Same-Sex Parents Have ... Healthier Kids?

Australian study finds fewer gender stereotypes in gay families

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 6, 2014 5:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – A new Australian study finds that kids with same-sex parents have greater "general health and family cohesion" than most people because they're less influenced by gender stereotypes—but one critic is questioning the study's objectivity. Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia surveyed 315 same-sex parents, the majority of them lesbians, and found a 6% higher level of health and cohesion than in the general population, Raw Story reports. "That’s really a measure that looks at how well families get along," says lead researcher Simon Crouch. He pointed to previous research that same-sex households distribute home and work roles "more equitably" than straight households:

  • "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," he says.

But Roslyn Phillips at Family Voice Australia downplayed the study, saying she "wasn't surprised" the parents "all thought their children were doing well," and argued that a more effective study would look at the grown-up children of same-sex couples, ABC News Australia reports. She also noted that Crouch is raising two children himself with a gay partner. But Crouch responded that he's primarily a doctor and researcher whose "objectivity ... doesn't depend on my own personal situation." (Read about a straight dad who fought for the same benefits given to gay parents.)

This undated photo provided by Cari Searcy, Searcy sits with partner Kimberly McKean, right, and their 8-year-old son Khaya at their home in Mobile, Ala.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Cari Searcy)
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