Remember that age-old argument that says kids raised by same-sex parents are "worse off" than kids raised by heterosexual couples? While we already know that tired, homophobic talking point doesn't hold merit, thanks to a recent study conducted in the Netherlands we now have some proof that the opposite is actually true, and that children with queer parents might actually be a little better off because of it.
According to a recently published study by researchers from the University of Oxford, kids raised by LGBTQ+ couples academically outperform their peers raised by straight couples.
The study was conducted in the Netherlands (the first country to first legalize same-sex marriage, the study notes), and according to its abstract, the data was pulled from 2,971 children with same-sex parents (2,786 lesbian couples and 185 gay male couples) and over a million children with different-sex parents who were followed from birth through their primary and secondary education.
"Our results indicate that children raised by same-sex parents from birth outperform children raised by different-sex parents on standardized test scores at the end of primary education by about .14 standard deviations," the summary reads. "By contrast, children who live with same-sex parents at a later date perform worse (albeit not significantly) on the test than children with different-sex parents, likely due to the negative influence of parental separation."
As UNILAD points out, it's worth noting that the families with LGBTQ+ parents are usually of a higher economic status than families raised by the average straight parents, and that income status played an important role throughout the study.
"Our study shows that socio-economic status is a major factor," Oxford postdoctoral researcher and the study's lead researcher Deni Mazrekaj told UNILAD. "We found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older, and more educated than the typical different-sex couple. Same-sex couples often have to use expensive fertility treatments and adoption procedures to have a child, meaning they tend to have a high level of wealth."
He continued: "However, once we controlled for [socio-economic status], the positive associations reduced, but remained positive. Thus it is likely that other factors also play a role, for instance, these are wanted pregnancies and same-sex parents are also very likely to be highly motivated to become parents given the procedures they have to undergo to have children."
"We were aware that the previous literature had major shortcomings: either very low sample sizes or they could study only a single point in time, so they couldn't properly study children who were raised by same-sex parents over a longer period from birth," Mazrekaj said about the reasons for conducting the study in the first place. "This is important because if a child enters a same-sex family through a divorce for instance, it may bias the results."