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

Joe Williams October 18, 2015
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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.

“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.

Related topics: family, LGBT, LGBT family, same sex parents

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