Ordinarily, quality journalism benefits from solid information, concrete evidence and a healthy dose of skepticism.
But certainly, major news organizations can be forgiven when they err on the side of a higher ideal, right?
In this week’s example, that higher ideal would be acceptance of same-sex parents.
At this point in history, producing a baby apparently — and regrettably, it seems — still requires a father and a mother. But on the bright side, a “major study” has come up with this encouraging news:
Children of same-sex couples are happier and healthier than peers, research shows
That was the headline in the Washington Post.
The breathless top of the Post story:
Children of same-sex couples fare better when it comes to physical health and social well-being than children in the general population, according to researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
“It’s often suggested that children with same-sex parents have poorer outcomes because they’re missing a parent of a particular sex. But research my colleagues and I published in the journal BMC Public Health shows this isn’t the case,” lead researcher Simon Crouch wrote on the Conversation.
Crouch and his team surveyed 315 same-sex parents with a total of 500 children across Australia. About 80 percent of the kids had female parents and about 18 percent had male parents, the study states.
Children from same-sex families scored about 6 percent higher on general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for socio-demographic factors such as parents’ education and household income, Crouch wrote. However, on most health measures, including emotional behavior and physical functioning, there was no difference compared with children from the general population.
Crouch suggested the greater social cohesion among same-sex families comes from an equal distribution of work. He said same-sex couples are likely to share responsibilities more equally than heterosexual ones.
“It is liberating for parents to take on roles that suit their skills rather than defaulting to gender stereotypes, where mum is the primary care giver and dad the primary breadwinner,” he said.
The Boston Globe chose a similar headline, but one without any clunky attribution to a study or research (kudos, Globe!):
Children of Same-Sex Couples are Healthier Than Their Peers
And from the New York Post:
Study shows children of same-sex couples are happier
But before we all get too excited about this research, the Post did include a quick, obligatory note of caution: