The Death of the Traditional Family?

Interesting piece at Salon:
If you want what’s best for your kids, one surefire way to provide them with a healthy, happy home is to make sure they have lesbian parents. In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date, zero percent of children reported physical or sexual abuse—not a one. In the general population, 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.

When this news broke, the responses were mixed: It spread like wildfire among LGBT groups and news outlets, the mainstream media reported it as the latest in recent news about LGBT parents being as up to par as straight parents, and—unsurprisingly—conservative groups picked the study apart, trying to find reasons why it was incorrect.

No matter the reactions, however, the study undoubtedly put yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional notion that children need both a mother and a father. This research was just one study in a long line of work showing that children of same-sex parents are just as well adjusted and happy as those raised by heterosexual parents.

A five-year review of eighty-one parenting studies published in the 2010 Journal of Marriage and Family, for example, reported that children raised by same-sex parents are “statistically indistinguishable” from those raised by straight parents in terms of self-esteem, academics, and social adjustment. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association all agree that same-sex couples are just as fit to parent as their heterosexual counterparts.

Today’s “perfect” family is not what it used to be.

In the United States, 29.5 percent of children live in single-parent households (up 10 percent from 1980) and 40.6 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers (up 22 percent since 1980). Most of those unmarried moms are actually in relationships, and a study from Princeton and Columbia, which followed more than five thousand children from birth, found that more than 50 percent of the unmarried parents they studied were living together at the time their baby was born, while 30 percent were in a relationship but not living together.

The use of reproductive technology by straight, gay, married, or unmarried couples is on the rise, and the way Americans choose to create their families is increasingly more fluid. The nuclear family is on the way out.