A long-term study of lesbian parents and their children has turned up a surprising statistic: there is no sexual or physical abuse. Not a single case. The abuse rate in the lesbian households studied was literally zero percent.
Compare that to the 26% of teens in the general population who report being abused by their parents, and lesbian moms seem pretty awesome.
That’s a great headline for queer mamas who are too frequently called on to defend their lifestyle and parenting choices, simply because of who they are. But can it possibly be accurate?
Of course not. Lesbian moms, as a group, may be the rock stars of the parenting world. But no demographic group is perfect. They’re human, and diverse, and complicated. Somewhere, a woman who loves women is probably mistreating her kids.
The study this statistic came from is valuable because it was extremely long-term, following these families through their children’s lives for many years. The downside is that they had a remarkably small sample size: only 78 kids participated. All the study subjects had to have their parents’ permission to talk to interviewers.
So the abuse rate in a small, self-selected group of lesbian families is zero. That I can believe.
The study authors point out that there are good reasons to believe the abuse rate in lesbian households everywhere is nearly nil: most physical or sexual abuse is perpetrated by heterosexual men. Living in households without straight men might really dramatically lower these kids’ risk of being abused.
At the very least, this study should help to further dispel the awful misconception that kids with gay parents are somehow at a higher risk for being abused.
Photo: Drab Makyo