Letters to the Editor

What matters is child’s well-being

In an age when information is becoming available faster than we can consume it, we have to be especially careful to evaluate what we read with a critical eye.

Recently, we read a letter in the CDT stating that “No credible social scientist would deny that the best environment for children to be raised is a stable, heterosexual marriage.” As a group of Penn State social scientists and their university and community colleagues, we felt compelled to inform your readership about what science actually says about the matter.

Over the past four decades, top researchers at major universities have investigated whether parents’ sexual orientation matters for children’s development. The evidence is clear: Children raised by same-sex parents are just as mentally healthy, socially competent and successful in school as children raised by heterosexual partners. What is necessary for healthy outcomes in children is having “safe, stable and nurturing relationships.” Details about the state of the science on family structure and child well-being are available at http://bit.ly/1DU9q2n.

It is the steady presence of loving parents, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or same-sex partners, that really matters for our children’s well-being. And what places children at risk for poorer outcomes are stress, economic disadvantage and discrimination. Therefore, the evidence from social science indicates rather convincingly that we should be appealing to our legislators to facilitate adoption of children into all loving and stable families, including those of same-sex partners, rather than discriminating against them.

Jose Soto, associate professor, and Kaytlynn Griswold, graduate student,

Department of Psychology

The above letter was submitted on behalf of more than 300 Penn State social scientists and their university and community colleagues.