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Throwing a wrench further into the argument against same-sex parenting, a new study (the largest study done to date) found that children of same-sex families grow to be physically healthier, and their families more cohesive.

The Australian study was conducted with more than 500 children from 300 gay families and measured through a series of standardized tests measuring health and well-being and comparing those results with the general population.

One of the researchers said, “We found that children from same-sex families scored, on average, 6 percent better on two key measures, general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for a number sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income,” wrote lead researcher Simon Crouch. “But on most health measures, including emotional behaviour and physical functioning, there was no difference when compared with children from the general population.”

Researcher Simon Crouch suggested that the greater family cohesion may be due to the equal sharing of responsibility of work, family life, and general duties that gay people are better at distributing and sharing than heterosexuals.

Another researcher posited that the positive differences may stem from the lack of traditional gender role enforcement and stereotypes that may lead to a “more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well being.”

Of course, things aren’t always fine and dandy for these families. Many children do face the stigma, and for those who marked higher scores for stigmatization, the lower they scored on many aspects of the study. No study will provide concrete answers for what is best for children growing up, but scores such as parent competence and security, relationships with parents, and social & economic support are much more important factors than sexual orientation of the parent.

With stigma from other people being one of the few issues with same-sex parenting, the more studies done, the better, and the less judgement from other people, the best.

Read the abstract of the study here.