One of the world’s largest studies on children of same sex couples has shown that they are doing better than the rest of the population. This study reveals that not only are these young people thriving they have higher rates of family cohesion as compared to a heterosexual household.
This study was performed at Melbourne University, Australia and the initial findings showed some promising results.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families drew from health data comprising of 500 children between ages of 5-17 years across the nation.
315 gay, bisexual and lesbian couples completed the globally recognised Child health questionnaire. The results showed that 80 per cent of them were women.
The interim report revealed that there was no major statistical difference between children of same sex parents and the rest of the population on certain indicators. These indicators were self-esteem, emotional behaviour, and the duration of time spent with parents.
Children of same sex couples did score higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion. This showed that children of same sex couples get along better with their families.
A study recently found that 70 percent of gay and lesbian students in Queensland experience bullying from students and teachers alike. This put the children of same-sex couples on common grounds as they are likely to experience similar taunts. They are hence more open to voice these issues leading to closer family dynamics.
Dr Simon Crouch, lead researcher of the study said, ”Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,” and ”this fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis.’
39 year old mother of three, Kate Coghlan tells, ”We talk about everything: from how they were conceived to the different relationships that people have. They are very accepting and more tolerating of diversity.”
The biological mother of Hannah, 8, and Xavier, 6 is her partner Susan Rennie while Kate gave birth to five year old Anouk. All three children share the common donor and Ms. Couglan and Ms. Rennie are very open about their children knowing about their biological father.
”They say ‘yes, we have got a dad; he just doesn’t live with us’,” Ms Couglan said.
Researchers noticed that same sex parents and their children “continue to face discrimination in a variety of contexts”.
Researchers wrote, “These early findings suggest that Australian children with same-sex attracted parents are developing well. They … score well on measures of health and wellbeing in the face of discrimination.”
Kevin Rudd, former prime minister had said that the wellbeing of the children in a family unit was the “sole remaining obstacle” to him that stopped him from supporting same sex marriages, which he now supports.
Hopefully this research will help convince future lawmakers to support gay marriage equality when it comes up for a vote next.