The longest-running study of lesbian families has found an extremely low rate of abuse among kids of lesbians: zero percent, to be exact.
The sample size was small — just 78 17-year-old children of lesbian parents, 39 boys and 39 girls. But strikingly, none of these kids reported sexual or physical abuse by their moms (one said she was verbally abused by a stepmother). That’s compared to 26% of American teens as a whole who report physical abuse by a parent, and 8.3% who report sexual abuse. It’s possible that the sample was unique in other ways (for instance, parents had to consent to allow their kids to participate), but the study authors note that their results do seem to contradict “the notion, offered in opposition to parenting by gay and lesbian people, that same-sex parents are likely to abuse their offspring sexually.” They also point out that straight men are the most common perpetrators of child sexual abuse, so it’s not surprising that this abuse occurs less in homes where no straight men are present. Previous studies also show that lesbian moms are less likely than straight dads to use corporal punishment, which is linked to other types of physical abuse.