Comment: Opponents of same-sex parenting are part of the problem

(AAP)

New research has revealed children raised in same-sex families fare just as well as their heterosexual counterparts in all areas but one - tolerance and acceptance.

In this week’s ‘news that is shocking to nobody except for those who blindly ignore logic and reason because of ideology’, a study from researchers at the University of Melbourne has found that children of same-sex couples do just as well as children with heterosexual parents, and are, in fact, above-average on a number of key measures of physical health and social well-being.

The research surveyed 315 same-sex attracted parents with a total of 500 children aged up to 17 years old. Lead researcher Dr Simon Crouch attributed the positive differences to same-sex couples facing less pressure to fulfill ‘traditional’ gender roles, leading to a more equitable distribution of child-care and work responsibilities, which contributes to a more harmonious household and a positive impact on the children’s health.

This follows a report earlier this year (commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies) that stated children raised in same-sex families fare just as well in their educational, emotional and social development as those raised by heterosexual couples. Furthermore, the report argued that lesbian parents tended to be more involved, had better problem-solving skills and reported higher-quality relationships with their children (and their cats).

“It seems impossible that you could look at all the evidence and then look at a child – who is planned and wanted – being raised by two loving parents, and believe that it is the family situation that might cause that child harm; not the negative rhetoric and lack of support that surrounds same-sex families.”

So where does this this growing body of research lead us?

If we were to sink to the level of those who speak out loudly against same-sex couples raising children, we might cherry-pick this research to attack heterosexual parents, claiming that same-sex parenting might actually be better. But no matter how tempting and easy this would be, it’s not what is important to focus on. What is important is that Dr Crouch’s research indicated that two-thirds of the children he researched still experience some form of stigma (including things like bullying and abuse at school) due to their parent’s orientation, resulting in a negative impact on their social and emotional well being.

This is where the hypocritical and illogical nature of those against same-sex families is exposed. This study, amongst others, shows that children with same-sex parents seemingly do very well in literally every way, except for the part where they are subjected to intolerance.

Who is it that creates and perpetuates this intolerance? Conincidentally, it is the very same people who fight against same-sex rights. It is the same people who claim that they are doing so because of their concern for the children involved.

Yes, it is the same people who stop same-sex adoption laws from being enacted in states like Victoria and Queensland, even though a stable and secure family can surely only be a positive for the children you claim to care about. If your greatest objection to same-sex couples achieving equality, or having the right to raise children together, is your concern for the welfare of those children, it is time to turn that reflection inward.

It seems impossible that you could look at all the evidence and then look at a child – who is planned and wanted – being raised by two loving parents, and believe that it is the family situation that might cause that child harm; not the negative rhetoric and lack of support that surrounds same-sex families.

It’s obvious. If the most important thing to you sincerely is the welfare of the children involved, and you genuinely want to support them, there is now no doubt that the best way to do so is to put your full support behind the loving family structure that they are being raised in.

Otherwise, you can no longer claim to hold the moral high ground.

Rebecca Shaw is a Brisbane-based writer and host of the fortnightly comedy podcast Bring a Plate.

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