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Students with same-sex parents outperform peers on tests

Children with same-sex parents outperform their peers on national standardised tests, a new study has shown.

Researchers from the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland looked at data from Dutch population registers and found that the advantage amounted to 13 per cent of a standard deviation, which is comparable to the advantage associated with both parents being employed as opposed to being out of work.

Lead author and University of Melbourne research fellow Dr Jan Kabátek said the results counter claims that children with same-sex parents are inherently disadvantaged.

Children with same-sex parents were also slightly more likely (1.5 per cent) to graduate from high school and much more likely (11.2 per cent) to enrol in university than students from different-sex parented families.

Kabátek said: “Thanks to these data, we were able to statistically account for various pre-existing characteristics that may differ between same-sex- and different-sex-parented families—for example, the higher average education attainment of same-sex parents, or their lower average incomes. This means that our analyses compared children in same-sex- and different-sex-parented families that were similar in all observable characteristics except for their parents’ sex."

Writing for Pursuit, Kabátek said data from the most recent wave of the World Values Survey revealed that a "sizeable share of the population" across multiple countries still believes that same-sex parents are incapable of being as good parents as different-sex parents.

He said that by looking at the experiences of students in the Netherlands, the researchers were able to retrieve findings that are "more likely to reflect the influence of same-sex parenting itself, and less likely to reflect external influences stemming from non-inclusive institutional environments".

“Altogether, the message stemming from our findings is clear: being raised by same-sex parents bears no independent detrimental effect on children’s outcomes.

“In socio-political environments characterised by high levels of legislative and public support, children in same-sex-parented families thrive.”

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