Children of same-sex parents do better at school, study finds

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Children with same-sex parents outperform other children on multiple indicators of academic achievement, new research has found.

University of Melbourne and University of Queensland researchers analysed data from Dutch population registers for the study, published in journal Demography.

They found children of same-sex-parents scored higher on national standardised tests than those in different-sex-parented families.

The study found children in same-sex-parented families were slightly more likely (1.5 per cent) to graduate from high school.

The children were much more likely (11.2 per cent) to enrol in university than children in different-sex-parented families.

Lead author Dr Jan Kabátek said the results countered the belief children with same-sex parents are inherently disadvantaged.

The University of Melbourne academic said previous studies have faced criticism for the limitations of their research methods.

“The most common criticism is that the studies tend to rely on small and selective samples of same-sex-parented families,” he said.

“Our study moves beyond the vast majority of research conducted in this space.

“It analyses data covering the full population of children living in the Netherlands. [The data allows] us to compare large and representative samples of children living with same-sex and different-sex couples.

“We were able to statistically account for various pre-existing characteristics that may differ between same-sex- and different-sex-parented families.

“For example, the higher average education attainment of same-sex parents, or their lower average incomes.

“This means that our analyses compared children in same-sex- and different-sex-parented families that were similar in all observable characteristics except for their parents’ sex.”

‘Children with same-sex parents thrive’

Forty-five per cent of Australians believe same-sex parents are not as good parents as others, according to the most recent World Values Survey.

Dr Kabátek said, “The message stemming from our findings is clear. Being raised by same-sex parents bears no independent detrimental effect on children’s outcomes.

“In socio-political environments characterised by high levels of legislative and public support, children in same-sex-parented families thrive.”

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