Last night we interviewed Nanette Gartrell, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and principal investigator of the USA National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study. Since 1986, the NLLFS has been following lesbian couples and the children they bore through donor insemination. An article based on this study and recently published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies found that these children are as well-adjusted and happy as children raised by heterosexual couples -- in some cases, happier. Within the study group, however, children whose schools had an LGBT-friendly curriculum and/or whose mothers felt part of the larger lesbian community had more resilience in the face of homophobia than children who lacked these sources of support.
Gartrell is also working with Dutch researchers to compare the experiences of lesbian-headed families in the two countries. An analysis they published recently in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry found that Dutch children conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian parents confront fewer incidents of homophobia and experience less homophobia-related stress than their American peers. These findings are not surprising, given more accepting social attitudes in the Netherlands.
Go to the "Listen to Our Recent Shows" section of our sidebar to listen to the full interview.