A Canadian study by professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by married biological parents do better in school than children raised by same-sex couples. The study appears in the Review of Economics of the Household, which I understand is a peer-reviewed journal.
The study uses a random 20 percent sample of 2006 Canadian census data. According to the author, this sample size “allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children.”
The study finds that children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 percent as likely to graduate from high school compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.
Other studies, of course, have found no harm associated with child-raising by same-sex couples. But Allen has criticized those studies because “the samples are small and biased.” The people are “self-selected,” he argues, adding that “if you start with a biased sample, you can’t make a statement about the population as a whole.” Allen avoids this problem by using census data.
Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to access the abstract and first page of Professor Allen’s study. It will be interesting to read the whole thing, as well as the inevitable pushback by gay rights advocates.
I wouldn’t presume to pronounce what marriage is; after all, I’m not a federal judge. But if I were to attempt a definition, the pragmatist in me would be tempted to exclude gender pairings that are not only incapable, by definition, of producing children, but also don’t raise them very successfully.
Via Maggie Gallagher at NRO.