A major new study has found Dutch children raised by same-sex parents perform better at school than their peers.
The study, by researchers at the University of Oxford, looked at family data from the Netherlands, a country that has had same-sex marriage for two decades.
The data involved 2,971 children – parented by 2,786 lesbian couples and 185 gay male couples – in the country. The researchers compared them with more than a million children of opposite-sex parents.
The study concluded the children with same-sex parents from birth performed better in both primary and secondary education.
The researchers explained socio-economic status is a major factor, with the Dutch same-sex parents often wealthier, older, and more educated.
“Our results mostly support the hypothesis that, given the time-consuming and costly procedures for same-sex couples to obtain children, same-sex parents typically have higher socioeconomic status resulting in better school outcomes,” they wrote.
“Nonetheless, when we control for a range of socioeconomic factors, the significantly positive association does not entirely disappear.
“Overall, we conclude that children raised by same-sex parents are likely to perform at least as well as (if not better than) children raised by different-sex parents in school.”
In the study, all of the same-sex parents in the study were couples. The Dutch population registers do not list whether a single-parent identifies as gay or lesbian.
The researchers said previous studies of this type had major shortcomings. These included very low sample sizes or only reflecting a single point in time.
In 2017, an Australian study also found children raised in same-sex-parented families did as well educationally as their peers.
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