Paul Cameron
Homosexual parenting: Distorted science
By Paul Cameron
May 17, 2019


Professional mental health and psychological associations have long recommended placing children with homosexuals. Yet the empirical evidence does not support these recommendations. In fact, the evidence has been twisted, ignored, and/or distorted in the past four decades to fit a false narrative, one that harms kids. Many of the falsehoods appear in court documents or legislative deliberations with the aim of facilitating homosexual custody of children. Mental health professionals and their organizations assure us that LGBT placements are 'just as good' as traditional heterosexual placements. But the studies used as proof were reviewed by Cameron in 1999 [1] and Schumm 20 years later in 2019 [2]: both reviewers concluded that these studies actually indicate the opposite, that homosexuals provide poorer, often risky, placements for children.

Social science research in this vital area, although it has grown from when Cameron reviewed it, has been anything but 'self-correcting.' Instead it continues to be driven by the pro-LGBT narrative of the mental health establishment (e.g., American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations, National Association of Social Workers, etc.), rather than the wellbeing of children. Indeed, the misrepresentations, exaggerations, and lies needed to endorse the 'sameness' of homosexual parents were first noted in 1993 by Belcastro, Gramlich, Nicholson, Price, and Wilson [3], when few studies about homosexual parenting existed (most of them authored by openly homosexual researchers). The same dishonesty was evident in 1999, and Schumm documented the same kinds of shoddy and/or unethical scholarship through the 2000s.

The official stances of professional associations generally reflect the consensus of their members. Cameron and Cameron [4] analyzed 40 consecutive homosexual parent appeals cases from 1966-1991, and found psychiatric opinion in these cases ran 2:1 in favor of homosexual custody, even though the courts documented homosexual parents as of inferior character and the cause of almost all (97%) of the recorded harms to children.

Below are summaries of Cameron's (1999) and Schumm's (2019) reviews, as well as additional related evidence. As a general rule, LGBT or pro-LGBT investigators continue to publish studies largely in line with what both Cameron and Schumm contended. Predictably, the mental health establishment continues to regard the conclusions of these studies as 'gospel truth,' without much regard to what was actually done or what evidence was found.

Research Summaries
  • Cameron, P (1999) Homosexual parents: testing "common sense" – a literature review emphasizing the Golombok and Tasker longitudinal study of lesbians' children, Psychological Reports, 85, 282-322. [1]
Abstract: Counter to claims by the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, as well as numerous reviewers, that children raised by homosexuals and married heterosexuals do not differ, the elaborate social-personality theory called "common sense" predicts that because "like produces like" and because psychopathy/sociopathy informs the major expressions of social deviance including homosexuality, children of homosexuals will (1) be more frequently subjected to parental instability (of residence, sexual partners), and (2) have poorer peer and adult relationships. Also, as is held to be true of their parents, homosexuals' children will be more apt to (3) become homosexual, (4) be unstable (have emotional problems and difficulty forming lasting bonds) with reduced interest in natality, and (5) be sexually precocious and promiscuous.

Differences between homosexual and heterosexual comparison groups that bore on common sense were considered suggestive "bits" of empirical evidence. Differences that emerged within studies conducted by sympathetic researchers utilizing volunteer samples were considered bits of adverse evidence. Of 171 bits, 82 adverse and 55 non-adverse bits supported, while 34 bits fell against common sense. From this tentative method of counting, support was found for common sense beliefs that children of homosexuals will be more apt to become homosexual and have poorer peer relationships, while weaker support was found for some of the other predictions. As assessed in this way, the empirical evidence in the literature tended to lean against claims of "no differences" between children raised by homosexuals or heterosexuals. In particular, the strongly worded, official claims of there being "no differences" are overstatements. They amount to the organizations and some prominent researchers asserting that they have proven the null hypothesis, which is fundamentally impossible. It is likely that the nonsignificant statistical findings stressed thus far include Type Two errors created by volunteer samples, inadequate identification and measurement of likely differences, and refusal to interpret results in ways contrary to the sympathies of subjects, investigators, and the organizations.
  • Cameron P and Cameron K (1998) Homosexual parents: a comparative forensic study of character and harms to children, Psychological Reports, 82, 1133-1191. [4]
40 appeals cases of custody disputes drawn systematically from all cases involving a homosexual parent in the United States were compared to 38 appeals cases involving heterosexual custody disputes drawn randomly from listings under parental "character" and 18 appeals cases drawn randomly from listings under parental "character" and 18 appeals cases drawn randomly from "general" cases in Dicennial Digest from 1966 to 1991. Each case involving homosexual vs. heterosexual claimants was examined for recorded information about (1) the character of the homosexual parent, the associates of the homosexual parents, the heterosexual parents, and the associates of the heterosexual parent, (2) the effects, particularly harms, upon the child(ren), and (3) psychiatric opinion. 82% of the homosexual vs. 18% of the heterosexual parents and 54% of the homosexuals' associates vs. 19% of the heterosexuals' associates were recorded as having poor character in cases involving a homosexual claimant.

Of the 66 recorded harms, e.g., molestation, physical abuse, to the 73 children, homosexual persons accounted for 64 (97%). Of the 32 lesbians, 6 were recorded as having engaged in criminal activity and 3 of bringing false charges of child sexual abuse against the father. Psychiatric opinion, however, ran 25 to 12 in favor of custody for the homosexual parent. In the 36 heterosexual vs. heterosexual comparison cases, 38% of the heterosexual parents and 28% of their associates were recorded as having poor character. Six harms to their 105 children and 3 instances of criminality, but no false charges of sexual abuse were recorded. In the appeals court literature, homosexual parents were disproportionately of poor character and disproportionately associated with various harms to their children.
  • Schumm Walter (2019) More evidence backs up same-sex parenting assessment, Christian Concern, May 2; follow-on to Schumm's Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment by Wilberforce Publications, September 2018 [2]
The "No Difference" Idea Remains Popular

First, the "no difference" hypothesis about same-sex parenting continues to thrive. It would seem that most scholars continue to believe that same-sex parents and heterosexual parents are equally good, if not any different from each other. For example, Patterson, Farr, and Hastings (2015) argued that there were no differences in outcomes for children of same-sex parents, even in sexual orientation identity [5]. Davis (2015) argued that any idea that same-sex parents were less stable than heterosexual parents or that the children of same-sex parents were disadvantaged relative to children of heterosexual parents were misconceptions that did not fit current scientific evidence [6]. Fettro and Manning in a chapter in a 2019 book, Contemporary Parenting and Parenthood: From News Headlines to New Research, edited by Michelle Janning, argue no less than a dozen or so times in favor of it [7]. If voting were to determine scientific fact, one would have to accept as "fact" many things that may not be true. Nevertheless, my argument about the considerable popularity of the "no difference" hypothesis, regardless of its factual accuracy, remains valid.

Estimated Rates of Same-Sex Parenting Are Even Lower

Second, even Fettro and Manning concede that only about a quarter of a million children are now living in the United States in a "same-gender-couple family" [8]. This is most interesting because at one time, as early as 1984, it was commonplace for scholars to argue that there were up to 14 to 28 million children in the U.S. living with same-sex parents. In my book, I argued for an estimate of 200,000 same-sex parent couples raising children in the U.S., but the Williams Institute, of the UCLA School of Law, has since (July 2018) estimated that number to be only 114,000 [9]. If anything, my book overestimated the number of intact same-sex parent couples raising children in the United States.
  • Cameron P (2004) Numbers of homosexual parents living with their children, Psychological Reports, 94: 179-188. [10]
Summary: Those contending for the 'normalcy' of homosexuality claim there are 800,000 to 7 million homosexual parents raising between 1 and 9 million children. The 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse – a nationally-representative sample of 12,321 aged 18 through 59 yr. – reported about 416,000 parents (most of whom were married) living with children under the age of 17 yr. who reported same-sex "vaginal, oral or anal sex" in the past 12 months. Two random-sample surveys suggested that there are fewer than half a million homosexual parents, and a total sample of 14,000 mothers in Avon suggests even fewer. Thus, it is likely that fewer than 500,000 homosexual parents live with fewer than 750,000 children under 18 yr.

* * * * * * * * *

How many parents who live with children engage in homosexuality? The best estimate – since it is a total enumeration of a large unbiased sample – is the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which enrolled all 14,000 expectant mothers in Avon, England from mid-1991 through the end of 1992. The ALSPC found 20 lesbians – that is, 20/14,000 = 0.14% of mothers (Golombok, Perry, Burston, Murray, Mooney-Somers, Steven, & Golding, 2003) [11]. Avon is fairly typical of England, with a larger city (Bristol) and an overall population of a million. If the Avon findings were applied to the 35 million mothers with progeny estimated by the NHSDA (e.g., 35 million x 0.14), about 50,000 lesbian mothers in the U.S. would be indicated. While the Avon study did not include homosexual fathers, since homosexual women are more apt to be parents, the Avon study would suggest no more than 100,000 homosexual parents in the U.S.
  • Schumm W (2019) More evidence backs up same-sex parenting assessment, Christian Concern, May 2; follow-on to Schumm's Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment by Wilberforce Publications, September 2018 [2]
Lesbian Parents Continue to Experience High Rates of Instability

Patterson et al. cited parental instability as one of several factors not boding well for positive child outcomes [12]. As discussed in my book, new studies have continued to find that lesbian couples are more likely to break up over time than either gay or heterosexual couples [13]. Farr and Goldberg stated in 2019 that "beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, researchers documented a higher dissolution rate for same-sex couples as compared with heterosexual couples" [14].

Only a few years earlier, the same Goldberg, in her 2010 book, had argued that research on the dissolution of same-sex couples was "quite slim" [15] and used Gartrell's longitudinal study of lesbian mothers to argue that break-up rates were similar for heterosexual and lesbian parents [16], although on page 26 Goldberg argued that lesbian women might have more stable relationships due to their (female) enhanced communication skills. However, as of 2019, Gartrell and her colleagues reported in the Journal of Lesbian Studies that over 62% of the same lesbian mothers had broken up by the time their focal child reached 25 years of age [17].

So, we have lesbian women more likely to become parents than gay men but also more likely to dissolve their relationships. Would not those facts lead to greater harms to their children – and to more children, relative to gay parents – because of the higher rates of instability? Furthermore, in some studies (such as, Balsam, Rothblum, and Wickham), the annual incomes of gay parents are substantially higher than those of lesbian or heterosexual parents. Any apparent advantages in stability could reflect that income differential. The bottom line remains that lesbian couples increasingly appear to have less stable relationships than either heterosexual couples or gay couples, as indicated in my book.
  • Cameron P and Cameron K (2002) Children of homosexual parents report childhood difficulties, Psychological Reports, 90, 71-82. [18]
Summary: Referenced as both supporting and weakening the case for parenting by homosexuals, 57 life-story narratives of children with homosexual parents published by Rafkin in 1990 and Saffron in 1996 were subjected to content analysis. Children mentioned one or more problems/concerns in 48 (92%) of 52 families. Of the 213 scored problems, 201 (94%) were attributed to the homosexual parent(s) [3 most frequently mentioned problems: emotional upset (34 mentions); instability of partner or residence (34 mentions); need for secrecy lest parental homosexuality become known to peers (32 mentions)].

Older daughters in at least 8 (27%) of 30 families and older sons in at least 2 (20%) of 10 families described themselves as homosexual or bisexual. These findings are inconsistent with propositions that children of homosexuals do not differ appreciably from those who live with married parents or that children of homosexuals are not more apt to engage in homosexuality.
  • Schumm W (2019) More evidence backs up same-sex parenting assessment, Christian Concern, May 2; follow-on to Schumm's Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment by Wilberforce Publications, September 2018 [2]
Educational Achievements of Children/Family Incomes

Much ink has been spilled on the outcomes for secondary education for the children of same-sex parents. I was recently asked to review an unpublished paper on such outcomes in the Netherlands [19]. On the surface, it appeared that the children of same-sex parents were doing slightly better than others in educational progress. It wasn't until the last table on the last page of the paper that it was revealed that the married same-sex parents were earning nearly twice as much as most of the other parents. I am not sure that statistical controls can control adequately for such huge pre-existing differences.

Thus, as we continue to study children's outcomes in a variety of areas of interest, we will need to take into consideration both parental stability and parental socioeconomic status before we rush to any firm conclusions about the role of parental sexual orientation or gender composition (there could be heterosexual parents of the same gender, as two widowed sisters or a mother and an older daughter raising young children).

Even so, if there do not appear to be significant direct effects of parental sexual orientation or gender composition, we should investigate whether the indirect effects are statistically significant. As I stated in my book, we need to test more complex models of the effects of parenting rather than merely making surface comparisons.

Sexual Orientation of Children

Another two areas in the book that have received confirmation recently include the issue of whether same-sex parents are more likely to raise LGB children. Gartrell, Bos, and Koh and her colleagues recently reported on the LGB issue and found that at age 25, the children of lesbian mothers were more likely than a comparison group to report being lesbian, gay, or bisexual in terms of attraction, identity, and behaviour, with daughters reporting higher rates than sons. Nearly 69% of the daughters of Gartrell's lesbian parents reported being sexually attracted to women (and/or males); 30% reported being lesbian or bisexual; 54% reported having had same-sex sexual experience. Rates for sons of the lesbian mothers were 27%, 10%, and 33%, respectively [20]. The corresponding rates for the matched control group were, using weighted data, for women: 46.1%, 12.3%, 37.6%; and for men: 8.8%, 2.4%, and 8.8%.
  • Cameron P (2006) Children of homosexuals and transsexuals more apt to be homosexual, Journal of Biosocial Science, 38, 413-418. [21]
Summary: Do the sexual inclinations of parents influence those of their children? Of 77 adult children of homosexual parents who volunteered for 3 different investigations: at least 23 (30%) were currently homosexual (12 [55%] of 22 daughters and 3 [21%] of 14 sons of lesbians; 5 [29%] of 17 daughters and 3 [17%] of 18 sons of gays; none of 6 sons with both a gay and a lesbian parent), while at least 25 (32%) were currently heterosexual. Of the 10 with transsexual parents: 1 of 9 daughters was currently lesbian, 1 currently heterosexual, and 1 transsexual, the son's sexual preference was not reported. These findings suggest that parents' sexual inclinations influence their children's.

Comment: Notice the close match between the sets of children in Cameron and Cameron (2002) [18] and Cameron (2006) [21] and the 30% of daughters and 10% of sons of lesbians being LGB as reported by Gartrell, et al. [20]
  • Schumm W (2019) More evidence backs up same-sex parenting assessment, Christian Concern, May 2; follow-on to Schumm's Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment by Wilberforce Publications, September 2018 [2]
Mental Health of Children

Furthermore, Gartrell, Bos, and Koh found in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that the children of lesbian mothers reported worse mental health, especially in terms of depression or anxiety, than those children of the control group (p = .01); however, that fact was obscured when the required significance level was artificially divided by 24, which rendered all of the results seemingly non-significant. However, the larger effect sizes were in the small to moderate range (0.22 to 0.46), which would suggest that the adverse effects were nonetheless real [22].


Contrary to much of earlier social science, my book provided evidence that (1) estimates had been exaggerated regarding the number of intact same-sex couples raising children, (2) same-sex parents had higher rates of instability, (3) children of same-sex parents were more likely to grow up to be LGBT, (4) often their educational attainments were lower, although also influenced by parental socioeconomic status and instability, and (5) while same-sex parents reported that their children were doing well in terms of mental health, reports from the children themselves or other adults were often less positive. Research reported since the book was finished has continued to reaffirm what was reported in the book.

Final Thoughts

As evident above, research regarding homosexuals as parents is corrupt because it has been captured by homosexuals and homosexual apologists. They dominate research on homosexual parenting to such a degree that contrary opinions or research are forbidden in any major, main-line journal (or publisher) in pediatrics, psychology, social service, sociology, or medicine. The last major article in dissent, by Regnerus (2012) [23], was a very good piece of research in every respect – certainly superior to the bulk of empirical publications in the field. But once it was published, the outrage, threats, and charges laid against Regnerus assured that he would never publish in this area again (although he kept his job). This is not freedom of speech. Indeed, this is tyranny.

Science and politics are arguably the two areas in which freedom of speech is vital. How, without hearing dissenting views can 'the truth' be arrived at? Unlike politics, in which lying has come to be expected, science is supposed to approximate a court of law. A finding or discovery is advanced with an explanation. Others agree or disagree based on their evidence and examination of the evidence of the originator. Though there is no judge to keep order, those who don the mantle of scientist are supposed to practice the kinds of restraint and respect that you might find in a courtroom.

Since pro-homosexual investigators entered en masse, any sense of courtroom decorum has disappeared. One side – with shoddy logic and untoward motives – controls almost everything. This situation suits the mental health establishment just fine. It, after all, controls the journals and influences the publishers enabling the current state of affairs. The iron lock between the mental health profession and homosexuals – characterized by total disregard for honor and any semblance of courtroom logic and protocol – should damn them both in any reasoned view.

Consider child placement. We know a married mother and father are, in general, the best option. Likewise, that giving a child instead to an unmarried woman or man would be an inferior choice. Yet there is no lobby of academics doing studies trying to prove that 'one parent is as good as two parents,' or 'one unmarried parent is as good as two married parents.' By contrast, the bulk of studies on homosexual parents have been conducted by homosexual investigators. As Belcastro, et al., Cameron, and Schumm have noted in instance after instance, the literature in this field is full of 'questionable stuff' that does not meet standards of intellectual or scholarly rigor. And while you can find mistakes, exaggerations, etc. in almost any set of papers, the sheer density of such problems in this literature is astoundingly constant.

That the mental health establishment publishes and cites this literature in courts, classrooms, and legislatures – to put the desires of homosexuals over the well-being of children – speaks volumes about their motivations, honor, and perspicacity. Whatever 'good mental health' means, it does not seem to be associated with care for children or honest, careful, replicable research when it comes to homosexuality. Indeed, when it comes to children, mental health professionals use some of their shoddiest research, though children are one of the most important elements of any society.

Advocacy research is always suspect, and it is especially consequential in this arena. Homosexual censorship over our culture, not just academia, grows daily. And the results are as predictably corrupt and corrupting as what has happened in this narrow field of research. Like studies of homosexual parenting, a similar pattern is being borne out in other parts of society. In part due to the 'scientific' claims of mental health experts and subsequent pressure to change its stance, the Roman Catholic Church welcomed 'celibate' homosexuals into its priesthood. That welcoming has turned out less than well; indeed, it is severely damaging and may even end Catholicism. These self-proclaimed 'experts' told society that homosexuality was a 'normal, healthy variant' of human sexuality, and advised that homosexuals be accepted throughout society. As a consequence, the West is slowly but surely reaping the whirlwind – one child at a time.


[1] Cameron P (1999) Homosexual parents: testing "common sense" – a literature review emphasizing the Golombok and Tasker longitudinal study of lesbians' children. Psychological Reports, 85:282-322.

[2] Schumm W (2019) More evidence backs up same-sex parenting assessment. Christian Concern, May 2; follow-on to Schumm's Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment, Wilberforce Publications, September 2018.

[3] Belcastro PA, Gramlich T, Nicholson T, Price J, & Wilson R (1993) A review of data-based studies addressing the effects of homosexual parenting on children's sexual and social functioning. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 20:105-122.

[4] Cameron P & Cameron K (1998) Homosexual parents: a comparative forensic study of character and harms to children. Psychological Reports, 82:1133-1191.

[5] Patterson CJ, Farr RH, & Hastings PD (2015) Socialization in the context of family diversity. In J Grusec & P Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research (pp. 202-227). New York: Guilford Press.

[6] Davis RR (2015, September) Sexual orientation and mental health: current evidence and misconceptions. Paper prepared for the International Women's Human Rights Clinic at City University of New York School of Law, Iraq LGBT Project. New York, NY: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Social Science & Public Policy Center.

[7] Fettro MN & Manning WD (2019). Child well-being in same-gender-parent families: Courts, media, and social science research. In MY Janning (Ed.), Contemporary Parenting and Parenthood: From News Headlines to New Research (pp. 283-301). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger (ABC-CLIO, LLC).

[8] Fettro & Manning (2019), p. 285.

[9] Goldberg SK & Conron KJ (2018, July) How Many Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Are Raising Children? Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law.

[10] Cameron P (2004) Numbers of homosexual parents living with their children. Psychological Reports, 94: 179-188.

[11] Golombok S, Perry B, Burston A, Murray C, Mooney-Somers J, Stevens M, & Golding J (2003) Children with lesbian parents: a community study. Developmental Psychology, 39, 20-33.

[12] Patterson, Farr & Hastings (2015).

[13] Such as, Balsam KF, Rothblum ED, & Wickham RE (2017) Longitudinal predictors of relationship dissolution among same-sex and heterosexual couples. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 6(4), 247-257.

[14] Farr RH & Goldberg AE (2019) Same-sex relationship dissolution and divorce: how will children be affected? In AE Goldberg & AP Romero (Eds.), LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution: Psychological and Legal Perspectives and Implications for Practice (pp. 151-172). New York, NY: Oxford University Press, p. 152.

[15] Goldberg AE (2010). Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, p. 114.

[16] Gartrell N, Deck A, Rodas C, Peyser H, & Banks A (2006) The USA National Lesbian Family Study: interviews with mothers of 10-year-olds. Feminism & Psychology, 16, 175-192, p. 115.

[17] Koh AS, Bos HMW, & Gartrell NK (2019) Predictors of mental health in emerging adult offspring of lesbian-parent families. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 23, 257-278.

[18] Cameron P and Cameron K (2002) Children of homosexual parents report childhood difficulties. Psychological Reports, 90, 71-82.

[19] Mazrekaj D, de Witte K, & Cabus S (2018) School outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples: evidence from administrative panel data. Working paper, Leuven Economics of Education Research (LEER), Leuven, The Netherlands.

[20] Gartrell N, Bos H, & Koh A (2019) Sexual attraction, sexual identity, and same-sex sexual experiences of adult offspring in the U.S.: National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, online advance.

[21] Cameron P (2006) Children of homosexuals and transsexuals more apt to be homosexual. Journal of Biosocial Science, 38, 413-418.

[22] Gartrell N, Bos H, & Koh A (2018) National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study – mental health of adult offspring. New England Journal of Medicine, 379:297-299.

[23] Regnerus M (2012) How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study. Social Science Research, 41(4), 752-770.

© Paul Cameron


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Paul Cameron

Dr. Paul Cameron was the first scientist to document the harmful health effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. He has published extensively on LGBT issues in refereed scientific journals. In 1978 he predicted that equal treatment of homosexuality and heterosexuality would strongly favor growing homosexuality and shrinking heterosexuality. His prediction is coming true.


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