A study published in The Journal of Homosexuality this month surveyed adolescents raised from birth by lesbian couples, and concluded that children raised by two moms are actually better socially adjusted and more academically successful than their peers raised by straight or single parents. Overall, the teens raised in lesbian households considered their mothers to be good role models, and rated their own wellbeing an average of 8.4 on a ten-point scale, according to "Adolescents with Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives," a study out of the University of California, Los Angeles' Williams Institute.
Drawing from the work of previous long-term studies in the United States and United Kingdom, lead authors Nanette Gartrell, M.D., and Henny M.W. Boss, Ph.D, spoke to 78 adolescent participants who, since 1986, have been part of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study. The study's authors sought to collect information on the "everyday life experiences of the 17-year-olds in the NLLFS," according to the report. The study aimed to "survey the NLLFS adlescents about their academic experiences, extracurricular activities, future goals, friendships, family interactions, role models, health problems, and overall wellbeing."
The study found that students raised by lesbian moms had varied academic interests, with the most popular subjects being English and math, and participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, volunteer work, and the arts. Teenagers raised by lesbian mothers in the study boasted average grade point averages between an A-minus and B-plus, and nearly all of them had aspirations to attend college, and half anticipated professional careers after graduation. The study also concluded that children raised from birth by lesbian mothers were no more or less likely to identify as LGBT themselves, and while most attended schools with supportive gay-straight alliances, only a third participated.
The study is particularly touching in its conversations with teens raised by lesbian mothers as the adolescents describe the values their mothers instilled in them. "For example," the study relates, "one girl wrote that her mothers 'are very successful, powerful, beautiful women who are happy with their lives and I would love to end up like them.' Another described her mothers as 'strong, capable, smart, and loving women,' and a boy wrote that his mothers were 'honest, tough, smart.'"
Other teens commended their mothers for being hardworking, accomplished, and instilling noble values in their children. "One boy wrote that his mothers 'have wonderful characters and a strong sense of values that I try to emulate,'" said the report. Only one teenager, a boy, used any negative language to describe his mothers, who he said were "irrational."
The study concluded that adolescents raised by lesbian mothers had strong, stable social networks, high self-esteem and personal aspirations, achieved above-average academic success, and had an above-average tendency to confide in their mothers — a habit which has been linked to reduced depression and mood disorders, substance abuse, school problems, and delinquency.
So, in summation: Lesbians make great mothers. Their children are healthy, happy, academically successful and well-adjusted, with high self-esteem and personal and professional aspirations.
While it's likely that most of our readers are unsurprised by these results, apparently someone should forward the memo to the GOP, namely presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who is on record saying that LGBT families are "not right." In a speech to conservative South Carolina voters back when he started running for president in the mid-2000s, Romney trots out the outdated — and disproven — argument that "Every child deserves to have a mother and father."
Actually, Governor Romney, we would argue that if you're really looking out for children's best interests, you should more correctly argue that every child deserves two mothers. But then again, the GOP has never been burdened by facts.
Get out there and vote, ladies, like your rights depend on it. Because they do.