Children of same-sex couples are happier and healthier than kids from traditional families, a new Australian study suggests.
University of Melbourne researchers say early findings of their study – the biggest of its kind in the world – suggest children with same-sex parents are developing exceptionally well.
“These children are growing up in a range of contexts and score well on measures of health and wellbeing in the face of discrimination,” says lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch.
Questionnaires on 500 children aged two months to 17 years with same-sex parents measured health in relation to physical activity, mental health and behaviour. The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families found those aged five to 17 scored an average six per cent higher than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.
“That’s really a measure that looks at how well families get along, and it seems that same-sex-parent families and the children in them are getting along well, and this has positive impacts on child health,” Dr Crouch tells ABC.
Dr Crouch says there’s less pressure on same-sex couples to fulfil traditional gender roles, which leads to more harmony at home. “Previous research has suggested that parenting roles and work roles, and home roles within same-sex parenting families, are more equitably distributed when compared to heterosexual families,” he tells ABC.
Eighty per cent of the children surveyed had female parents and 18 had male parents, while two per cent of parents identified as being of other gender. Ninety-three per cent of parents were in a relationship.
For all other health measures, there were no significant differences between children of same-sex parents and those in traditional families. But sadly, the survey finds families of same-sex parents still face discrimination.
Stay tuned for more results from this study later in the year.