What effect does having LGBT parents have on children? [aacap.org]

An excellent study on the outcomes of children raised by gay/lesbian parents has been published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

No. 92; August 2011
Click here to download and print a PDF version of this document.

Millions of children in the United States have lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT)  parents. Some children of LGBT parents were conceived in heterosexual marriages or relationships. An increasing number of LGBT parents have conceived children and/or raised them from birth, either as single parents or in ongoing committed relationships. This can occur through adoption, alternative insemination, surrogate or foster parenting. A small number of states currently have laws supportive of LGBT couple adoption.

What effect does having LGBT parents have on children?

Sometimes people are concerned that children being raised by a gay parent will need extra emotional support or face unique social stressors.Current research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults. It is important for parents to understand that it is the the quality of the parent/child relationship and not the parent’s sexual orientation that has an effect on a child’s development. Research has shown that in contrast to common beliefs, children of lesbian, gay, or transgender parents:

  • Are not more likely to be gay than children with heterosexual parents.
  • Are not more likely to be sexually abused.
  • Do not show differences in whether they think of themselves as male or female (gender identity).
  • Do not show differences in their male and female behaviors (gender role behavior).

Raising children in a LGBT household

Although research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents are as well adjusted as children with heterosexual parents, they can face some additional challenges. Some LGBT families face discrimination in their communities and children may be teased or bullied by peers. Parents can help their children cope with these pressures in the following ways:

  • Prepare your child to handle questions and comments about their background or family.
  • Allow for open communication and discussions that are appropriate to your child’s age and level of maturity.
  • Help your child come up with and practice appropriate responses to teasing or mean remarks.
  • Use books, Web sites and movies that show children in LGBT families.
  • Consider having a support network for your child (For example, having your child meet other children with gay parents.)
  • Consider living in a community where diversity is more accepted.

Like all children, most children with LGBT parents will have both good and bad times. They are not more likely than children of heterosexual parents to develop emotional or behavioral problems. If LGBT parents have questions or concerns about their child, they should consider a consultation with a qualified mental health professional.



How Could Anyone Be Against Gay Marriage After Watching This? [gawker.com]

By Matt Cherette / gawker.com

One reason why some people oppose same-sex marriage is that they’ve never met a happy, loving gay couple or family. That’s what the Campaign for Southern Equality is trying to change with the WE DO Campaign.

For the past 10 days, same-sex couples in Asheville, North Carolina have been showing up to the county register’s office to politely request marriage licenses. They’ve all been denied, since North Carolina doesn’t permit gay couples to marry. (A proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage comes up in May.) But it certainly puts a human face on the struggle for marriage equality.



Women Don’t Go After the Big Jobs with Gusto: True or False? [hbr.org]

by Christine Silva and Nancy Carter / Harvard Business Review

Want to get ahead in your career? We all know the proactive career advancement strategies you should use. Let your boss know you’re ready for that high-profile assignment he’s seeking to fill. Tell him clearly and directly about your career aspirations, and that you’re willing to work longer hours. Don’t just build a relationship with your boss—also be sure to rub shoulders with your boss’s boss. Oh, and meanwhile keep your options open by constantly surfacing opportunities outside your organization, as well.

It’s all sound enough advice—but the problem is, it doesn’t work for everyone. Catalyst’s latest research on the career trajectories of high-potential men and women finds that doing “all the right things” to get ahead—using those strategies that are regularly promulgated in self-help books, coaching sessions, and the popular press—pays off much better for men than it does for women.

It isn’t that women are neglecting to wage the campaigns. In the large population of high-potentials we’ve been tracking, Catalyst finds equal proportions of women and men using proactive strategies. Many in both groups report seeking high-profile assignments, networking with influential leaders, and making their accomplishments more visible, among other tactics. But regardless of the career advancement strategies used—proactive or relatively inactive, internally- or externally-focused—men were more likely than women to have reached the senior executive/CEO ranks. Most interestingly, while within the group of men we surveyed, more proactivity meant greater advancement, among the women, this wasn’t the case. Employing the prescribed proactive strategies didn’t make as much of a difference to women’s career advancement.

What does work best for women? Among the career advancement tactics we studied, one stood out as having greatest impact. The women who did more to make their achievements known advanced further, were more satisfied with their careers, and had greater compensation growth. (A second strategy was also effective: Women advanced further when they proactively networked with influential others.)

The implication for women is obvious. They should continue to ensure that their managers are aware of their accomplishments, seek feedback and credit as appropriate, and ask for promotions when they are deserved, just as the high-potential women we’ve followed have been doing. Helping others recognize their contributions will help women get ahead further and faster.

Unfortunately, it won’t be enough to close a gender gap that begins to appear on day one. Among high-potential employees—the people companies invest significant dollars to recruit, develop, and advance—Catalyst research has documented that women lag men with respect to both level and compensation starting with their very first job out of business school. Worse, the pay gap grows throughout a woman’s career. In one of our previous studies, we reported that the gap between women’s and men’s salaries in their first post-MBA jobs was $4,600. By the time of our latest survey, as the careers of these same high-potentials had progressed, the gender gap in pay had increased to over $31,000. When you start from behind, it’s hard enough to keep pace, never mind catch up—regardless of what tactics you use.

And no, it’s not that women are less ambitious, or that they have too few mentors, or that they take time out to have children. Catalyst has examined all these supposed explanations and finds that, still, the gender gap in both advancement and compensation persists.

And with these most recent findings, yet another myth is busted: the one that says women fail to pursue their career goals as proactively as men. The truth is that women do, but even when they make use of the same strategies, they still don’t get as far ahead.

This brings us to implications for organizations. If the issue isn’t a difference of behavior between their high-potential men and women, then the problem can be laid at their doorsteps. Why does being proactive pay off more for the men than for the women in their ranks?

Take a look at your culture—the way things are done in your workplace. To what extent are people advanced and compensated based on their strategic career tactics versus their skills and performance? How, then, are people being coached to get ahead? Are there assumptions made that what has worked for men in the past will work for women? And when women and men use the same strategies, are reactions and evaluations sometimes different?

Individuals who don’t strategically manage their careers run the risk of lagging their peers. Likewise, organizations that allow individuals’ use of advancement strategies to overly influence talent management decisions without checks and balances are at risk of lagging their competitors in attracting, developing, and retaining the best candidates—and in particular high-potential women—to serve as their next generation of leaders.

In the coming weeks, we will unpack some of the other myths around “ideal workers.” Are men paid for potential while women are paid for proven performance? Are women intentionally seeking slower tracks? Does the gender gap exist because “women don’t ask”?

The answers may surprise you—and change the way you do business.


Can’t Buy Love: Materialism Kills Marriages [abc.com]

by Courtney Hutchison / abc.com

Focusing too heavily on the “for richer” part of the nuptial vows could spell disaster for a marriage, according to research published today by Brigham Young University.

In a survey of 1,700 married couples, researchers found that couples in which one or both partners placed a high priority on getting or spending money were much less likely to have satisfying and stable marriages.

“Our study found that materialism was associated with spouses having lower levels of responsiveness and less emotional maturity. Materialism was also linked to less effective communication, higher levels of negative conflict, lower relationship satisfaction, and less marriage stability,” said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life in Provo, Utah, and lead author of the study.

Researchers gauged materialism using self-report surveys that asked questions such as to what extent do you agree with these statements? “I like to own things to impress people” or “money can buy happiness.” Spouses were then surveyed on aspects of their marriage.

For one out of every five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. These couples were worse off in terms of marriage stability, marriage satisfaction, communications skills and other metrics of healthy matrimony that researchers studied.

The one out of seven couples that reported low-levels of materialism in both partners scored 10 to 15 percent higher in all metrics of marital quality and satisfaction. Interestingly, the correlation between materialism and marital difficulties remained stable regardless of the actual wealth of the couple.


The Things That Money Just Can’t Buy

Study authors and marriage experts noted that the findings probably have to do with the personality traits that go along with materialism. They will be published today in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.

“The finding does not necessarily mean that it is the materialism itself that damages their relationships. … A materialistic orientation may be associated with other unidentified factors, such as childhood deprivation or neglect, which might play a more pivotal role in adult marital satisfaction,” said Don Catherall, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University in Chicago. “Of course, it may also simply mean that people who are more focused on making money have less energy and interest left to invest in their marriages.”

Click here to continue reading the article…

Effort To Repeal Gay History Law Fails [jezebel.com]

by Margaret Hartmann / Jezebel.com

The group Stop SB48 has been working torepeal a new California law that requires public schools to teach social studies lessons on the contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, but yesterday it failed to collect the signatures necessary to put the issue on the ballot. That means the law will go into effect on January 1, but Stop SB48 is expected to keep working to repeal the measure in the November 2012 election. If there’s one thing that’s worth protesting in the U.S., it’s kids spending 20 minutes learning about Harvey Milk.



Governor Brown signs notable transgender bills into law [lgbtweekly.com]

Governor Brown announced Sunday that two important transgender bills have been signed into California law, making the state less discriminatory against its transgender population. The first passed law, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, will protect transgender people against discrimination in the workplace, school, housing, and other public settings. The second law, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, will allow transgender people to protect their gender through a court-ordered change.

The laws, AB 443 and AB 887 is an epic movement for transgender people in California since it now legally protects the group.

“California laws protect people from discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression [because] California non-discrimination laws define ‘gender’ to mean sex including a person’s gender identity (how they seem themselves) and gender expression (how other people see them),” said Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) prior to the law’s passing.

Atkins added: “In 2009, the Transgender Law Center released its “State of Transgender California” report. The report revealed overwhelmingly that Californians who experience discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression at work or elsewhere often times do not file complaints because they are unaware that they are protected as a result of confusing non-discrimination laws.”

Atkins explained the bill was proposed because of its aim to reduce discrimination with legal language that is “direct and easily understood” so employers, housing officials, and other groups can adhere to laws that now protect the group.

The laws are an important stride for transgender people in California, and will help set example for other states considering transgender protection through instituted laws.