Children of gays and lesbians are healthier and happier than those in the general population, according to a new study done in Australia.
Simon Crouch, the lead researcher in the study, found children of same-sex couples scored higher on family cohesion, which led to better health.
He found that in same-sex relationships, partners take on parenting, home and work roles more suited to their skills than to gender stereotypes. That leads to a more harmonious family and greater well-being, he said.
The Australian census counted more than 33,000 two-parent families with same-sex parents.
The study took into account age, educational and other disparities between same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents. Same-sex couples have to plan to become parents. They don’t find themselves suddenly pregnant because their birth control didn’t work or because they got drunk one night and woke up the next day and found they had hired a surrogate.
But the researchers took those differences into account and compared the children of gay and lesbian couples with children in the general population with parents of similar incomes, age and economic backgrounds. Children of same-sex couples still scored 6 percent higher.
The higher score came despite findings by the research team that children of same-sex couples face greater social stigma and are often bullied. Same-sex parents said they make sure their children are more resilient than other kids.
The study debunks arguments some states have been making to derail same-sex marriage rulings that continue to be issued across the country. In the recent Kentucky case, the state argued that the birth rate would drop if the court ordered marriage equality. Other states have argued children are better off being raised by a mother and a father, citing the discredited University of Austin’s Mark Regnerus study. That study, however, compared children raised in “failed heterosexual unions” to those raised by heterosexual parents in healthy relationships. One of the parents in each of the failed relationships had a romantic relationship with a member of the same sex at some point, but didn’t raise children in stable two-parent relationships.
This study not only refutes Regnerus and those state arguments that children are better off being raised by a mother and a father, but counters those arguments. When pushed on the issue by the other side, plaintiffs could use this study to actually argue that gays and lesbians make better parents and children are better off with two moms or two dads than with a mother and a father.
Right-wing detractors in Australia claim only parents whose children are doing well volunteered for the study. If that’s true, then only straight parents whose children aren’t doing so well volunteered their children for the study. Doesn’t that sort of prove gays and lesbians are at least smarter parents, if not better parents?
Those detractors also wonder what happens to those well-adjusted children once they reach adulthood. Hmmm … don’t well-adjusted children tend to become productive, well-adjusted adults?