Future of Children: What is Next for Research on LGBT Families

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Friday 16th October 2015
Summary: Authored by Gary J. Gates, the chapter notes that as same-sex couples marry, research can focus more on how dynamics of LGBT parenting and families can provide insights into the functioning of all families.

A chapter on LGBT families released today in the newest issue of "The Future of Children" summarizes the demographic characteristics of LGBT families, assesses the role of social science in debates about marriage equality and highlights new areas of family research.

Authored by Gary J. Gates, Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, the chapter notes that as same-sex couples marry, new research can focus more on how the dynamics of LGBT parenting and families can provide insights into the functioning of all families, regardless of the gender composition, sexual orientation, or gender identity of parents.

"With the resolution of the national debate on marriage equality, scholars can focus their research on new and interesting topics such as differences in the division of labor between same-sex and different-sex married couples," Gates said.

Key findings from the chapter include:

As debates about marriage equality cool, scholars can work in a less volatile political and social environment and advance much-needed research on parenting and family formation in the LGBT population. New research questions could include:

A collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, "The Future of Children" is a journal that translates the best social science research about children and youth into information that is useful to policymakers, practitioners, grant-makers, advocates, the media, and students of public policy.

The Chapter - http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/MarriageandFamily.pdf

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