A new study has found that children who are raised by same-sex parents perform better at school.
The data looked at almost 3,000 children in the Netherlands with same-sex parents and more than a million children with different-sex parents.
The conclusion of the study was that children who had same-sex parents from birth performed better at both primary and secondary education.
Deni Mazrekaj, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study, spoke to UNILAD about their findings; he worked on the study with two other researchers, Kristof De Witte and Sofie Cabus.
Our study shows that socioeconomic status is a major factor. 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.
However, once we controlled for SES, 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.
He continued, ‘Nonetheless, we only had data on the socioeconomic status, the rest is just a hypothesis, and future studies should address this.’
When asked why they decided to conduct this study, Mazrekaj said it was because he and his colleagues found the topic ‘very interesting’ and that previous studies conducted on the matter were not in-depth enough.
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. And this is important because if a child enters a same-sex family through a divorce for instance, it may bias the results.
While their study was quite large, Mazrekaj explained that their findings were only in regards to children in the Netherlands and that similar studies conducted in the US found there was little difference between children of same-sex or different-sex parents in terms of educational success.
He told UNILAD, ‘Studies from the United States throughout the last two decades highly support the no-difference hypothesis, meaning that children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by different-sex parents.’
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