Los Angeles – A new analysis finds that the 25-year-old children of lesbian parents are more likely than their peers to report same-sex attraction, sexual minority identity, and same-sex experiences. The 25-year-olds are participants in the ongoing US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), which has followed the same cohort of offspring from conception to adulthood. It has had a 92% retention rate since it began in 1986. The current analysis compared 76 offspring of lesbian parents and 76 demographically matched participants from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).
“Our 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that adults who were conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian parents are as psychologically healthy as their peers,” said lead author Nanette Gartrell, MD, of the Williams Institute. “Our current study suggests that being raised by sexual minority parents may lead to more diverse sexual expression for their adult daughters and sons.” Co-author Henny Bos, professor at the University of Amsterdam said, “The offspring of sexual minority parents may have more expansive perspectives on sexuality because they were raised by parents who are nonjudgmental about their exploration of non-heterosexual relationships.”
Key findings include that 31% of female and 73% of male offspring of lesbian parents reported being only attracted to the opposite sex, compared to 54% and 91% of NSFG females and males. Also, 54% of female and 33% of male of lesbian offspring reported having a same-sex sexual experience, compared to 38% and 9% of NSFG females and males. Seventy percent of female and nearly 90% of male lesbian offspring identified as heterosexual or straight, compared to 88% and 98% of NSFG females and males. Among the female offspring of lesbians, the percentage identifying as sexual minorities decreased from 49% to 30% between the ages of 17 and 25. In contrast, the percentage of female offspring of lesbians who had engaged in same-sex sexual behavior increased from 15% to 54% in the same period. The percentage of male offspring of lesbians identifying as sexual minorities decreased from 22% to 10% between the ages of 17 and 25, and the percentage reporting same-sex sexual experiences increased from 6% to 33%. (Seattle Gay News & the Williams Institute at Sgn.org/sgnnews47_12/page7.cfm)