The Australian Study of Child Health in Same Sex Families (ACHESS)

In class yesterday, we discussed the idea of same-sex marriage and Gallagher’s stance on the topic. She is clearly opposed to same-sex marriage, and one of her arguments is that it is better for children to grow up in households with heterosexual parents than with homosexual parents. Having found this argument to be absurd, I decided to do some research and came across a landmark study from earlier this year (July 2014) which found that “children raised by same-sex parents thrive.” In this study, so called the Australian Study of Child Health in Same Sex Families (ACHESS), researchers surveyed 315 same-sex parents across Australia and questioned them about family cohesion, social adjustment, mental health, and general physical health of their 500 children. They then compared the results to those representative of the entire population of Australia. Interestingly, the researchers found that children raised by same-sex parents scored about 6% higher than those raised by opposite-sex parents, even when sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income were kept constant. Thus, the conclusion was that children raised by same-sex parents are potentially happier and healthier than children raised by opposite-sex parents. Dr. Simon Crouch, the study’s lead researcher, explained that these observed results were due to the fact that parents in same-sex households must “take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes.” Accordingly, he believes that the familial unit is more harmonious and therefore the children (in same-sex parent households) are happier and healthier.

I think that these results clearly contradict Gallagher’s claim that it is better for children to grow up in households with heterosexual parents than with homosexual parents. In fact, this study found the opposite to be true, that children raised in same-sex parent households do better than children raised in opposite-sex parent households. How would Gallagher respond to these findings?

Sources:

1. http://www.glaad.org/blog/study-shows-children-raised-same-sex-parents-thrive

2. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/07/05/3456717/kids-raised-by-same-sex-couples-are-healthier-and-happier/

One thought on “The Australian Study of Child Health in Same Sex Families (ACHESS)

  1. I fully agree that Gallagher’s claim is absurd, however since the study was focused mostly on women couples, Gallagher may argue that only women, who are “natural caregivers”, can care for children, so when there are two mothers, the children will turn out better. she may argue when there are two men, they do not turn out as well. Since the research can not argue against this, her claim may still have some soundness.

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