Children of same-sex couples are just as physically and emotionally healthy as those of their same-sex peers, according to a recent University of Melbourne study that sheds light onto the ways children react in an era of changing familial structures.
Researchers surveyed 315 parents across Australia in an effort to describe the physical, mental and social well-being of children with same-sex parents. Not only did same-sex attracted couples report levels of well-being similar to those reported by heterosexual parents, but their kids scored higher on measures of general health and family cohesion.
Why would this be the case? The study's lead author thinks the reason is that nontraditional family units aren't don't feel limited by traditional gender roles. ABC.net.au has a detailed explanation:
[Lead researcher] Dr. [Simon] Crouch said same-sex couples faced less pressure to fulfill traditional gender roles, which led to a more harmonious households [sic].
"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."
In other words, when parents are satisfied and successful in their household and work duties, their kids are more likely to be in good health. Hooray for happiness!
While there is probably no "best" way to parent a child, this study serves as a reminder that negative stereotypes of same-sex couples raising children are misguided. Here's to equality!
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