New study indicates children raised by same-sex parents perform better at school

New research led by Dr Deni Mazrekaj at Oxford’s Department of Sociology indicates that children raised by same-sex parents from birth perform better than children raised by different-sex parents in both primary and secondary education. 

Published in the American Sociological Review, the study shows that children raised by same-sex couples out-perform their peers regardless of sex, ethnicity, or parental marital status. The research is based on unique administrative longitudinal data from the Netherlands; the first country to legalize same-sex marriage nearly two decades ago. 

Although widely used in policy debates, previous studies of children’s outcomes when raised by same-sex parents have mostly relied on small selective samples or those based on cross-sectional survey data. 'Our data includes the entire population of children born between 1998 and 2007, following the educational performance of 2,971 children with same-sex parents and over a million children with different-sex parents from birth', explains Dr Mazrekaj. 'This is the first study to address how children who were actually raised by same-sex parents from birth perform in school while retaining a large representative sample.'

Dr Mazrekaj says: ‘We found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older and more educated than the typical different-sex couple. Same-sex couples often have to use expensive fertility treatments to have a child, meaning they tend to have a high level of wealth and are also very motivated to become parents. Their children perform very well in school.’

Read the full paper by Deni Mazrekaj, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, with Kristof De Witte and Sofie Cabus, KU Leuven Belgium below.


Read the full paper on the American Sociological Review website


Children in a classroom.