Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples Are Healthier, Study

First Posted: Jul 07, 2014 07:47 AM EDT

Children raised by same-sex couples are healthier as compared to children raised by heterosexual parents, a new Australian study reveals.

Over the past decade, there has been immense support for same-sex marriage, but at the same time people have highlighted the downside of same-sex marriages stating the children raised by these couples would require additional emotional support and will face social challenges. Apart from this, it takes a toll on the physical and mental health of the children.

According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, nearly two million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents in the southern states of the U.S.

But, researchers at the University of Melbourne claim that children raised by same-sex parents have above average health. However, they warned that stigma was an ongoing challenge for these children and could have a negative impact on their health and well-being.

In this study, the researchers used data from the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex families, which involved input from 315 same-sex parents and 500 children. Out of these, 80 percent were female parents and 18 percent were male parents.

The researchers found that children raised by same-sex couples scored six percent higher on an average than the general population, based on general health and family cohesion factors. The study clearly highlights that Australian children with same-sex couples were developing well.

"These children are growing up in a range of family contexts formed in a range of ways; from previous heterosexual relationships, to assisted reproductive technologies and same sex co-parenting arrangements," said lead researcher Dr. Simon Crouch, from the Jack Brockhoff Child Health.

On most measures including temperament and mood, behavior, mental health, emotional role and self-esteem, these children were equal to the other children.

"It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health," Dr Crouch said. "We know that same-sex attracted parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual parent families, based more on skills rather than gender roles. This appears to be contributing to a more harmonious household and having a positive impact on child health."

The study is published in the journal BMC Public Health.

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