The Medical Journal of Australia recently published an article claiming research shows that children of LGBT parents are as successful emotionally, socially, and educationally as their peers raised by heterosexual parents. The timing is essential; having scientific data to back up one side or the other had the potential to sway the vote in the postal survey. The article titled, “The kids are OK: it is discrimination, not same-sex parents, that harms children” was widely shared online.
Thirteen authors from Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute demonstrated a “consensus of the peer-reviewed research,” and yet the data was skewed in favour of the LGBT community. The article states:
Some research has indicated that children with same-sex parents do better than other children. In addition to equivalent social and educational outcomes, these studies conclude that children raised by same-sex couples show better psychological adjustment, and greater open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity.
However, in their so-called “literature review,” these researchers excluded any report that questioned the claim that children with two parents of the same sex do as well or better than their peers, even though it has been challenged by credible academics in the past five years. Some of the critiques of these studies point out that recent “no difference” studies seem to focus on families whose parents have better education and higher incomes. Many academics have called for deeper and more thorough research. As a piece in Mercatornet pointed out:
However, a closer look at the sketchy data presented in the MJA article suggests that this is utterly irresponsible scholarship… In fact, they ignored recent studies of the “consensus” which argued that the kids might not be OK.
Mercatornet goes on to point out studies published as recently as one year ago are missing from the piece. Australia’s leading medical journal has published an opinion that has been widely publicised and accepted.
The reality is that, with same-sex parenting being a largely recent phenomenon and only impacting a small number of families, there have not been any sufficiently large, long-term studies into its effects. It’s okay, and actually important, that researchers identify areas where more research needs to be done in order to obtain some more conclusive studies. But saying, “we don’t know” during a national marriage debate obviously affects an ideological push to legalise same-sex marriage, and so it appears the researchers have simply chosen to ignore their opponents.
If the kids really were okay, then the researchers should have nothing to fear about including studies that reach a different conclusion. By ignoring this altogether, the researchers prioritised their agenda over what is most important: the well-being of Australian children.