A study reveals that children of lesbian parents may have more expansive views on sexuality and are less likely to identify themselves as heterosexuals.

Based on the latest publication of the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study or NLLFS, young adults coming from planned lesbian families are more likely to report same-sex attraction, sexual minority identity, and same-sex experience. Overall, it also found that children raised by lesbian parents are as psychologically healthy as their peers.

An estimated 6 million children and adults in the United States have LGBT parents.

Children From Planned Lesbian Families

The nationwide study started in 1986 and documented the children of lesbian couples since their conception to adulthood.

The objective of the research was to understand the first generation of children conceived through donor insemination in the United States. It also aims to challenge ancient stereotypes and fears concerning the mental health and sexual orientation of these children.

The study involved 76 young adults conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian parents. They were demographically matched with 76 other individuals from the National Survey of Family Growth or NSFG.

The offsprings who are now in their mid-20s were asked questions related to their sexual attraction, identification, and behavior.

"Our current study suggests that being raised by sexual minority parents may lead to a more diverse sexual expression for their adult daughters and sons," said Nanette Gartrell, MD, of the Williams Institute and lead author of the study.

Compared to their peers, children from planned lesbian families may be more likely to show diversity in sexual attraction, identity, and sexual expression.

Key Results

Only 70 percent of daughters and almost 90 percent of sons of lesbian parents identified as heterosexual or straight. More men and women from the other group identified themselves as heterosexuals.

The percentage of male and female children that reported being only attracted to the opposite sex was lower in the group of children from sexual minority parents as compared to individuals in the matched group.

On the other hand, more children in the NLLFS group reported having same-sex experience between the ages of 17 and 25, with 54 percent of women and 33 percent of men compared to only 38 percent of females and 9 percent of males in the counterpart group.

The study suggests that children from lesbian families may also be more attuned to their own same-sex sexual feelings because of the environment in which they were raised.

The entire study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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