What did the preliminary findings show?
The initial analysis showed that Australian children of same-sex couples fared better on average than families from the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion, but continue to be subject to discrimination.
Lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch, from the University of Melbourne, said the early findings suggested Australian children with same-sex attracted parents were developing well.
“These children are growing up in a range of contexts and score well on measures of health and well-being in the face of discrimination,” he said. Despite this, children with same-sex attracted parents were scoring particularly well in the domains of general health and family cohesion.
In the study, 80% of respondents were female parents, 18% were male parents, and 2% of parents described themselves as being of other gender. The parents involved in the research described a range of sexual orientations including homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer. They were from all states around Australia, except the Northern Territory.
- Children (5-17 years) with same-sex attracted parents showed a significantly better score on general health and family cohesion when compared to Australian children from all backgrounds and family contexts
- For all other health measures there were no statistically significant differences
- Australian children with same-sex attracted parents and their families continue to face discrimination in a variety of contexts
The study is the biggest of its kind to investigate the complete physical, mental and social well-being of children with same-sex attracted parents, and in particular the role that stigma and discrimination play in their health and well-being.
What does this mean for our children and same-sex couples?
“There are an increasing number of children with same-sex attracted parents in Australia. International research to date has suggested that these children are doing well in many aspects of their lives, however they are often affected by the discrimination that their families may experience due to parental sexual orientation” Dr Crouch said.
Dr Crouch also said: “These results are promising and we look forward to further findings which we expect later this year.” These findings are very encouraging and add to the growing body of evidence that shows that children with same-sex couples as parents do well.