New Study Indicates Children Raised By Same-Sex Parents Do Better In School

A new study indicates children raised by same-sex couples perform better in school than those of opposite-sex parents, reports The Washington Post.

Using government data tracking all children born between 1995 to 2005 in the Netherlands, researchers found children with same-sex parents scored higher on tests in elementary and secondary school, and had a seven percent higher likelihood of graduating from high school than children reared by a mom and dad.

A team of economists at research university KU Leuven in Belgium crunched the data which followed the children’s progress beginning in primary school through high school.

The research was presented at the American Economic Association conference in Atlanta last month.

Information including educational performance, family income and more was utilized in the massive study which followed over 1 million children, including 1,200 children raised by same-sex parents.

The researchers noted that same-sex parents tended to be more financially well off, more educated, and older.

Because same-sex parents often have to access pricey fertility treatments, higher wealth and a deep motivation to have children can play a big part in same-sex parenting.

As we all know, gay and lesbian couples don’t have children ‘by accident.’

“It is difficult for same-sex couples to obtain children so they have to have a high socioeconomic status," said economist Deni Mazrekaj. "Research shows that socio-economic status positively influences the school outcome of children.”

Sometimes children become part of a same-sex family due to divorce between straight and gay parents. But that doesn’t necessarily mean those children were raised in same-sex family households.

Even when looking at children specifically born and raised in same-sex families, researchers noted higher educational performance when compared to heterosexual families.

Earlier studies have shown no real differences between children raised by heterosexual versus homosexual parents, although a 2014 study from the University of Melbourne in Australia indicated children of same-sex couples often exhibit happier and healthier behavior than those of opposite-sex parents. 

In that study, researchers suggested same-sex couples sharing more equal household responsibilities may have contributed to “greater social cohesion.”

That same report showed one of the biggest issues children of same-sex parents face is stigma.

(h/t The Washington Post)

Father Goes To Prison For Forcing Son To Have Sex With Step-Mother

When Richard Dowling’s son, Daniel, was 11-years-old, he forced him to have sex with his step-mother in an attempt to make sure his son wouldn’t be gay.

His father also coerced him to watch porn and engage in three-way sexual encounters with himself and the step-mother.

Although the incidents took place in the 1990s, charges were only brought in 2015 against the father and former step-mom.

Richard Dowling, now 62-years-old, has been sentenced to five years in prison on one count of cruelty to a child and two counts relating to sexual offenses involving a child.

The former step-mother, Annette Breakspear, 62-years-old, received an eight year sentence on three counts of indecent assault.

Now 36, Daniel has shared his story with the Sunday Mirror in an effort to help others raise their voices in similar situations.



The initial abuse began while playing a board game one night. Richard suggested the loser remove their clothing. Soon, Breakspear was naked and the father encouraged Daniel to kiss and fondle her breasts.

At the time, 11-year-old Daniel says he justified the abuse in his head because, “Dad was encouraging me to do it so I thought it was OK.” 

“I think that night was a tester of how I’d react because intercourse started after that,” he added.

Daniel tells the Sunday Mirror that not only did Breakspear take his virginity soon after, but she would engage in sexual abuse at least ten more times over the next three years.

In one instance, after returning home from Scouts, his father told him to go give his step-mom a “good night kiss.” But when Daniel entered the bedroom, Breakspear was naked and handcuffed to the bed.

She instructed him to kiss her, and things eventually led to intercourse. During the incident, the father came and joined in.

In another episode, Richard made Daniel watch pornography with him before the dad engaged in oral sex with Breakspear telling Daniel, “That’s how you do it.”

There were also times when all three would be in bed participating in some form of three-way sex. Other times, the father wouldn’t be present for the episodes.

Today, Daniel is openly gay but the damage done at such a young age persists.

“I was sexualised at such a young age that sex means nothing to me now,” he says. “The few positive memories of my childhood are tarnished by memories of the abuse. When I smell someone wearing her perfume, or see that board game in a shop or on TV, it brings the memories back.”

The repercussions of the abuse resulted in mental health issues for Daniel including depression and an attempted suicide.

The abuse came to an end when Richard ended his relationship with Breakspear in 1996. The father and son moved to Weymouth, Dorset, where at age 16 Daniel became the victim of another pedophile.

It was during interviews with a child psychologist that that the earlier abuse came to light.

But nothing came of the revelation as the father claimed his son was a liar and simply “seeking attention.” Daniel also told the Sunday Mirror that the police treated him “shoddily” during that time, and a constable even mocked him.

It would take 17 years before Daniel would eventually find justice.

On September 6, 2015, he recorded a phone call wherein the dad admitted the abuse. Daniel took the recording to the police, and this time he was taken seriously.

During Richard Dowling’s trial at Reading Crown Court, the father says his intentions were “to try and steer him in the right direction and not to go to the way of being gay, because there was like, sort of, tendencies for him to be gay”.

The father told the judge he was concerned about Daniel turning out “the right way.”

The Sunday Mirror reports Judge Maria Lamb admonished Richard Dowling in court saying, “Your warped sense of right and wrong allowed him to be exploited by your then partner not just once but again and again.” 

“You’ve failed to protect him from the sexually predatory behavior of your co-defendant,” the judge said. “The damage is incalculable. The abuse of trust is monstrous and the reality is that one of you was involved in active sexual abuse and the other connived at it.”

Regarding Breakspear, Judge Lamb was direct and unflinching in her criticism: “For your own perverted sexual gratification, you initiated this boy into a world far beyond anything to which he should ever have had to be introduced at those tender years.”

The Sunday Mirror reports Daniel was not able to tell his story until today for legal reasons.

But he now shares that he has not spoken to his father for over two years, saying: “Dad threw me under the bus instead of admit his guilt. He is dead to me now.”

(h/t Sunday Mirror)

Study Finds That More Than 1% of 9-10 Year Olds Might Be LGBTQ+


JAMA Pediatrics recently published a new study that explored how children aged 9-10 felt about their sexuality and gender. Jerel Calzo and Aaron Blashill from San Diego State University used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study ABCD. The ABCD is an initiative by the National Institute of Health that recruited 7500 children at ages 9-10 and will follow them into their young adulthood.

Data from ABCD was released earlier this year and gave a profile for the first 4519 participants in the study.

The results show that 0.2% of the participants said that they were bi or gay and that 0.1% said they were transgender. These children provided definite answers to the best of their knowledge.

The results for the children that were uncertain showed that another 0.7% said that they were “maybe” gay or bi and 0.4% said that they were “maybe” transgender.

The numbers for “yes” and “maybe” answers were added together since the researchers wanted to show “probable” numbers rather than definite numbers. When added together, 1.26% were found to probably be gay, bi, or transgender.

Out of all participants, only 23.8% of the 9 and 10 year olds said that they did not understand the question. This statistic shows that most kids (76.2%) that age already possess an understanding of what sexual orientation is, even if they are straight.

The study also surveyed the parents and found that 6.7% of their parents thought their child “might” be gay or bi while another 1.2% thought their child “might” be transgender.

On the study, Blashill from SDSU said:

“For so long, social scientists have assumed that there is no point in asking kids at this age about their sexual orientation, believing they do not have the cognitive ability to understand. This is the first study to actually ask children about their sexual orientation this young.”

h/t: lgbtqnation.com, CDC

A New Children's Book Shares The Story OF Harvey Milk And The Rainbow Flag

A new children’s book has recently released and it shares LGBTQ history.

"Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag" was written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno. The book hopes to explain to children how Milk was an advocate for gay rights and the first openly gay man to be elected to political office in the United States.

That said, the story also folds in the creation and influence of the rainbow flag. This is due to it being the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag's creation in 1978.

"Young readers will be provided with an inspirational universal example of how the energy and focus of people acting together can actually make positive changes in society in the face of unjust laws and attitudes," said artist Salerno to First Coast News.

Salerno also expressed how difficult it was to create the illustrations for the book. He says it took two months to create the initial sketches for each page. From there, it took another four to five months to finish the illustrations.

Salerno created the pages by drawing a variety of options for even the littlest of details. Then, he would upload the pages to Adobe Photoshop to add color, position the drawings, and create the final copies.

All of this was to create a children’s book that will properly express the struggle and joys that the LGBTQ rights movement went through to get to today's America.

“Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” is out now, and can be purchased on Amazon.

Oklahoma's Governor Signs First Anti-LGBTQ Law Of 2018

America - 2018 was doing pretty well when it comes to new legislation and the LGBTQ community. No new state bills attacking the community had been signed into law this year.

Until now.

In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin has put her signature on Senate Bill 1140 which effectively legalizes LGBTQ discrimination by faith-based adoption and foster care agencies which receive public funds.

This is the first new anti-LGBTQ law in the United States in 2018. What a dubious achievement.

The new law makes it legal to deny placing children in LGBTQ homes based on “religious objections.” Simply declaring a religious or moral opposition to same-sex marriage would allow a faith-based agency the legal right to refuse to place a child in same-sex homes.

The legislation could also withhold child placement with single or divorced people if their social status were to offend an adoption agency’s religious beliefs.

LGBTQ advocates quickly criticized the new law.

“It is shameful that Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a patently discriminatory law that targets children,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “Gov. Fallin has cemented her legacy, siding with discrimination and the legislature in throwing kids under the bus to create a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBTQ Oklahomans.”

And Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, issued a statement which read, in part: “While we are deeply disappointed that Governor Fallin choose to sign discrimination into law, we are more concerned about the children – desperately looking for homes – that will be harmed by this disgraceful legislation.”

“Our message to Governor Fallin, and the lawmakers who championed this travesty is simple: we’ll see you in court!” added Stevenson.

Supporters of the new law say these faith-based agencies will have to shut their doors if forced to place children into LGBT homes.

Currently, five states - Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and North Dakota — have similar laws on the books, although Michigan’s law is being challenged in the federal courts thanks to the ACLU.

Kansas’s governor has a similar anti-LGBTQ adoption bill waiting on his desk.