Quality of parenting – not sexuality of parents – key to children’s wellbeing

Research conducted over many years has confirmed that the children of same-sex couples have similar levels of wellbeing to those raised by heterosexual parents, according to the Australian Psychological Society.

Heather Gridley, Manager, Public Interest, at the Australian Psychological Society, said that that the outcomes for children with gay or lesbian parents were at least as good as those with heterosexual parents, despite the significant discrimination and inequity many such families face.  

Ms Gridley said: “Research confirms that it is the quality of parenting and of relationships and not the gender of parents or make-up of families that determine the healthy development of children. To suggest otherwise is to ignore years of scientific research and study.”

A significant literature review on same-sex parenting was published by the professional association for psychologists in 2007. It examined more than 200 studies and articles.

The APS, which represents more than 20,000 members, has made a submission into the Senate inquiry in the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010, giving full support to marriage equality on human rights, health and wellbeing grounds.

Ms Gridley said: “Psychological research provides no evidence that would justify legal discrimination against same-sex parents, on the grounds of the health and wellbeing of their children.”

- Ends-

Notes to editors:

The Australian Psychological Society literature review on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
Parented Families is at www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/LGBT-Families-Lit-Review.pdf

More information of the American Psychological Association statement on same-sex marriage, which was endorsed by the APS in December 2011, and the substantial research behind it: www.psychology.org.au/Newsandupdates/22Dec2011/

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The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 20,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to peoples’ lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.