Study: Same-Sex Parents At Least Equal, Sometimes Better

Preliminary results of a study from the University of Melbourne, the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, show that the children raised by same-sex couples fare at least as well in emotional development as children of heterosexual parents, and by some measures a bit better.

Children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on a number of key health indicators.

That is the initial finding from the world’s largest study on the children of same-sex parents, under way at Melbourne University.

The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families collected data on 500 children nationwide, up to the age of 17.

An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along…

”Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,” lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch said.

”This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis.”

That result certainly doesn’t surprise me. Facing discrimination and hostility can be a very bad thing, but it can also draw people closer together if handled well.

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  • Additionally, same-sex couples can choose when to have a child a lot more easily than opposite-sex ones, and be ready emotionally and financially for the situation.

  • hunter

    This reinforces something that I’ve been thinking in relation to the American studies I’ve seen — most of the children of same-sex couples are adopted and many are older, hard to place kids. It’s long been recognized that children who go through the foster-care system suffer from a number of developmental and emotional deficits. And yet, those children perform as well on measures of psychosocial development as their peers raised by opposite-sex parents.

    Which leads me to believe that same-sex couples are terrific parents.


  • Chiroptera

    Hey, does Mark Regnerus know about this? This sounds like it may be of intererest.

  • marcus

    Chiroptera @ 4 Why would Regnerus be interested? There is absolutely no propaganda value in this for him. This is, by reports, a well-constructed and intelligent survey. Something Regnerus would avoid like the proverbial plague. Real, unbiased information would probably cause a cognitive implosion in his brain-case.

  • Recently there was a family in Georgia who starved their daughter to death and tried to burn her body in a trash can. After children’s services had multiple red flags with the family.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that damn near all gay parents would be better parents than those guys.

  • ”Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,” lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch said.

    Oh no. I can just see the right-wing whackjobs rushing to their computers to write that, see? How can they oppose what they call us “bullying” gay kids in schools when clearly it’s good for them?!

  • freehand

    marcus – it’s not so much that Regenerus would avoid unbiased data. He’d be OK with that if it supported his message. It’s his aversion to going into a study upfront with an unbiased survey and honest methodology. How can one advance one’s religious or political goal if one is risking getting inconvenient data?


    Despite his scientific background, he must not understand people who want to discover the nature of reality, rather than wanting to win an argument. Fair enough, I suppose. They probably don’t understand him all that well, either.

  • leonardschneider

    Well hell, I could have told you that. All six of my Uncle Billy and his husband Gail’s kids are doing just fine.

  • Gay people have to go to considerable effort just get a child. It seems to me that only the most dedicated gay couples will actually become parents. So it should be no surprise if statistically they do perform better.