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Adoptive Children of Lesbian and Gay Couples Developing Well

Newswise — Should the sexual orientation of prospective adoptive parents be considered when placing children in adoptive homes?
According to the results of a new University of Virginia study, the answer may be “no.”
In a sample of 106 adoptive children living in different parts of the United States, youngsters were developing well regardless of whether they were living with lesbian, gay or heterosexual parenting couples. The study found that whether or not adoptive children were developing in positive ways was unrelated to the sexual orientation of their adoptive parents.
The finding appears in the August issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science.
“We found that children adopted by lesbian and gay couples are thriving,” said U.Va. psychology professor Charlotte J. Patterson, who led the study. “Our results provide no justification for denying lesbian or gay prospective adoptive parents the opportunity to adopt children. With thousands of children in need of permanent homes in the United States alone, our findings suggest that outreach to lesbian and gay prospective adoptive parents might benefit children who are in need.”
The research assessed adjustment and development among preschool-aged children adopted at birth by lesbian, gay or heterosexual couples. Using standardized assessment procedures, researchers found that parents and teachers agreed, on average, that the children were developing in typical ways. Measures of children’s adjustment, as well as parenting practices and stress, were found to be unassociated with the parents’ sexual orientation. And, regardless of their parents’ sexual orientation, how well children were adjusted was significantly associated with how warmly their parents were oriented to them.
Adoption of minor children by same-sex couples has been a controversial topic. Same-sex couples are prohibited by law from adopting children in Florida, Mississippi and Utah. Voters in Arkansas passed a ban on adoptions by same- and opposite-sex unmarried couples in 2008, only to have it overturned by the courts. That case is currently on appeal.
In the last few years, legislatures in a number of other states have also debated proposals to prohibit adoptions by same-sex couples. On the other hand, joint adoptions by same-sex couples are permitted in many states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.
The study was authored by Patterson, who also is a faculty member and research scientist at the Fenway Institute’s Center for Population Research in LGBT Health in Boston; Rachel H. Farr, a U.Va. doctoral candidate; and Stephen L. Forssell, a faculty member in psychology at George Washington University. It was funded by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

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Study of Sex Workers in Vietnam

More than a million dollars in U.S. federal funds will be used to examine homosexual male prostitutes in Vietnam.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.44 million for a “study of drug and sexual risk among young male sex workers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.”
“There are an estimated 8.3 million individuals with HIV infections in Asia, one-fifth the disease burden worldwide,” the project abstract states. “Initially thought to be confined to circumspect populations of male (injection-drug users) and female sex workers, it is now clear that men who have sex with men are also at high risk.”
Along with rapid increases in cases of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among young men in the region, the abstract states that there’s also been an “expansion of markets for male sex work and international male sex tourism.” Many of the male prostitutes also have female partners.
The agency says the first study will “describe the settings, venues, and overall social milieu in which male sex work is being situated.”
The second study will conduct a survey to “estimate the size of the male sex worker population in each city.”
The third study will be a broad cross-sectional study to construct a “comprehensive ethno-epidemiological profile of behavioral HIV risk among male sex workers.”
Study 4 will assess negative medical consequences in the population and screen for the presence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
“In Study 5, we will recruit young men who have recently initiated male sex work for participation in a one-year series of ethnographic interviews to describe the unique vulnerabilities associated with the early course of male sex work,” the abstract states.
Study 6 will use data from earlier studies to assess the impact of behavioral risk among male sex workers on the diffusion of HIV-1 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Under a section titled “Public Health Relevance,” the agency explains why the project is needed:
This study seeks to address an important public-health question: what is the impact of male sex work on the growing HIV epidemics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? HIV rates in Vietnam are rapidly increasing, and yet there are limited data on the role that different populations play in this increase. Existing data are based on the assumption that HIV is found primarily in injection-drug users and female sex workers, with only recent attention being paid to men who have sex with men. … Through comprehensive behavioral interviews, detailed ethnography and state-of-the art biological tests (including tests for HIV and (hepatitis C) subtypes and HIV treatment resistance), we will describe the demographic, social and economic characteristics of the male sex worker population in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as the unique vulnerabilities associated with the onset and early social course of male sex work. …
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is listed as the funding entity, and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine is the grant recipient. According to the institute website, the institute supports more than 85 percent of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction.
It receives its funding through congressional appropriations, and the institute is also authorized to accept donations.
The following are recent award amounts for the Vietnam study:
Fiscal year 2010: $442,340
Fiscal year 2009: $465,974
Fiscal year 2008: $534,201
A total of $1,442,515 in federal funds has been awarded to the project.
<a href=http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=7797618&icde=4252393 target=awer>Read the details here.</a>

More than a million dollars in U.S. federal funds will be used to examine homosexual male prostitutes in Vietnam.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.44 million for a “study of drug and sexual risk among young male sex workers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.”
“There are an estimated 8.3 million individuals with HIV infections in Asia, one-fifth the disease burden worldwide,” the project abstract states. “Initially thought to be confined to circumspect populations of male (injection-drug users) and female sex workers, it is now clear that men who have sex with men are also at high risk.”
Along with rapid increases in cases of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among young men in the region, the abstract states that there’s also been an “expansion of markets for male sex work and international male sex tourism.” Many of the male prostitutes also have female partners.
The agency says the first study will “describe the settings, venues, and overall social milieu in which male sex work is being situated.”
The second study will conduct a survey to “estimate the size of the male sex worker population in each city.”
The third study will be a broad cross-sectional study to construct a “comprehensive ethno-epidemiological profile of behavioral HIV risk among male sex workers.”
Study 4 will assess negative medical consequences in the population and screen for the presence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
“In Study 5, we will recruit young men who have recently initiated male sex work for participation in a one-year series of ethnographic interviews to describe the unique vulnerabilities associated with the early course of male sex work,” the abstract states.  Study 6 will use data from earlier studies to assess the impact of behavioral risk among male sex workers on the diffusion of HIV-1 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Under a section titled “Public Health Relevance,” the agency explains why the project is needed:
This study seeks to address an important public-health question: what is the impact of male sex work on the growing HIV epidemics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? HIV rates in Vietnam are rapidly increasing, and yet there are limited data on the role that different populations play in this increase. Existing data are based on the assumption that HIV is found primarily in injection-drug users and female sex workers, with only recent attention being paid to men who have sex with men. … Through comprehensive behavioral interviews, detailed ethnography and state-of-the art biological tests (including tests for HIV and (hepatitis C) subtypes and HIV treatment resistance), we will describe the demographic, social and economic characteristics of the male sex worker population in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as the unique vulnerabilities associated with the onset and early social course of male sex work. …
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is listed as the funding entity, and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine is the grant recipient. According to the institute website, the institute supports more than 85 percent of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction.
It receives its funding through congressional appropriations, and the institute is also authorized to accept donations.
The following are recent award amounts for the Vietnam study:
Fiscal year 2010: $442,340Fiscal year 2009: $465,974Fiscal year 2008: $534,201A total of $1,442,515 in federal funds has been awarded to the project.
<a href=http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=7797618&icde=4252393 target=awer>Read the details here.</a>

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