In 2005 the APA famously articulated the “no difference” thesis: the moral equivalence of children’s outcomes in regards to heterosexual and gay parenting. The debate was apparently over, but two studies released last week have reignited the issue. The first study contends the samplings of the previous 59 studies were selective by focusing on the most successful gay parents, well-to-do lesbian couples from metropolitan areas. The second study argues heterosexual parenting is more stable than gay parenting because the former has ‘kin altruism’ (i.e. a natural tie between the parents and children).
Gay Marriage advocates retort the cause of instability among gay parents is not ‘kin altruism’ or natural bonds, but gay marriage. Once gay parents receive public approval, their stability rates will go up. This could be true, but it still means the ‘no difference’ thesis has to be put on hold until then.
Slate’s William Saletan has a different spin on it. He concedes nature is a roadblock for gay parents, but believes modern reproductive technology can remove it. Gay parents could increase their stability rates by imitating the biological/natural model by using the eggs or sperm of the non-biological parent. Again, this could be true, but it still means the jury is still out on heterosexual v. gay parenting. And until it convenes, History’s forward march will have to slow down a little.