(Photo:Flickr/Partha Sarathi Sahana)

Teens raised by lesbian mothers are reporting to be just as well-adjusted as teens with heterosexual parents despite being teased more, according to a study in the newest issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

The study consisted of an online survey by 78 adolescents — 39 male and 39 female — with an average age of 17 regarding their quality of life. Their responses were then compared with responses from teens raised by heterosexual parents who were asked the same questions.

According to the authors: “Adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families do not show differences in quality of life when compared with adolescents reared in heterosexual families.”

Even though 40 percent of the teens with lesbian mothers reported being teased or made fun of because of their mothers’ lifestyle, the study concluded that this sort of stigmatization did not impact their quality-of-life scores:

“The results showed that the teenaged children of lesbian mothers rated their quality of life similar to that of teens with heterosexual parents. For example, average agreement with the statement, ‘I feel I am getting along with my parents/guardians’ was about 8 on a 10-point scale in both groups of teens. For the statement, ‘I look forward to the future,’ the average score was about 9.”

What the results do suggest, the authors say, is “a need for schools to educate students in the appreciation of diversity and to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and stigmatization. Such changes to the educational system would benefit youths from all family types.”

Not only were adolescents with lesbian mothers equally well-adjusted, there were also no reported differences in depression, anxiety or disruptive behaviors.

“Adolescents living with lesbian parents function as well as, or sometimes better than, those reared by opposite-sex parents,” the authors said.

Source: Wolters Kluwer

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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