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Love is All You Need?

By October 10, 2013Blog
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A recent Canadian study reveals that love is not a substitute for two heterosexual parents after all and that mothers and fathers are not in fact interchangeable.  The study, based on the Canadian census and published in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household, supports the assertion that children do best when raised in a household with both a mother and a father, and that, when it comes to education, children raised in same-sex households are not as successful as those raised in a household with both a mother and a father.

According to Mark Regnerus, senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, the study analyzed data from a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census.  Within this sample, these same-sex couples were provided access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997.

By comparing young adult children of same-sex parents to young adult children of opposite-sex parents, the study reveals that an intact marriage between a mother and a father provides the best environment for a child to be raised.  When compared to children who were raised by a heterosexual couple within an intact marriage, children of homosexual couples were less likely to have graduated from high school.  Interestingly, children of same-sex parents were characterized as more likely to be enrolled in school, yet still had the most difficulty with graduating.  Furthermore, the study identifies an even greater concern for girls.  Evidence reveals that when compared to girls raised in heterosexual households, girls raised by homosexual parents were only 15 percent as likely to obtain diplomas.

Further, the study showed that little has changed in the past twenty years in regards to success rates of children of common-law marriages or single-parent households. These children continue to graduate at a lower rate than those of heterosexual, married couples. The study did, however, reveal that the children of lesbian couples lagged behind even those children of single-parent households, who have reported lower graduation rates for decades.

Undermining the assertion that mothers and fathers can act as interchangeable parenting figures, the study reveals that the disparity in educational success rates is based on a combination of genders of parents and genders of children. For instance, boys are more likely to graduate when raised in homosexual households than in lesbian households, and girls are more likely to graduate when raised in lesbian households than in homosexual households.

As supported by this study, the fact is that marriage between a man and a woman does matter.  It matters for the sake of children, and it is evident that children are more successful when they have both a mother and a father to raise them.  The idea that all “parenting” is equal as long as it is done in a loving household is a measurably false assertion.  In Canada, the verdict is in: it is through both mothering and fathering that a child is most successful.