Sorry, Mitt, but it turns out that teens with lesbian mothers are successful and happy with their lives, according to a new report from the U. S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study. Even though Romney has come out against same-sex parenting, he should probably consider that the 17-year-olds participating in this, the longest-running study of lesbian families, not only had stellar high school GPAs in the A and B range, but nearly all planned to attend four-year colleges.
These kids also had strong family bonds, and they were nearly unanimous in describing their mothers as “good role models.” They also make friends with plenty of straight peers – and most say they feel comfortable bringing friends home and being open about their mom’s sexual orientation.
“We have been following these families for 26 years,” says Dr. Nanette Gartrell at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in California. “These kids were planned and their lesbian mothers were very engaged in parenting. At the end of high school, the teens tell us that they have excellent grades, feel connected to their families and friends, and admire their parents. As a psychiatrist, I can say that these are the types of childrearing outcomes that every parent hopes for.”
The teens were asked a series of questions about their everyday life experiences – everything from academics, extracurricular activities and aspirations to friendships, family interactions, role models, health problems and overall well-being.
“They teach me to be accepting of all people on this earth, no matter what differences they may have,” wrote one of the adolescent boys. One of teenage girls described her mothers as “very successful, powerful, beautiful women who are happy with their lives and I would love to end up like them.”
Prior studies on the same group of teenagers found that they demonstrated more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than kids who were the same age and who were raised by heterosexual parents – although some of the kids with lesbian mothers say they had experienced homophobia and bullying. Luckily, family closeness helped counteract even these negative forces.