By Chris Hoenig
Kids raised by gay parents are in better overall health and score higher in measures of family cohesion than other children, throwing ice water on the theory that having same-gender parents is harmful to kids.
The study, billed as the largest of its kind, failed to find any statistically significant differences in other health measures between kids raised by gay or straight parents. Same-gender couples and their children, however, do continue to face discrimination in a variety of ways, according to the preliminary report.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, or ACHESS, tracked the health and well-being of 500 kids between the ages of 0 and 17 and their 315 parents, who identify as members of the LGBT community. It includes single gay parents, as only 93 percent of the adults in the survey reported being in a relationship. The study also included children who are not native Australian; 15 percent of the kids were born outside of Australia and 11 percent speak a language other than English at home. Eighty percent of the surveys returned were filled out by a female parent, 18 percent by a male and 2 percent by someone who identifies as another gender.
The full study is due out by September.
While the results of this study can be seen as encouraging, the discrimination faced by these children and their parents is no surprise. Earlier this year, DiversityInc released our Global Diversity Research report, which found that while progress is being made, inequalities remain for the LGBT community around the world. Most of the progress in acceptance for this population has come in Western Europe, including in the United Kingdom, which has approved same-gender marriage nationwide.
As communities continue to catch up to acceptance, you can learn more about how to create positive environments and inclusive populations on BestPractices.DiversityInc.com, our subscriber-only site. Hear from global CEOs and leaders who have implemented successful strategies on including LGBT employees and also their families.