New research suggests that kids of same-sex parents perform better in schools. Deni Mazrekaj, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study, dissected data from 3,000 Dutch children with same-sex parents and more than a million kids from a classic nuclear family and found some pretty interesting information.
- Kids from same-sex parents by birth just did better academically. Those who grew up with same-sex parents from birth not only performed better in primary school but also in secondary education, which is pretty significant.
- It has a lot to do with money. As Mzarekaj explained to Unilad, the findings aren’t necessarily indicative of same-sex parents being better at raising kids but they do point out the socioeconomic differences of various family formations. “We found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older and more educated than the typical different-sex couple. 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,” Mzarekaj said.
- However, there’s more to it. It’s not all about how wealthy parents were. After removing the socioeconomic factor from the data, researchers found that there were other things at work. “Once we controlled for SES, the positive associations reduced, but remained positive,” Mzarekaj said. “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.”
- More research needs to be done. Mzarekaj was quick to point out that socioeconomic played a central focus in the study and therefore far more research needs to be done in order to parse out how much the gender of parents play a role in a child’s academic performance. Both this study and previous ones weren’t detailed enough. “We were aware that the previous literature had major shortcomings: either very low sample sizes or they could study only a single point in time, so they couldn’t properly study children who were raised by same-sex parents over a longer period from birth. And this is important because if a child enters a same-sex family through a divorce for instance, it may bias the results.”
- Findings from studies in the US showed different results. They found little to no difference in academic performance between kids from same-sex parented families and those with heterosexual parents. All the reason for more research to be done into this interesting field!