This essay is about gay parenting.

Essay by dloveUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2003

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An estimated four million gay men and lesbians are raising eight-to-ten million children in the United States.

A November 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that of 405 self-identified gay, lesbian and bisexual adults, 11 percent had children under 18 living with them. Only eight percent were the legal gardian. The poll also found that 49 percent of the gay people who were not parents said they would like to have children someday.

Usually invisible in the mainstream media, lesbian and gay parents are generally perceived through myths and stereotypes that go unchallenged. Here are basic issues that are often raised by such myths.


Myth: Children Benefit from Having a Mother and a Father

Strong families are defined by parents who are nurturing, caring, and loving. Orientation is irrelevant to these qualities.

The majority of studies have demonstrated that children raised by lesbian and gay parents grow up to be just as healthy, and well-adjusted, as children reared by non-gay parents.

Further, male and female adult role models are available, in abundance, through friends of the family, relatives, schools, as well as through television and movies.

Myth: Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents are Likely to Become Gay Themselves

Raising this as an issue highlights the prejudice that gay people face. While same-sex attraction is totally common to humans throughout history, and witnessed throughout the animal kingdom, some still cling to the notion that it is somehow "unnatural" -- even though it is an integral part of nature.

Prejudice notwithstanding, the idea that a parent could force one orientation or another is nonsense, and completely unsupported by fact. It is, after all, from straight parents that most gay children are born.

Numerous psychological and sociological studies have shown that children raised by lesbians and gay men are no more...