists, the media, and even
however, are now asserting that prohibitions on parenting by
homosexual couples should be lifted. In making such far-reaching,
generation-changing assertions, any responsible advocate would
rely upon supporting evidence that is comprehensive and
conclusive. Not only is this not the situation, but also there is
sound evidence that children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle
may be at increased risk for emotional, mental, and even physical
Heterosexual parenting is the normative model upon which most
comprehensive longitudinal research on childrearing has been
based. Data on long-term outcomes for children placed in
homosexual households are very limited and the available evidence
reveals grave concerns. Those current studies that appear to
indicate neutral to favorable results from homosexual parenting
have critical flaws such as non-longitudinal design, inadequate
sample size, biased sample selection, lack of proper controls,
and failure to account for confounding variables.2,3,4
Childrearing studies have consistently indicated that children
are more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically
in a home with two heterosexual parents versus a home with a
Therefore, the burden is on the proponents of homosexual
parenting to prove that moving further away from the heterosexual
parenting model is appropriate and safe for children.
Risks of Homosexual Lifestyle
Violence among homosexual partners is two to three times more
common than among married heterosexual couples.
Homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to
dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average
homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years.
Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately
promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are
loosely-termed "committed relationships."
Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely
than heterosexuals to experience mental illness,23,24,25
and shortened life spans.29
Although some would claim that these dysfunctions are a result of
societal pressures in America, the same dysfunctions exist at
inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures were the
practice is more widely accepted.30
Children reared in homosexual households are more likely to
experience sexual confusion, practice homosexual behavior, and
engage in sexual experimentation.
Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle,
like their adult counterparts, are at increased risk of mental
health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorder,
conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal
ideation and suicide attempts.36
The research literature on childrearing by homosexual parents is
limited. The environment in which children are reared is
absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body
of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is
inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously
irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual
parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive
manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available
January 22, 2004
The American College of
Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed
physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the
care of infants, children, and adolescents. The mission of the
College is "to enable all children to reach their optimal,
physical and emotional health and well-being." We promote "a
society where all children from the moment of their conception
are valued unselfishly." The College further notes, "that
children are the future of our nation and society. As such, they
deserve to be reared in the best possible family environment and
supported by physicians committed to ensuring their optimal
health and well-being."
American Academy of Pediatrics, "Co parent or Second-Parent
Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,"
Robert Lerner, Ph.D., Althea Nagai, Ph.D.
No Basis: What the Studies Don't
Tell Us About Same Sex Parenting, Washington DC;
Marriage Law Project/Ethics and Public Policy Center, 2001.
P. Morgan, Children as
Trophies? Examining the Evidence on Same-sex Parenting,
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Christian Institute, 2002.
J. Paul Guiliani and Dwight G. Duncan, "Brief of
Massachusetts Family Institute and National Association for the
Research and Therapy of Homosexuality," Appeal to the Supreme
Court of Vermont, Docket No. S1009-97CnC.
Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandfeur,
Growing Up with a Single Parent:
What Hurts, What Helps (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1994), p. 45
Sotirios Sarantakos, "Children in Three Contexts: Family,
Education, and Social Development,"
vol. 21 (1996): 23-31.
Jeanne M. Hilton and Esther L. Devall, "Comparison of Parenting
and Children's Behavior in Single-Mother, Single-Father, and
Intact Families," Journal of
Divorce and Remarriage 29 (1998): 23-54.
Elizabeth Thomson et al., "Family Structure and Child Well-Being:
Economic Resources vs. Parental Behaviors,"
Social Forces 73
David Popenoe, Life Without
Father (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996),
pp. 144, 146.
Gwat Yong Lie and Sabrina Gentlewarrier, "Intimate Violence in
Lesbian Relationships: Discussion of Survey Findings and Practice
Implications," Journal of
Social Service Research 15 (1991): 41-59.
D. Island and P. Letellier,
Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic
Violence (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p. 14.
Lettie L. Lockhart et al., "Letting out the Secret: Violence in
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9 (1994): 469-492.
"Violence Between Intimates,"
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Selected Findings, November 1994, p. 2.
Associated With Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical
Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p. 79.
David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison,
The Male Couple: How
Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs:
Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 252, 253.
M. Saghir and E. Robins, Male
and Female Homosexuality (Baltimore: Williams &
Wilkins, 1973), p. 225; L. A. Peplau and H. Amaro, "Understanding
Lesbian Relationships," in
Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues,
ed. J. Weinrich and W. Paul (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).
M. Pollak, "Male Homosexuality," in
Western Sexuality: Practice and
Precept in Past and Present Times, ed. P. Aries and A.
Bejin, translated by Anthony Forster (New York, NY: B. Blackwell,
1985), pp. 40-61, cited by Joseph Nicolosi in
Reparative Therapy of Male
Homosexuality (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson
Inc., 1991), pp. 124, 125.
A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg,
Homosexualities: A Study of
Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and
Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S.
Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith,
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).
Paul Van de Ven et al., "A Comparative Demographic and Sexual
Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,"
Journal of Sex Research
34 (1997): 354.
A. A. Deenen, "Intimacy and Sexuality in Gay Male Couples,"
Archives of Sexual Behavior,
23 (1994): 421-431.
"Sex Survey Results," Genre
(October 1996), quoted in "Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men
Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,"
January 1998, p. 20.
Maria Xiridoui, et al., "The Contribution of Steady and Casual
Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual
Men in Amsterdam," AIDS
17 (2003): 1029-1038. [Note: one of the findings of this recent
study is that those classified as being in "steady relationships"
reported an average of 8 casual partners a year in addition to
their partner (p. 1032)]
J. Bradford et al., "National Lesbian Health Care Survey:
Implications for Mental Health Care,"
Journal of Consulting and
Clinical Psychology 62 (1994): 239, cited in
Health Implications Associated
with Homosexuality, p. 81.
Theo G. M. Sandfort, et al., "Same-sex Sexual Behavior and
Archives of General Psychiatry 58 (January 2001):
Bailey, J.M. Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness.
Arch. Gen. Psychiatry.
56 (1999): 876-880. Author states, "These studies contain
arguably the best published data on the association between
homosexuality and psychopathology, and both converge on the same
unhappy conclusion: homosexual people are at substantially higher
risk for some forms of emotional problems, including suicidality,
major depression, and anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and
Joanne Hall, "Lesbians Recovering from Alcoholic Problems: An
Ethnographic Study of Health Care Expectations,"
Nursing Research 43
R. Herrell et al., "Sexual Orientation and Suicidality, Co-twin
Study in Adult Men," Archives
of General Psychiatry 56 (1999): 867-874.
Vickie M. Mays, et al., "Risk of Psychiatric Disorders among
Individuals Reporting Same-sex Sexual Partners in the National
Comorbidity Survey," American
Journal of Public Health, vol. 91 (June 2001):
Robert S. Hogg et al., "Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on
Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,"
International Journal of
Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.
Sandfort, T.G.M.; de Graaf, R.; Bijl, R.V.; Schnabel. Same-sex
sexual behavior and psychiatric disorders.
Arch. Gen. Psychiatry.
58 (2001): 85-91.
F. Tasker and S. Golombok, "Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian
Families," American Journal
of Orthopsychiatric Association, 65 (1995): 213.
J. Michael Bailey et al., "Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of
Gay Fathers," Developmental
Psychology 31 (1995): 124-129
Ibid., pp. 127, 128.
F. Tasker and S. Golombok, "Do Parents Influence the Sexual
Orientation of Their Children?"
32 (1996): 7.
Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, "(How) Does the Sexual
Orientation of Parents Matter,"
American Sociological Review
66 (2001): 174, 179.
D. Fergusson et al., "Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental
Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?"
Archives of General Psychiatry
56 (October 1999).