Professore di Psicopatologia dello sviluppo, Dipartimento di Psicologia Dinamica e Clinica, “Sapienza” - Università di Roma
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Key words: Same-sex families, Psychosocial adjustment, Child development
There is still a very lively debate on social and legal rights for same-sex families. Nontraditional families constitute the vast majority of families in the industrialized world today. Like other contemporary families, same-sex families are facing new challenges and difficulties, like economic and legal disparities and social stigma, which can adversely affect children development. In this paper the author summarizes current knowledge on social, psychological, and sexual well-being in children raised by gay and lesbian parents. Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research support the idea that children reared by same-sex parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents on psychological health, social, cognitive and psychosexual development, peer relations, and school achievement. Results demonstrate that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.
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