Children raised by same-sex parents do better at school than those with mixed-sex parents, a revealing new study has shown.
The research by the University of Oxford and Maastricht University in the Netherlands flies in the face of the common homophobic argument that same-sex parenting is harmful to children.
The study analysed data from almost 3,000 children with same-sex parents (2,786 lesbian couples and 185 gay male couples), compared with over a million children with different-sex parents. All children were followed from birth until the end of primary school, and then a third were followed until the end of their secondary education.
It concluded that children with same-sex parents perform noticeably better at both primary and secondary school – and there are many reasons for this.
“We found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older and more educated than the typical different-sex couple,” the study’s lead author Deni Mazrekaj told Unilad.
“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.”
In Europe the costs for adoption typically range between €15,000 and €40,000, while artificial insemination can amount to €1,500 per treatment, with a success rate of about 15 per cent.
The costs are similar or even higher in other countries, such as the United States, where adoption ranges from $15,000 to $40,000 and one cycle of IVF may cost up to $13,000.
Once researchers controlled for socioeconomic status, the positive association between having same-sex parents and performing well at school was 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,” Mazrekaj suggested.
“Nonetheless, we only had data on the socioeconomic status, the rest is just a hypothesis, and future studies should address this.”