The Sunday Mail, 25 September 2016
by Jackie Sinnerton
Lesbian couples make the best parents, with research showing their children have higher levels of health and wellbeing.
Studies show a lack of gender stereotyping and equal sharing of traditional nurturing roles creates stronger family bonds and happiness.
A snapshot of studies on same sex couples released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies highlights that children of lesbian couples experience higher quality parenting.
Dr Deborah Dempsey from Swinburne University of Technology found that the lack of gender stereotyping and the equal sharing of the traditional nurturing role brings family happiness. Sons display greater gender flexibility while both sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards diversity in sexuality, gender and family forms.
Dr Simon Crouch from the University of Melbourne also found that families with same-sex parents, both men and women, were tighter knit than traditional family units.
“Family cohesion is better in these families,” Dr Crouch said.
One third of Australian women in same sex relationships have children and 11 per cent of gay men are dads.
“Children can be raised successfully by gay parents but still we face social stigma,” Brisbane mum of two Suzanne Michaels said.
Ms Michaels married her partner Shannon in Canada and they have two daughters.
“In our home there is no gender division of chores. We parent equally, we share the care of our girls. The nurturing role is doubled up and the kids are very much-loved.
“But there is no doubt that we have to constantly talk to our children and prepare them for the social reaction to them having two mums.
“We try to instil in our girls that families come in all shapes and sizes and that is okay. Anyone who thinks that lesbians and gay men are raising their children to be gay have no understanding that you cannot influence a person’s sexuality or identity. Neither Shannon or myself are particularly feminine in the traditional sense but our daughter is a real little princess who loves all things girlie; it’s just how she is.”
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