"Two heterosexual parents of the same educational background, class, race and religion are more like each other in the way they parent than one is like all other women and one is like all other men," she said.
[6 Gender Myths Busted] Nurturing tolerance In fact, the only consistent places you find differences between how kids of gay parents and kids of straight parents turn out are in issues of tolerance and open-mindedness, according to Goldberg.
In fact, in some ways, gay parents may bring talents to the table that straight parents don't.
Gay parents "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents," said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting.
There is very little research on the children of gay men, so Stacey and Biblarz couldn't draw conclusions on those families.
Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said.
"That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement." And while research indicates that kids of gay parents show few differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures, these kids may have the advantage of open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships, according to some research.
"These individuals feel like their perspectives on family, on gender, on sexuality have largely been enhanced by growing up with gay parents," Goldberg said.
One 33-year-old man with a lesbian mother told Goldberg, "I feel I'm a more open, well-rounded person for having been raised in a nontraditional family, and I think those that know me would agree.
In a paper published in 2007 in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Goldberg conducted in-depth interviews with 46 adults with at least one gay parent.