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Volume 12 - 2021

Sexual Orientation Differences Between Children of Same-Sex Parents and Children of Heterosexual Parents: A Brief Report Using a Meta-Analysis, pages 123-131          



Walter R. Schumm, Ph.D. & Duane W. Crawford, Ph.D.


While it has been debated whether parental and children’s sexual orientations are associated, no metaanalyses have yet been reported, using data with older children, comparison groups of heterosexual families, and larger samples. The apparent scientific consensus has been that parental and children’s sexual orientations are unrelated. In contrast to previous research, here six studies are analyzed through three metaanalyses, with the result found that children from same-sex parent families are significantly more likely to be nonheterosexual (gay, lesbian, or bisexual; questioning; to engage in same-sex sexual relationships, or report same-sex sexual attraction) than are children from heterosexual parent families. Further research and more detailed social science theories are needed to explain possible pathways from parental sexual orientation to the development of sexual orientations in children.


Keywords: same-sex parents, sexual orientation of children, family theory, meta-analysis, gender of children


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