A recent study out of Australia’s University of Melbourne shows that children of same-sex parents are increasingly healthy and happy.
According to Lindsay Abrams for Salon, children from same-sex families were found to score 6% higher on issues like general health and family cohesion than the rest of the population, even when controlling for demographic factors like income and education. This may be due to their parents creating a “more harmonious family unit” by not creating gender stereotypes.
“It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health,” said Dr Simon Crouch from the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne.
“We know that same-sex attracted parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual parent families, based more on skills rather than gender roles. This appears to be contributing to a more harmonious household and having a positive impact on child health,” he said.
Other scores remained the same throughout the entire population, including emotional health and physical functions. Further research is needed into the mental and emotional health of the children in the future as they experience stigma associated with their parents’ sexual orientation. This could come in a range of forms, anywhere from an envelope addressed to “Mr. and Mrs.” or as far as bullying in the schoolyard, writes Katie Holliday for CNBC.
Same-sex parenting is a hot topic in Australia at the moment, after Senator Cory Bernardi reportedly stated the “gold standard” for a child’s development is to grow up in a house with a biological mother and father, who are married. He warns in his book, “The Conservative Revolution”, that any other type of family may lead children to a life of crime and promiscuity, according to Latika Bourke for ABC News Australia.
The study helps to suggest something quite different, that children can flourish no matter what type of household they grow up in.
According to the authors:
”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,” Crouch told ABC News.
“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.”
The study involved 315 same-sex parents and 500 children. Eighty percent of the parents were female.