Wednesday, October 19, 2005

And the survery says...

After a week vacation away from my computer, I returned home to find an interesting article in my inbox. According to Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston:

The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way.

Interesting. Of course, the American Medical Association has been decried by conservatives for years for being "biased," but I really wonder whether the so-called bias really predated any studies or physicians' personal experience with children of same-sex parents. Isn't it possible that doctors are "biased" in favor of same-sex couples because the evidence indicates that they can raise kids just as well as straight parents?

Given the emotional nature of the issue and for both sides to claim bias to any study that doesn't yield the results it's looking for, I especially noted the last part of the article:

While further study should be done, this is important for pediatricians to know so they can learn more about variations in families and give appropriate advice in optimizing the child's development, Perrin says.

Carol Berkowitz, MD, former president of AAP, says this analysis is important in that it combines evidence-based studies.

"This subject evokes a lot of emotions," she says. "Some of the studies on this subject in the past have been weighted and biased, based on nothing more than the researcher's views."

Evidence-based studies are important in helping pediatricians in their practices and creating policy for the future, she says.

I'm not a social scientist and I haven't read the studies in question, but it does seem like those involved are taking a careful look at these studies to make sure their findings are based on evidence and not bias.

I hope more studies are done. In the meantime, in the interest of children who are already in familes headed by same-sex couples, we need to make sure that their parents get all the help and support that their opposite-sex counterparts get. Raising kids is hard enough without laws that define family in a way that shuts your family out.


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