Study Claims Gays More Likely to Raise Gay Kids
A researcher claims to have demonstrated that factors other than genetics come into play in determining an individual's sexual orientation. Specifically, he argues, children of gay parents are more likely to be gay themselves.
In a report that is sure to be embraced by anti-gay groups and reviled by pro-equality organizations, Walter Schumm purports to demonstrate that children of gay and lesbian parents are much more likely to grow up to identify as gay or lesbian themselves. Nor is it all a matter of gay genes being passed from parents to children; according to Schumm, parental pressure and modeling also have an effect.
Schumm is a professor with Kansas State University. His paper, "Children of homosexuals more apt to be homosexuals: A reply to Morrison and to Cameron based on an examination of multiple sources of data," has been published in Journal of Biosocial Science. An AOLNews story from Oct. 17 says that he was inspired to look into the question of whether gay parents could influence their children's' sexuality in ways that go beyond genetics when Paul Cameron published a paper, based on very little research, that claimed that gays raising children led to more children growing up gay.
Cameron is a leading anti-gay activist who has been expelled from the membership of the American Psychological Association and criticized by mental health professionals for "misrepresentation": of scientific data regarding gays. Cameron is the founder of anti-gay group the Family Research Institute. He is known for having authored a study claiming that being gay sharply reduces an individual's lifespan and for having made the claim that homosexuals are far more likely to sexually molest children than heterosexuals are.
Schumm set out to explore the question of how much influence parents have over their children's sexuality by looking over previous studies done by others--a process called "meta-research." "I'm trying to prove that it's not 100 percent genetic," Schumm told AOLNews. To do that, Schumm re-examined a body of research through several filters, only using data relevant to parents who declare themselves to be gay and only using data that comes from children who are in their 20s, among other things. The results of his meta-research indicated that the rates of gay children are much higher when they have gay parents: nearly two-thirds (58%) of lesbians' adult children are gay, as are one-third (33%) of gay men's' adult children.
AOLNews reported that Schumm also sought to prove the part of his thesis that suggests that people will be gay in higher numbers where there is support for homosexuality, as would be the case in households with same-sex parents. By looking at sociological and anthropological studies, Schumm says, he determined that nearly 90% of the time when there is greater acceptance of homosexuals in a society, there is also a higher rate of homosexual conduct.
Schumm told AOLNews that lesbian mothers tend to discourage their female offspring from pursuing relationships with men, claiming that among lesbians there are some that have "a hatred of men that's intense."
But does that mean that more children actually become gay who would not otherwise have been gay, due to the presence in their lives of gay parents? Or does it mean that fewer gay children feel pressured into denying their sexuality and passing as straight?
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