Girls with lesbian parents 45% less likely to graduate high school
November 6, 2013 (Heritage) – Children living with married opposite-sex parents were more likely to graduate from high school than peers living with cohabiting, single, or same-sex parents, according to a new study in the Review of the Economics of Households.
This finding is consistent with the decades of research on children’s educational outcomes and family structure. However, this study is relatively unique because it uses data (a 20 percent sample of the 2006 Canadian census) that offers a sufficiently large nationally representative sample of children (ages 17–22) in same-sex-parent homes. So far, only four studies analyzing three U.S. datasets offer such or similar data (two on the 2000 U.S. Census, one on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, and another on the New Family Structure Study).
The Canadian data has several advantages for studying the topic, including:
- In Canada, taxation and government benefits have been available to same-sex couples since 1997, and Canadian law recognized same-sex marriage beginning in 2005.
- Children self-identified as living with same-sex parents.
Specifically, the study looks at the likelihood of graduating from high school. It identifies six family types: married opposite-sex (which may include remarried parents), common law opposite-sex, gay parents (two dads, married or common law); lesbian parents (two moms, married or common law), single mothers, and single fathers. It also accounts for important characteristics of children and parents.
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