Study Claims Gays More Likely to Raise Gay Kids

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Oct 18, 2010

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?

Next: Truth and Politics


  • purplesax, 2010-10-18 15:09:05

    Schumm is another homophobe who cooks his data. Maybe he and George Rekers should carry each other’s luggage.

  • Spiritualrainbow, 2010-10-18 18:16:37

    Nonsense! Are they then saying that straight parents are more likely to raise straight kids? As far as I know ALL of the LGBT persons I know have been raised by straight parents! So what’s their point?

  • Neil from JP , 2010-10-20 00:16:00

    Actually im not totally surprised. I have two straight kids. My kids were born while I was in a hetero marriage. but if one of my kid’s ended up queer, it might have been it was because I was a queer man who took a while to understand who I was. My genes straight or queer were passed on. Either way, I love my kids.

  • fernsky, 2010-10-22 13:30:38

    The best way is to use partial truth, so I agree with Schumm to a certain extent. In my opinion we are the result of our environment whether we like it or not. So a boy with gay parents may be insulted at school and get closer to his parents, who will understand the problem, since his early years the kid has known the parents friends, all gay. This kid may become gay or think he is gay, as we live in a black and white society if you go to bed with a guy you’re a f... which couldn’t be further from the truth as there are sex drives, desires, needs to be fulfilled so there you are in bed with a guy and you’re thinking about Claudia Schiffer. To me what’s important is that we have an open society hence SSM is a step forward to acceptance of homosexuality.

  • , 2010-11-06 00:45:39

    If you were to look at this statistic realistically as a comparison as which it is proposed, that being between gay parenting and heterosexual parenting- you must first acknowledge the grave oversight. Parents of same sex partners would undoubtedly be 100% more open, understanding and accepting of a child coming out to them than that of all hetero partners. Thus, I believe that several of the children of hetero parents that claim or pass as hetero may in fact not be, making the comparison ratio null and void. Something to consider indeed...

  • , 2010-11-06 00:47:07

    Meaning, that a gay parent is much more likely to be aware that their child is gay than a straight parent.

  • , 2011-07-02 02:03:56

    Or, quite frankly, behaviors like "if you were gay I’d accept you" and "have you tried the same sex? Don’t count that out" plant seeds of ideas that affect how a child or teen sees themselves (they’re gay, they must know more than I do about my sexuality, I must be setting off some sort of gaydar...) and thus open them to try behaviors that affect the way their brain develops (teen brains undergo the most growth since they were teens and behaviors have been shown to affect brain development) which would affect gene exhibition (again, behavior has been linked to gene exhibition) thus causing someone who is bi or would possibly at some point be bi-curious to foster the homosexual side of that and cause them to be gay. Latest twin studies still confirm that homosexuality is, at best, very minorly caused only by genetics alone (but most behaviors are very minorly affected by genetics.)

  • , 2011-07-06 13:25:08

    No, that is not what I meant- Your sexuality is something within you- this may be hard for you to understand if you are not gay yourself, but easily put: you are straight ergo you are straight. It is just how you are. You naturally are attracted to those of the opposite sex and even if someone "suggests" something to you, you still feel attractions based upon your own internal workings. Children, young adults and adults alike have actually been the subject of psychological studies and experimentation where families have forced them to undergo electroshock therapy and other types of "therapy" to make them "un-gay" or straight rather. This is an example of the opposite.. and yet these individuals still remain gay, lesbian, or bisexual. From personal experience, my parents said negative things about the gay community or used inappropriate terms about them to subconsciously try and avoid me being gay. I came out two years ago. What I meant by saying that a gay parent would become aware more likely than a straight parent is that a child who is gay would feel more comfortable sharing that part of themselves with a gay parent unlike with straight parents because of social constructions and fear. I have known of others who grew up in a more open family and felt comfortable being open to their sexuality to find just as with gay children that they were straight. If you are a gay girl and you kiss a girl the feelings may be there in a romantic, sexual way. If this same gay girl kissed a boy she’d feel nothing but lips on lips. Now, if you are straight girl or boy and kiss a girl or boy conversely, you would not feel the attraction. Experimenting, doesn’t causeeeee you to be gay it allows you to evaluate if you are.

  • , 2011-09-12 19:01:03


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