Same-sex parents invest more into their children, study finds

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

LGBT parents invest more time into their children than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a new major study.

The study – that was launched to tackle prejudice against same-sex parents – found that the difference is most pronounced in families with two mothers, where parents spend an average 40 per cent more time on child-centred activities.

Same-sex parents invest more into their children, study finds

It is thought this is because both mothers offer as much child-focused activity as mothers in heterosexual relationships – meaning the child receives twice as much attention.

In addition, fathers in same-sex relationships spend roughly the same amount of time as straight mothers – which is twice as much time as straight dads.

Women in heterosexual relationships spend an average of 100 minutes a day on child based activities – where heterosexual dads spend an average of 50 minutes.

Author Kate Prickett – from the University of Texas – said: “Our findings support the argument that parental investment in children is at least as great – and possibly greater – in same-sex couples as for different-sex couples.”

Tasks such as reading, playing, helping with homework, bath time, and doctor’s appointments were included in the study.

However, passive activities – such as watching television, or doing housework while a child was around – were not counted.

“Our study suggests that children with two-parents-of-the-same-sex families received more focused time from their parents – 3.5 hours a day, compared with 2.5 hours by children with different-sex parents,” added Dr Prickett.

Dr Prickett says the reason for the results may be due to the selection process often involved in same-sex families.

Same-sex parents invest more into their children, study finds

“First, it’s possible that selection plays a large part.

“That is, the ways that same-sex families come about, such as partnering with someone who already has a child, going through insemination or surrogacy, or … adoption, suggest a strong desire to be a parent,” she wrote.

Tor Docherty, chief executive of New Family Social, an organisation supporting LGBT adoptive and foster families, said: “For all adoptive parents, spending time to develop an attachment with a child is key.

Advertisement Remove ads

“Developing confidence and self-esteem are skills LGBT people can thrive at, making them well-placed to help a child who needs to make sense of their place in the world,” he told The Independent.

Earlier this year, researchers from Cambridge University claimed it may be possible to make a baby using cells from two same-sex parents.

A stem cell research breakthrough has revealed that in just two years same-sex couples could have their own biological children.

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments