The world’s largest study to date exploring the impact gay and lesbian parents have on their children discovered that kids with gay parents are actually happier and healthier than their peers who have straight parents, reports U.K. LGBT site PinkNews.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, conducted at Melbourne University, collected data on the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of 500 children from around the nation up to the age of 17. The study also interviewed 315 gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents, asking them to complete the Child Health Questionnaire, which is recognized around the world. Preliminary results indicated that children of gay and lesbian parents were no different from their peers raised by straight parents in terms of physical and mental health, and in their interactions with others and their parents.
The study did discover, however, that children raised by same-sex parents scored significantly higher in terms of family cohesion and general health than did kids raised by opposite-sex parents, according to PinkNews.
But the study also revealed that children of gay and lesbian parents are more likely to encounter discrimination based on their parents’ sexual orientation.
“One of our hypotheses is that this experience of discrimination does have an impact on child health and well being,” said Dr. Simon Crouch, the lead researcher on the study, who is a gay father of four-year-old twin boys, according to PinkNews.