BU study shows double standard for same-sex parents
3/25/2013 (Updated 6:47:15 PM)VESTAL -- Picture this: a heterosexual couple is dining in a restaurant when their child begins to act up. The parents discipline the child for acting out. Now how would the parents be judged? Would they be judged differently if they were a same-sex couple?
According to a new study at Binghamton University, the answer is yes.
The study claims same-sex couples who exhibit negative parenting behaviors are judged more harshly than straight couples who act the same way. At the same time, when proper behavior is displayed, both sets of parents are judged the same. Sean Massey, a research associate professor at BU, says that education is the key to acceptance and eliminating prejudice.
"If human services professionals are educated about the possibility of a double standard, then that can help them inoculate against it," Massey said. "That's what I would want to see happen. I'm just raising the alarm, I'm saying this is a problem, we've demonstrated it in research, now it's up to the social workers and human services folks to make sure that they're aware of it and they prevent it from happening."
The study concluded that holding gay parents to a different standard adds stress to the already stressful job of parenting. It can also negatively affect a couple's chances of adopting or becoming foster parents.
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