Children with Same-Sex Parents: Can Access to Household-Based Resources Explain Potential Differences Compared to Children with Different-Sex Parents?

Danielle Wondra, University of California, Los Angeles

While the vast majority of research on same-sex parenting has found no statistically significant differences between children raised by same-sex parents and those raised by different-sex parents, the considerable limitations of this research have left the door open for serious criticism. In this paper, I address key weaknesses in previous studies: difficulties finding representative samples of same-sex parents; small sample sizes; inappropriate comparison groups; and lack of attention to family transitions in understanding children’s well-being. Using the American Community Survey, I compare the experiences of children with same-sex parents to those with different-sex parents, both married and unmarried. In doing so, I ask how current family structure is associated with children’s household-based resources (i.e., parents’ educational attainment, household income) and educational well-being. This paper will contribute to the debate between Regnerus’ (2012) findings and those of many other scholars.

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Presented in Session 106: LGBTQ Population in Families and Households