Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World News

Australian Study's Interim Results: Children of same-sex couples thriving 
MELBOURNE -- The initial findings from the world's largest study on the children of same-sex parents, currently under way at Melbourne University, found that children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on a number of key health indicators.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) was designed to explore for the first time the complete health and well-being of Australian children with same-sex parents, and in particular the impact that anti-gay discrimination has on them.
ACHESS collected data on 500 children aged 0-17 years from 315 index parents. 
Study Highlights included: 
  • For 80% of the children a female parent completed the survey, 18% were completed by a male parent, with 2% having a transgender parent. 
  • These parents describe a range of sexual orientations including homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer.
  • Ninety-three per cent of parents are currently in a relationship. 
  • The children come from all states and territories in Australia, with the exception of the Northern Territory.
  • Fifteen per cent of children were born overseas and 11% speak a language other than English at home. 
On measures of general health and family cohesion children aged 5 to 17 years with same-sex parents showed a significantly better score when compared to Australian children from all backgrounds and family contexts. For all other health measures there were no statistically significant differences.
The study also found that Australian children with same-sex parents and their families continue to face discrimination in a variety of contexts.
Discussing the study's finding that children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along, lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch noted;
"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. This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis."
The study interim results are available here and the ACHESS website and further information is available here.