Researchers have a message for people who still can’t get behind same-sex couples: They might be better parents than you.
A new study from the University of Texas at Austin found that female same-sex parents spend 40 percent more time in child-focused activities than different-sex parents.
Women spend around 100 minutes a day engaged in child-focused activities, compared with an average of 50 minutes per day among men who were married to, or cohabiting with, women. But fathers in same-sex relationships spend roughly the same time as the mothers, doubling the time typically provided by heterosexual dads.
The report’s author, Kate Prickett, 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.”
Dr Prickett said “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.”
The study used data from the US Census Bureau with a sample of more than 40,000 parents. While the research was unable to point to a definite explanation of the difference, Dr Prickett says existing social research gives an idea.
The findings are fascinating and infuriating at once (really, heterosexual dads?) but it’s worth pointing out that just 55 parents out of more than 44,000 were identified as having same-sex partners, and only 17 of those were men. It’s also worth noting that, while these findings are interesting, the study indicated that parents’ levels of education and financial stability were actually stronger predictors of how much time they spent with their kids than their gender or sexuality.