from Clinical/Therapeutic Issues
On an article by Wainright & Patterson (Journal of the Family, 2006) 
By Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, Ph.D.
(Editor's Note: The following analysis by Dr. van den Aardweg is of the recent study, "Delinquency, Victimization, and Substance Use Among Adolescents With Female Same-Sex Parents," published by the Journal of Family Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 3, pgs 526-530.)
Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg:
As it is well-known, activist homosexuals and lesbians devote their lives to their Great Ideal: scientifically establishing the normality of their orientation.
A dubious brand of what passes for academic psychology provides them with marvelous tools for that, namely, unvalidated, quick-and-easy (and mostly ad hoc) questionnaires, oral or self-administered. With a few questions, you can "assess" everything you want, from personality traits to motherhood qualities. It saves you the trouble of collecting systematic, long-term, everyday-life observations by experienced independent observers, and of in-depth exploration (in a series of interviews) taken by impartial professionals who know what to ask . So, if you want to prove that children reared by lesbian couples are not worse off than children from normal marriages--pardon, from different "types of family"--recruit a number of volunteering lesbian mothers-with-lover who can be expected to share the Great Ideal, and ask them and their privileged child a few questions regarding their relationship with each other and the child's behavior.
Then, adorn the "surprisingly" positive outcome with a dose of psycho-babble to the effect that your scientific findings "suggest" that "family type" is not "a major factor" for a child's "development and behavior," and the product is ready for the gay activist arsenal: Gay parents function excellently!
The latest report by Jennifer Wainright and Charlotte Patterson (the latter who is well-known for her creative method of sampling), resembles a specific sort of Dutch cheese: It is full of holes. The difference, however, is that it has a bad taste. For, although fatally full of holes from the viewpoint of sound methodology, it helps promoting falsities about the beneficence of gay parenting. Objectively, it is child-hostile.
The holes. The statement is that the development of children reared by lesbian mothers with a lesbian friend at home or nearby is not harmed because a small group of these children (mean age 15 years) do not report more delinquency, more smoking, drinking and drug abuse than teenagers with normally married parents.
Where the mother says she has an "understanding" relationship with her child, the probability of a child's risk behavior is significantly reduced, the mother's sexual orientation does not matter.
The first big hole, of course, is the ridiculous assertion that 15-year-olds who do not steal or use violence and do not smoke, drink, or abuse drugs more than others are, therefore, developing normally and healthily. This can only be found out by longitudinal in-depth studies of the whole emotional life, relationships and personality development well into adulthood, not by having teenagers answer some questions about a few specific risk behaviors. Besides, when an adolescent does not smoke etc., nor manifests antisocial behavior at 15, he or she may do so at 18; and the emotional problems of children reared by gay parents are quite likely to predispose them to later problem behaviors, alcohol or drug abuse not excepted.
A second hole is the way risk behavior has been assessed. The youngsters had to tell it themselves. How dependable are such answers of boys and girls with an openly lesbian mother who knows that her family situation is being examined? Children of that age are most likely to pull the shutters down when confronted with direct questions related to the painful subject of their private circumstances . Still less valid is the assessment of the quality of the mother-child relationship taking the mothers' words as measure.
These lesbian mothers, as anyone knows who has some experience here, are defensive and full of rationalizations for their choices. Apart from that, they often do not really see and understand the needs of their children. Parents who are driven by the desire to prove a sociological point see the world as revolving around that cause--not the real needs and true feelings of their children.
I must add (as far as motherhood feelings) that is not an exception that a lesbian woman has not come to maturity, due to unresolved gender ambiguities, so that some of them are hardly aware of the emotional confusion and other sufferings her gay partnership will cause her children.
Here are a few more holes. The 44 lesbian mothers are volunteers, a selective group that is no doubt eager to show how normally their households are functioning. No reason to generalize whatever is reported for them to all similarly-composed households. The control group is matched, among other things, for adoption. How many of the 46 children involved were adoptive children? And how many years did all these children of lesbian mothers-with-lovers, adoptive or not, live together with their mother and her lover?
In the case of divorced lesbian mothers: What part of their childhood did these children live together with mother and father? What is the relationship of these children with their father? (It may be of substantial importance in some such cases, as I have witnessed.) As to the children of divorced parents, are there siblings at present not living any more with the lesbian mother, but with the father, the mother having taken with her the child who was most adapted to her and leaving the child who gave her problems? Or what of the child who could not accept her relationship to the father, as sometimes happens in these cases? In all, this sample of lesbian mothers looks like a mishmash of cases and backgrounds. It is not a clean sample of lesbian mothers who lived together in one household with one lover from the child's birth on and thus cannot be compared with the situation in most normal marriages (Moreover, if there is more than an exceptional case of adoption in the "focal" lesbian sample, the control group, also containing a number of adoptive children, is skewed as well.) Finally, lumping boys and girls together may blot out sex-specific reactions of adolescents to the influences of a lesbian mother and/or her lover(s).
Being brought up by an openly lesbian mother and her partner, without the influence of the father, is by no means harmless, as is falsely "suggested" in this amateurish piece of family psychology. A short illustration is in order.
Sabine, 21-years old, tells the sad story of her childhood in a newspaper interview, motivated by her wish to warn the ignorant public against gay parenting . When she was six, her parents divorced and she practically did not see her father again. Her mother started a lesbian relationship and took her friend in the home. "I never understood what mother wanted from this woman and why she ran after her." Sabine did not like the "new one": "I didn't have the opportunity to really build a relation with my mother... she stood between us." Sabine never had the feeling that her mother was really there for her. Until now, she misses her intimacy: "I wish I would succeed in making her clear that a mother-child relationship is something very special. Something vulnerable."
Her mother feels wronged that Sabine does not treat her friend like herself, but according to Sabine, "she does not understand she is my mother and no one else."
As a child, Sabine did not yet clearly perceive how problematic her mother's lifestyle was to her. Now, she does: "I didn't learn what a relationship is." Her sexual identity is disturbed. She thought it normal to fall in love with a girl, but in fact she couldn't. And "I just didn't perceive the other sex. Not at all." In adolescence, "that (the other sex) was an aspect that was completely fallen away" and it stayed that way.
Theoretically, she knows a family would be ideal, but she has no erotic feelings, neither for women, nor for men, and feels utterly incapable to rear a child. Moreover, she fears to transmit her own unsolved problems--inhibited communication and disturbed sexual identity--to that child.
Adoption by gay couples she says is "extremely dangerous. For at first, children do not notice that they suffer from it. But the problems come in the course of time."  At school, she "couldn't identify with the other children" and withdrew in herself. It was very painful. Sabine only spoke of her "parents," not of her mother and her friend. She tried as much as she could to prevent others from learning about her mother's lifestyle, but her mother manifested herself openly as a lesbian; for example, appearing with her friend at school meetings. The teachers did not seem to make much of it (very "open-minded" and "politically correct"), but Sabine couldn't understand why "everyone accepted it as normal." In vain, she tried to persuade herself that it didn't matter if one grows up with a gay or a hetero couple. For a long time, she also repressed the wish for a father, although she gradually became aware of how much she had objectively missed him.
This seriously damaged young woman teaches a simple lesson that many (pseudo-) psychologists and psychiatrists should be deeply ashamed of for having neglected to teach: "Society must see the roles of the sexes more consciously and be aware how important they are."
Of course, all damage by gay parenting will be blamed on malignant homophobia and not on the mothers, who may imagine to love their children, but, in fact, do them serious injustice. They sacrifice their children, who are so vulnerable because they naturally love their mothers, on the altar of their "homophilia." If this is not psychological violence, child abuse, what is? How many Sabines must be produced before this collective moral insanity will be stopped?
That activist lesbians play "psychological-research" games to justify their lifestyle and push their revolutionary agenda is one thing. That their scribblings are apparently accepted so easily for publication in professional periodicals--in spite of their scientific worthlessness--is even harder to understand, unless we must assume that the editors of those periodicals decided to become the humble servants of the gay and lesbian movement.
 Wainright, Jennifer L., and Patterson, Charlotte J., "Delinquency, victimization, and substance use among adolescents with female same-sex parents." Journal of the Family, 2006, 20, 3, 526-530.
 A good example of the use of such relevant methods is the longitudinal study by J.S. Wallerstein and S. Blakeslee on the psychological consequences of divorce both in parents and children (Second Chances. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989).
 For example, children give a much more rosy picture of their reactions and feelings when interviewed relatively shortly after their parents' divorce than 12 years later. One of the reasons is that they, especially the girls, "bury their feelings" because they do not want to hurt the parent with whom they grow up (A. Napp-Peters: Familien nah der Scheidung --Families after Divorce-. Mčnchen: A. Kustmann, 1995).
 Die Tagespost (Germany), 2004, July 17, p. 9.
 All emphasis mine.