Look, there has been plenty of debate in recent months around the value of same-sex relationships and the impact they have on children. Which is silly – because, in case you haven’t heard, the debate is officially over. Yep, a new study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics this month compares the children of same-sex parents with those of opposite-sex parents – and concludes that it doesn’t matter one-bloody-iota if children have two dads, two mums, or one of each.
Columbia Law School’s What We Know project has gathered data from 73 peer-reviewed articles, each reaching the same conclusion. We’re not talking about some half-arsed Family Feud survey – we’re talking about an international scientific consensus.
It’s time for same sex marriage (post continues after video):
And yet the ongoing game of political hot-potato that is our country’s fight for marriage equality continues. Already this year we’ve seen the independently produced documentary Gayby Baby cause an unprecedented uproar after being scheduled for national in-school screenings on anti-bullying Wear It Purple Day. Oh, and there was the small matter of the Safe Schools program, which was broken-down and unrecognisably reconstructed in the name of conservative compromise.
I get it, change is a pretty scary thing – for some more than others. But it doesn’t take much Googling and common sense to realise that marriage and child-rearing has been in a constant state of evolution for centuries. You only have to open the Bible to learn that King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines; a polygamous state which was adopted by countless cultural groups throughout the world, including China, Africa, and among American Mormons in the 19th century. In fact, according to Harvard historian Nancy Cott, “monogamous households were a tiny, tiny portion” of the world population until two centuries ago, found in “just Western Europe and little settlements in North America.”
So for starters, these ideals we’re grasping aren’t all that old or concrete.
Having cleared that up, I happen to be of the belief that – in this current state of growth – we can all learn a thing or two from families with same-sex parents. Obviously there’s no right or wrong way to build a family or raise a child (thus my writing this article), but it remains true that some of the most insightful, well-adjusted young people I know happen to have two parents of the same gender.