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  • Largest Study Of Its Kind Confirms Same-Sex Couples Raise Happier, Healthier Kids

    A new study touted as the "largest of its kind internationally" confirms that children raised by same-sex couples are happier and healthier than their peers raised by different-sex couples. 

    Researcher Simon Crouch has completed his multi-year study of 500 children raised by more than 300 same-sex couples, and concludes the kids are happier, healthier, and have higher levels of family unit cohesion than their peers raised by different-sex parents.

    Crouch believes that because same-sex couples aren't forced into traditional gender roles they tend to operate in their areas of comfort, leading to happier parents -- and happier and better-adjusted children. Overall, Crouch, who performed the study, titled the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, found a six-percent increase in those aspects.

    LOOK: Photos! Gay Dads Welcome Their Newborn Son

    "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 told Australia's ABC News.

    "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."

    On issues like self-esteem, mood, behavior, and temperament, the studied children of same-sex couples scored equal to kids raised by different-sex couples.

    Based on his years of research, Couch, of the University of Melbourne, disagrees with those who claim kids need a mom and a dad.

    "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," Dr Crouch said.

    "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."

    One year ago The New Civil Rights Movement reported on Crouch's study when interim results were published. Unlike highly-partisan "studies" paid for and designed by the religious right to be used as tools in Supreme Court cases, Crouch's study actually deals entirely with hundreds of same-sex couples, not just two same-sex couples.

     

    Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr
    Hat tip: Addicting Info

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    • commented 2014-07-09 20:40:55 -0400
      I don’t think its a gender thing. I think it’s a society thing. There are generations of social media that shove people into the gender roles that gays seem to avoid. My mother never told us that we never had to be married and have kids or that we had to be housewives. We didn’t have cable or a television, so we had to make our own roles between the three of us. My mother loved us and wanted us, even though we weren’t planned. It’s how you treat and encourage kids that make them well-adjusted or not.

    • commented 2014-07-07 10:09:10 -0400
      @miles Maker – whatever you think people “should be”, won’t change what they ARE.

    • commented 2014-07-07 10:07:17 -0400
      The preferred way to go for the benefit of your child; everybody should be Gay.

    • commented 2014-07-07 09:48:46 -0400
      The research overwhelmingly supports this and who better to listen to about the results of same sex parenting, than the kids themselves:

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q (Zach Wahls)
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDqiTt7mfsQ (Riley Roberts)
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf0puHJ-KM (“Two Fathers” song)
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9x
      E7Gj2qw (“Two Gay Dads”)

      Here is a sample list of US based organisations that are known to support LGBT families: The United Nations, The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Anthropological Association, World Health Organisation, American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, North American Council on Adoptable Children, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Council on Child and Adolescent Health, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mental Health America, California Psychological Association, American Counselling Association, American Sociological Association, American School Health Association, National Association of School Psychologists, not to mention countless universities, local governments, labor unions, and virtually every human rights organisation that exists.

      http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-largest-study-of-children-raised-by-same-sex-parents-shows-theyre-healthier-than-their-peers/politics/2013/06/05/68146

      More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.

      We can turn to a host of experts and research findings on the topic including:

      American Academy of Pediatrics
      American Psychiatric Association
      American Psychological Association
      National Association of Social Workers

      Starting with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which said the following about same-sex parenting:

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/4/e1374.full

      “There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families.”

      THEN the American Psychiatric Association: “Numerous studies over the last three decades consistently demonstrate that children raised by gay or lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents. This research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents, but on stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. The research also shows that children who have two parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientations, do better than children with only one parent."

      AND the American Psychological Association – which passed a lengthy resolution on this issue. The key parts of that resolution are below:

      “WHEREAS
      there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children (citing research by Patterson, 2000, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Tasker,1999);

      WHEREAS
      research has shown that the adjustment,development, and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish (Patterson, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001);
      THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the APA opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services; “THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA believes that children reared by a same-sex couple benefit from legal ties to each parent;

      THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA supports the protection of parent-child relationships through the legalization of joint adoptions and second parent adoptions of children being reared by same-sex couples;

      THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that APA shall take a leadership role in opposing all discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services” NEXT, the National Association of Social Workers:

      “Anyone who wishes to examine the 20 years of peer-reviewed studies on the emotional, cognitive and behavioral outcomes of children of gay and lesbian parents will find not one shred of evidence that children are harmed by their parents’ sexual orientation.

      “The empirical and clinical evidence suggesting same-sex parents are equivalent to heterosexual parents in their ability to care for children and provide loving homes is so compelling that there is a growing consensus among legal and child welfare experts that there is no rational basis to deny adoption to gay and lesbian couples solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

      AND the results of a study by the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Amsterdam, in which children were followed from their adoption by same-sex couples during infancy through to adulthood – 17 years in all. Their finding was that children raised by same-sex parents “were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts in Achenbach’s normative sample of American youth.” This study was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics three years ago.

      In Australia:

      • About 11% of Australian gay men and 33% of lesbians have children. Children may have been conceived in the context of previous heterosexual relationships, or raised from birth by a co-parenting gay or lesbian couple or single parent.
      • Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families.
      • Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity.
      • The possible effect of important socio-economic family factors, such as income and parental education, were not always considered in the studies reviewed in this paper.
      • Although many Australian lesbian-parented families appear to be receiving good support from their health care providers, there is evidence that more could be done to develop policies and practices supportive of same-sex parented families in the Australian health, education, child protection and foster care systems.
      • Additional key messages, relating to specific family structures and psychosocial outcomes for children raised by lesbian and gay parents, are included throughout the paper.

      http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/pubs/papers/a145197/index.html
      http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/pubs/papers/a145197/07.html
      http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-14-635.pdf
      http://mccaugheycentre.unimelb.edu.au/research/current/intergenerational_health/achess

    • commented 2014-07-07 07:58:13 -0400
      I think any child who is wanted and planned for is more likely to turn out better than those who were not. Parents who want to be parents are better than those who become parents by accident.
      I think LGBT people try harder partly because we are under such scrutiny and partly because we often have to take the long road to get/ make a child.
      I think it’s funny how “..people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes.” comes into play. This is why some str8 people are afraid of us. We often do not fit a traditional gender stereotype so we make the best of our talents. Our relationships are under a lot of stress so running a house and kids should be made as easy as possible by doing what we each do best then tackling what is left together.
      Str8 people see this as a threat rather than a different and maybe better way of doing things.
      They always seem to need to know who wears the pants in the family. We all do! Sometimes.

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