A government advisor has said that lesbians make better parents than straight couples.

Professor Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, told a meeting last week that evidence showed children raised by two women tended to have higher aspirations and were more likely to champion social justice.

He told a Demos meeting for the launch of a report into the influence of character on life: “Lesbians make better parents than a man and a woman.”

Scott is thought to have been referring to research by Birkbeck College and Clark University in Massachusetts. Researchers there found that children of lesbian parents were more likely to aspire to traditionally male professions than those raised by straight couples.

A wide range of research over the years has found that children raised by lesbian couples are as healthy and happy as those brought up in heterosexual households. There has been no evidence to show they are more likely to be gay.

In 2008, the longest-running study into lesbian parents in the United States found that it is discrimination, not the sexual orientation of their parents, which harms children.

Dr Nanette Gartrell, who conducted the 22-year National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, said: “The findings of our research conclude that children raised in lesbian parent households are healthy, happy, and high-functioning.”

The Adoption and Children Act, which came into force in December 2005, gave gay couples and unmarried straight couples the right to jointly adopt children.

Lesbians undergoing IVF treatment can now record their partner as the second parent on the birth certificate.

However, the Centre for Social Justice, chaired by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, recommended in July that non-biological lesbian parents should be downgraded to a “special guardianship” status.

Last month, Tory leader David Cameron announced in his conference speech that if elected to power, he would put Duncan Smith in charge of mending “broken” society.