Scientific positivism and the controversy over research into lesbian and gay parenting

Aleardo Zanghellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Researchers in developmental psychology have concluded that no significant differences exist between children raised by lesbians and gay men and those raised by heterosexuals. Although these scientific studies have attracted criticism, scrutiny has shown that they are actually epistemologically sounder than the body of knowledge that the critics themselves have developed in order to mount their case against lesbian and gay parenting. Nevertheless, to the extent that they are limited by a number of problematic assumptions structuring the paradigm within which they have been conducted, the parenting studies are not a body of maximally objective knowledge. The same assumptions have also tended to inform legal discourse on lesbian and gay parenting. A paradigm shift away from questions about the goodness or badness of lesbian and gay parenting is overdue, both in sexuality-focused psychological research on child development and in the law’s approach to nonheterosexual parenting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalSexuality research and social policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • epistemology
  • scientific paradigms
  • homosexuality
  • children
  • reproduction
  • procreation

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