Study: Same-Sex Couples Raise Healthy Children

Study: Same-Sex Couples Raise Healthy Children July 8, 2014

The largest study ever conducted of families headed by same-sex couples has concluded that the children raised in such families are as psychologically and physically healthy as children from more traditional families, indeed slightly more so. The study, published in BMC Public Health, looked at 500 children from 390 families in Australia headed by gay couples.

Lead researcher Doctor Simon Crouch said children raised by same-sex partners scored an average of 6 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 said…

Dr Crouch said same-sex couples faced less pressure to fulfil traditional gender roles, which led to a more harmonious 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.

“So 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.

“What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and wellbeing.”

Rodney Chiang-Cruise, a parent raising three boys with his same-sex partner, agreed with the study’s findings.

“The traditional nurturing role is shared – it’s not one parent over another; the traditional breadwinning role is shared,” Mr Chiang-Cruise said.

“My personal view is that I think it teaches the child that everyone contributes in an equal way and you all have to contribute to the family.”

There are some limitations to the methodology used, which are noted in the text of the study itself. First, it was a convenience sample rather than a random one because “there are no current options to access data through regular population surveys or administrative datasets.” The authors do note that “very effort was made to recruit a representative sample.” Second, the study relies on parental reporting rather than on direct questioning or examination of the children. The second problem will be easier to address in future studies than the first.

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  • John Pieret

    But that’s in Australia, not the land of American exceptionalism and, therefore, it doesn’t count. [/fundagelical logic]

  • subbie

    There’s a third problem, too. The study didn’t address what happens to the children when the windup in HELL because they were raised by teh gay.

  • I agree with John (@1).

    This is from Australia. They celebrate the birth of baby Jesus in the Summer. The SUMMER!! Everyone knows Christ was born in the winter, under a Douglas fir. All of their data is suspect!!

  • Sure, they’re better, but what about all the damage their healthy families do to bitter, spiteful assholes?

  • alanb

    The main emphasis of story run in the Washington Times is that Simon Crouch is gay and implied that is the reason for the study outcome. I expect that other homophobes will take up this banner.

  • eric

    I gotta think wealth or Australian labor laws are a significant contributing factor here. There are not too many low- or middle- income couples (in the US) that could share the breadwinning and childrearing responsibilities equally, even if they wanted to. Think of what that means in terms of work hours for each: most US corporations just wouldn’t tolerate part-time career positions, nor would they accede to a request for reduced hours outside what is required of them by law (for, say, maternity leave).

    So, while I am fully in agreement on the general point (that children raised in families headed by same-sex couples are as psychologically and physically healthy as children from more traditional families), I do think that this study’s results aren’t just tracking the impact of straight vs. gay parents; its likely reflecting factors such as wealth or more socialist labor laws too.

  • cptdoom

    Eric, I don’t know how those kinds of economic laws might impact the results, but certainly there is another methodological issue that would impact results – same-sex parents were compared to population norms on the same measures of their children’s functioning. However, same-sex parents are far less likely to become parents accidentally, and to ensure they have the financial, emotional, relationship and familial/community support necessary to raise children. The more accurate comparison would be to opposite sex parents who adopted or used assisted fertility, and I think the slight advantage the kids of same-sex couples show here would be eliminated.

    A bigger issue that is, while social science results like this are informative, they are absolutely moot when it comes to individual rights. We don’t base individual rights on group social science results – so we don’t remove all children from single parent homes even though they’ve been shown to produce somewhat worse outcomes for children. That was my main issue with the Regnerus’ “study” and it holds equally well even in circumstances like this, which show same-sex parenting in a good light.

  • jonathangray

    Dr Simon Crouch


  • jonathangray, and?

  • dingojack

    Go and play outside ’till you’ve calmed down Jon-Jon. The adults are talking now.