Children Raised by Same-Sex Parents Happier and Healthier -- Aussie Study

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Gay couples wait in lineto apply for a marriage license in Salt Lake City
IN PHOTO: Tarah Camarillo (L-R), her partner Nicole Barnes, Leighton Hilburn and his partner Preston Perry wait in line with hundreds of other people to apply for a marriage license at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Children raised by same-sex parents are healthier and happier. A new Australian study suggests these children have better health and wellbeing than children from traditional families.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have surveyed 500 children and 315 same-sex parents to determine their physical health and wellbeing. According to Dr Simon Crouch, lead researcher of what has been described as the biggest study of its kind, said children raised by same-sex parents scored higher in measurements of overall health and family cohesion.

He said the findings reflect how families get along and same-sex parents and their children are "getting along well." Dr Crouch added this greatly affects the child's general health.

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are over 33,000 families with same-sex parents in Australia.

Crouch explained that same-sex couples may feel less pressure in fulfilling the traditional gender roles which led to "more harmonious" families. He cited previous research about parenting, work and home roles within families with same-sex parents which were equally distributed compared to traditional families.

He said same-sex couples assume roles based on their skill sets and avoid playing gender stereotypes like the father going to work while the mother stays home. Crouch said not playing gender-based roles leads to harmonious relationships in the family and ultimately positive wellbeing.

Rodney Chiang-Cruise, a parent who is raising three boys with his same-sex partner, told ABC that he agreed with the findings of the study. He said in his family, the traditional roles of nurturing and breadwinning are shared. Chiang-Cruise believes the equality between the two partners teaches the child that every member of the family has a contribution to make.

The study's findings also have implications for those who are against same-sex marriage for the sake of children. Crouch said society believes the right environment is necessary to raise children and marriage should only be for heterosexual couples.

The University of Melbourne study suggests that children can be raised in different family environments. It also indicates that raising children should not be an obstacle to equality in marriage.

Crouch noted in the study that despite rating better than children in traditional families, same-sex parent families have to deal with social stigma which is experienced in many ways like children being bullied in school.

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