BEHS 343 Non-traditional families

BEHS 343 Non-traditional families

BEHS 343 Non-traditional families

Education, exposure, and the progressive evolution of society have given people more freedom and choices in life. The family structure is among the most impacted areas. Same-sex parenting is on the rise, dismantling the traditional family structure and its norms and relevance. Sadly, same-sex parents are highly stigmatized compared to heterosexual parents. The stigma and discrimination from family members and the broader society are leading causes of mental health problems among same-sex parents (Assink et al., 2022). Children may also question their identity as they grow and interact with others from different families.

Research provides contrasting opinions about the outcomes for children growing up under same-sex parents. Farr and Vázquez (2020) argued that children’s productivity, health, and performance in schools do not primarily depend on the family structure. Instead, the relationship dynamics between family members determine outcomes. As a result, children from same-sex parents grow healthily and productively, provided that they live in a comfortable and safe home environment. Mazrekaj et al. (2020) found that, in many instances, children from same-sex couples perform better than children raised by different-sex parents from birth. Both studies stress the role of relationship dynamics in influencing children’s outcomes positively despite the challenges (stigma and discrimination) that same-sex couples face.

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News Article Summary

The concept of same-sex parenting is widely discussed in the news as an illustration of the changing family structure.

BEHS 343 Non-traditional families
BEHS 343 Non-traditional families

Winfield (2023) argued that laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity are the primary cause of harassment and stigmatization that sexual minorities face. As a result, legal interventions are needed to ensure that children growing up under same-sex parents are healthy and protected from harassment and violence. Such protection will improve mental health in same-sex families since social stigmatization and discrimination are leading causes of mental health problems in such unions. Furthermore, the identity of same-sex parenting will be protected and embraced as society continues to evolve.

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References

Assink, M., Rothblum, E. D., Wilson, B. D., Gartrell, N., & Bos, H. M. (2022). Mental health of lesbian, bisexual, and other-identified parents and non-parents from a population-based study. Journal of Homosexuality69(2), 205-229. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2021.1892401

Farr, R. H., & Vázquez, C. P. (2020). Stigma experiences, mental health, perceived parenting competence, and parent–child relationships among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents in the United States. Frontiers in Psychology11, 445. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00445

Mazrekaj, D., De Witte, K., & Cabus, S. (2020). School outcomes of children raised by same-sex parents: Evidence from administrative panel data. American Sociological Review85(5), 830-856. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122420957249

Winfield, N. (2023). Pope Francis says homosexuality is a sin but not a crime. PBS New Hour. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/pope-francis-says-homosexuality-is-a-sin-but-not-a-crime