Newswise — BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - When it comes to same-sex couples raising children, married couples are more likely to be raising children than cohabiting ones, according to new research by Bowling Green State University.

The study was conducted by Dr. Wendy Manning, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Krista Payne, social science data analyst, in partnership with BGSU's National Center for Family and Marriage Research. They used the most recent U.S. Census data to offer a single year snapshot of the share of couples who are raising a child under age 18, separated by different-sex and same-sex couples as well as marriage and cohabitation status.

Manning and Payne found the percentage estimates of couples raising children varied according to marital status as well as the sex composition of the couple. The findings highlight the importance of distinguishing between not only female and male same-sex couples, but also their relationship status to understand the family life of same-sex couples. The findings also showcase the potentially important role of marriage for same-sex couples with children.

Fast Facts from Findings

  • Regardless of relationship status (married or cohabiting), smaller shares of same-sex couples were raising children than different-sex couples.
  • Among married same-sex couples, female couples were nearly three times as likely to be raising children (32.5%) than male couples (11.5%).
  • About one in five (18.8%) of female cohabiting couples were raising a child. A relatively small share of male cohabiting couples were raising a child (3.5%).
  • Cohabiting different-sex couples were twice as likely to raise children than female same-sex couples, but the gap among married couples was smaller. 

Visit BGSU's National Center for Family and Marriage Research online for a more detailed look into this research and other findings by Drs. Manning and Payne.

 

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