Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 17 (ANI): Myth busted! there is no major difference in the gender identity development of a kid being raised by same-sex parents or heterosexual couples, reveals a study.
Lead author Rachel Farr of the University of Kentucky in the US says that the toys that children prefer to play in their preschool years are a much more tell-tale about whether they will grow up to conform to typical gender norms or not.
Researchers included 106 families headed by lesbian, gay or heterosexual parents.
The team examined how gender-typical behaviour develops over time within different family structures and whether it remains relatively consistent as children grow older.
They observed the play styles and the toys that the families' preschool children preferred during playtime.
The parents also completed relevant questionnaires.
After five years, the findings indicated that the type of play and behaviour that most children displayed were found to be typical of their gender.
The data showed that family structure had little influence on how children's sense of gender would develop. Moreover, little truth was found in the idea that lesbian or gay parents might encourage or allow more gender nonconformity among their children.
Parental sexual orientation and family type did not affect children's gender conformity or nonconformity in any significant way, emphasizes explained.
It therefore appears that having both a male and female role model in the home is not necessary for facilitating typical gender development among adopted children, nor does it discourage gender nonconformity, the researchers noted.
Farr believes that the findings may help attorneys, judges, social workers, and adoption agencies when they consider issues about how the sexual orientation of parents may influence the development of their children's gender roles.
The findings appear in in Springer's journal Sex Roles. (ANI)