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Same-sex families - just as good as the traditional set-up!

Vicki Woolven

7th March 2023

For many years certain groups of sociologists have argued that the traditional nuclear family is the best family form - offering the best environment to bring up children. Well recent research is disputing this, and has found that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well, if not better, than those of heterosexual couples.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) states that there are now 212,000 same-sex families in the UK - a rise of 40% since 2015.

This latest research project compared the development of children raised by heterosexual parents with those brough up by same-sex couples, and was undertaken by researchers in the USA and China who analysed 34 studies from countries where same-sex relationships are legal.

The research concluded that parental sexual orientation has very little bearing on child development, and that children raised in same-sex households do just as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers in heterosexual families, and in some cases have better child-parent relationships and fewer psychological problems.

The review’s conclusions include this quote: "The sexual orientation and gender identity of parents are far less important to children’s outcomes and development as compared to what happens within families, such as the quality of parenting and family relationships.” So perhaps it is time for New Right sociologists like Charles Murray to admit that the nuclear family is not the be-all and end-all of families anymore!

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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