A study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, found that the children of same-sex couples fare better “than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.”
Simon Crouch and his team performed a cross-sectional survey of 315 same-sex parents, representing over 500 children. Unlike many studies of same-sex parenting, the majority of respondents were lesbians parents.
The results indicated that children raised by same-sex parents average six percent higher than the population at large when it comes to 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,” Crouch told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The reason for the greater social cohesion among same-sex partners, Crouch suggested, is that work is more equitably distributed in same-sex households.
“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 said.
“What this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money,” Crouch continued.
He also noted that the study has implications for those who oppose same-sex marriage for its purportedly harmful effect on children.
“Quite often, people talk about marriage equality in the context of family and that marriage is necessary to raise children in the right environment, and that you need a mother and a father to be able to do that, and therefore marriage should be restricted to male and female couples,” he said.
“But I think what the study suggests in that context is that actually children can be brought up in many different family contexts, and it shouldn’t be a barrier to marriage equality.”
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Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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