Study Finds Kids Of Gay Parents Doing Great; Expect Further Parenting Studies To Be Outlawed
OK, so here is some unambiguously nifty Nice Time for you: AnAustralian study of the children of same-sex couples, the largest yet conducted, finds that their kids aren't merely OK, but may be happier and healthier than children in the population at large. We have a feeling that this important research on families may not go over especially well at the "Family Research Council."
Vox has the skinny on the happy kiddos, or as they are known in Australia, "Joeys," even when they're sheilas:
A new study of 315 same-sex parents and 500 children in Australia found that, after correcting for socioeconomic factors, the children fared well on several measures, including asthma, dental care, behavioral issues, learning, sleep, and speech.
Not everything is a delight for families of same-sex partners, however, mostly thanks to the attitudes of people who Care About The Family and therefore hate gays as God demands:
two-thirds of the parents reported a perceived stigma on at least one issue tracked by the survey. These stigmas ranged from other people gossiping about an LGBT family to same-sex parents feeling excluded at social gatherings due to their sexual orientation.
Perceived stigmas were associated with worse scores for physical activity, mental health, family cohesion, and emotional outcomes. The stigmas, however, were not prevalent enough to negatively tilt the children's outcomes in a comparison to outcomes across the general population.
Obviously, if kids of gay parents are experiencing any negative outcomes due to stigma, the answer is to do away with marriage equality, not stigma, since it's so obvious that animus against gays is the only thing holding some heterosexual marriages together. And let's not forget the many jobs in the gay-animus industry; losing that vital part of the wingosphere would undoubtedly lead to some divorces, too.
So why are your homosexxicans possibly able to raise more well-adjusted kids?
Study author Simon Crouch told ABC News in Australia that previous research suggests same-sex parents don't feel pressured into gendered roles, which lets them more freely adapt to the needs of the family.
"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," Crouch said. "What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well-being."
That makes sense to us; we're also going to go way out on a limb and speculate, very unscientifically, that there are probably fewer gay couples turning up with unwanted, "accidental" sprogs, seing as how unless they bring a child into the marriage from a previous relationship, they need to really want to get them a babby.
Also, too, there are some factors that future studies should account for, since they may affect the study's reliability:
The findings are based on reports from the parents who agreed to the survey, which could skew the results. The survey also focused on Australian same-sex parents, so there may be social and cultural factors at play that wouldn't apply perfectly to America's gay and lesbian parents. And the study doesn't compare same-sex parents directly with opposite-sex parents; it instead compares same-sex parents and their children to the general population.
We don't know about you, but we groove on research design. Now get out there and do some follow-up studies, you wacky social scientists!
And to gay parents, children of gay parents, and friends of gay parents: Good onya!
[BMC Public Health (abstract) via Vox / Image credit: Liam Downie and Anthony Lettini and their twins, Syria and Rocco ]
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