Last updated on: 6/15/2009 | Author:

Are Children Who Are Raised by Gay Parents More Likely to Be Gay Themselves?

PRO (yes)


The American College of Pediatricians (ACP), a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals, wrote the following information in its Jan. 22, 2004 article “Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?,” published on its website

“Data on the long-term outcomes of children placed in homosexual households is sparse and gives reason for concern. This research has revealed that children reared in homosexual households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, engage in risky sexual experimentation, and later adopt a homosexual identity. This is concerning since adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, are at increased risk for mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorders, conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.”

Jan. 22, 2004


Trayce L. Hansen, PhD, psychologist and cultural commentator, wrote the following information in her article “Pro-Homosexual Researchers Conceal Findings: Children Raised by Openly Homosexual Parents More Likely to Engage in Homosexuality,” accessed from her website, on May 29, 2009:

“I think that although these studies can’t be used to make definitive statements, they are suggestive that homosexual parents are rearing disproportionate numbers of non-heterosexual children. This isn’t surprising since parents are the primary influencers of children… Based on the average found in the following nine studies, 14% of children raised by homosexual parents develop homosexual or bisexual preferences. These studies reported rates of non-heterosexuality ranging from 8% to 21%. The most frequently reported percentages were 14% and 16% (two studies each). For comparison purposes, data from the best national surveys report that approximately 2% of the general population is non-heterosexual… The preceding nine studies suggest that children raised by homosexual or bisexual parents are approximately 7 times more likely than the general population to develop a non-heterosexual sexual preference.”

May 29, 2009


Judith Stacey, PhD, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis of the Department of Sociology at New York University, and Timothy J. Biblarz, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California, wrote in an Apr. 2001 article, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?” published by the American Sociological Review:

“The sexual orientation of parents appears to have a unique (although not large) effect on children in the politically sensitive domain of sexuality. The evidence, while scanty and underanalyzed, hints that parental sexual orientation is positively associated with the possibility that children will be more likely to attain a similar orientation – and theory and common sense also support such a view. Children raised by lesbian co-parents should and do seem to grow up more open to homoerotic relationships. This may be partly due to genetic and family socialization processes, but what sociologists refer to as ‘contextual effects’ not yet investigated by psychologists may also be important…

We recognize the political dangers of pointing out that recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of children with lesbigay [lesbian and gay] parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity. In a homophobic world, anti-gay forces deploy such results to deny parents custody of their children and to fuel backlash movements opposed to gay rights. Nonetheless, we believe that denying this probability capitulates to heterosexist ideology and is apt to prove counterproductive in the long run. It is neither intellectually honest nor politically wise to base a claim for justice on grounds that may prove falsifiable empirically.”

Apr. 2001


Paul D. Cameron, PhD, Chairman of the Family Research Institute, et al. wrote in a May 2006 article, “Children of Homosexuals and Transsexuals More Apt to be Homosexual,” published in the Journal of Biosocial Science:

“Do the sexual inclinations of parents influence those of their children? Of 77 adult children of homosexual parents who volunteered for three different investigations, at least 23 (30%) were currently homosexual: twelve (55%) of 22 daughters and three (21%) of fourteen sons of lesbians; five (29%) of seventeen daughters and three (17%) of eighteen sons of gays; none of six sons with both a gay and a lesbian parent. At least 25 (32%) were currently heterosexual. Of the ten with transsexual parents, one of nine daughters was currently lesbian, one was currently heterosexual, and one was transsexual. The son’s sexual preference was not reported. These findings suggest that parents’ sexual inclinations influence their children’s.”

May 2006

CON (no)


The American Psychological Association (APA), a national organization of psychologists, adopted the following official policy statement on June 30, 2004 titled “Sexual Orientation, Parents, and Children,” published on its website

“There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation… As the social visibility and legal status of lesbian and gay parents has increased… concerns about the influence of lesbian and gay parents on children have been often voiced… Results of social science research have failed to confirm these concerns about children of lesbian and gay parents…

Research suggests that sexual identities (including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and sexual orientation) develop in much the same ways among children of lesbian mothers as they do among children of heterosexual parents.”

June 30, 2004


J. Michael Bailey, PhD, Psychology Professor at Northwestern University, et al. wrote the following statements in their study “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” published in the Jan. 1995 issue of Developmental Psychology:

“The sexual development of children of gay and lesbian parents is interesting for both scientific and social reasons. [Our study] is the largest to date to focus on the sexual orientation of adult sons of gay men. From advertisements in gay publications, 55 gay or bisexual men were recruited who reported on 82 sons at least 17 years of age. More than 90% of sons whose sexual orientations could be rated were heterosexual. Furthermore, gay and heterosexual sons did not differ on potentially relevant variables such as the length of time they had lived with their fathers. Results suggest that any environmental influence of gay fathers on their sons’ sexual orientation is not large.”

Jan. 1995


Norman Anderssen, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway, et al. wrote in a Feb. 2002 article, “Outcomes for Children with Lesbian or Gay Parents. A Review of Studies from 1978 to 2000,” published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology:

“Twenty-three empirical studies published between 1978 and 2000 on nonclinical children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers were reviewed (one Belgian/Dutch, one Danish, three British, and 18 North American). Twenty reported on offspring of lesbian mothers, and three on offspring of gay fathers. The studies encompassed a total of 615 offspring (age range 1.5-44 years) of lesbian mothers or gay fathers and 387 controls, who were assessed by psychological tests, questionnaires or interviews. Seven types of outcomes were found to be typical: emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning. Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes. The studies indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children. The same holds for children raised by gay men.”

Feb. 2002


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), a non-profit organization offering education on child psychiatry issues, wrote the following in its June 1999 “Statement in Support of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Parents,” published on its website

“There is no evidence to suggest or support that parents with a gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation are per se different from or deficient in parenting skills, child-centered concerns and parent-child attachments, when compared to parents with a heterosexual orientation. It has long been established that a homosexual orientation is not related to psychopathology, and there is no basis on which to assume that a parental homosexual orientation will increase likelihood of or induce a homosexual orientation in the child.”

June 1999


James G. Pawelski, MD, Director of the Division of State Government Affairs at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), et al. wrote in a July 2006 article “The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children,” published in Pediatrics:

“The gender identity of preadolescent children raised by lesbian mothers has been found consistently to be in line with their biological gender. None of >500 children studied have shown evidence of gender-identity confusion, wished to be the other gender, or consistently engaged in cross-gender behavior. No differences have been found in the toy, game, activity, dress, or friendship preferences of boys or girls who had lesbian mothers, compared with those who had heterosexual mothers…

Using data from a national sample of adolescents, no difference was found on the basis of whether the parents were the same or different genders in the proportion of adolescents who reported having had sexual intercourse, nor was a difference found in the number who reported having a ‘romantic relationship’ within the past 18 months. So few adolescents in either group reported same-gender attractions or same-gender romantic relationships that a statistical comparison was not possible. A long-term follow-up of adolescents raised by single lesbian mothers after divorce revealed similarly that their gender-role orientation (level of masculinity or femininity) was similar to those who were raised by a single heterosexual mother after divorce or by a heterosexual couple. Boys from single heterosexual mother and lesbian mother families scored higher on the scale of femininity, but they did not differ on the score of masculinity.”

July 2006