Thoughts on the 0% abuse rate in American lesbian families

November 18 | Guest post by Lynzie Anne
I Heart My Moms
Photo by Danny Hammontree, used with Creative Commons license.

A few days ago, I came across an article boasting this glorious statistic: the Child Abuse Rate is at zero percent in lesbian households.

Why is this not surprising?

The National Lesbian Longitudinal Family Study (NLLFS) has, for the past twenty-four years, conducted the longest-running case study ever on American Lesbian Families. Their findings, announced yesterday via the Williams Institute, a research center out of UCLA Law dedicated to Sexual Orientation and Public Policy, say that among the 78 adolescents of lesbian families polled, none of them report having ever been either physically or sexually abused by either parent or caregiver. This contrasts greatly with the fact that 26 percent of American adolescents report physical abuse and nearly nine percent report sexual abuse.

I am neither lesbian, nor an abusive parent. I am, however, the victim of child abuse. And while I can’t support the following statement with any clinical research, I can say that in my own experience, women tend to be more compassionate and much less angry. Which is funny coming from me, considering the fact that I was abused by my mother. But that is not what this is about.

I have two children, ages 4 and 7. I was married to their father until a little over a year ago, when I could no longer tolerate the anger he brought into the home. His energy was explosive, frightening even to me, and I found over time that I would get angry at the kids before he had a chance to, almost as a way to protect them, knowing that with me the situation would only escalate so far.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: obviously that isn’t a working relationship. And I would agree, hence the dissolution of that relationship. Which brings me to my point: one hundred percent of the lesbian families polled reported no instances of abuse, either physical or sexual, and therefore, one hundred percent of the lesbian families polled are existing in high functioning, cooperative relationships.

I find this of particular interest as the topic of same-sex marriage is so heated, especially in my home state of California. With the notion that homosexual unions directly contradict traditional American family values, I am forced to ask exactly which of these values are being contradicted when over a quarter of American adolescents report abuse?

Regardless of the fact that one is hard pressed these days to define “traditional”, there is still an enormous amount of fear attached to the idea of same-sex marriages. And, with one hundred percent of lesbian households being classified as entirely non-violent, it seems to me the only thing we have to fear are those “traditional” households.