By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com June 06 2013 11:47 AM ET
Despite the line being pushed by antigay activists, the world's largest study of same-sex parenting to date finds children are actually healthier than their peers, reports Australian paper The Age.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families is in progress at Melbourne University, collecting data on 500 children from around the nation up to the age of 17. So far, 315 gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents have completed the Child Health Questionnaire, which is recognized around the world.
According to an interim report, children from families with same-sex parents scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, while there was no statistical difference between them and children of heterosexual couples in areas such as emotional behavior, self-esteem, and time spent with parents.
''Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,'' says lead researcher Simon Crouch in the report. ''This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis.''
By comparison, the widely debunked study by Mark Regenerus of University of Texas at Austin used only 20 cases of same-sex parenting to draw its conclusions, and only two of which were instances of both same-sex parents having been in a child's life for all 18 years of their upbringing. Regenerus used that sample (which researchers say has other problems in addition to its small size) to claim children of gay parents were worse off compared to straight parents.
That hasn't stopped Regenerus from claiming it's actually the Australian study that's wrong. In a guest op-ed in the conservative National Review, he attacks the study today for using emails and other forms of advertising to find the couples who participated in the survey. Regenerus says the 500 couples may participate because they have an agenda to push and that their self-reporting about their own children is biased.