– Shane Warren –
I know every household has bright children and defining terms like ‘bright’ or ‘smart’ can be very subjective when we are speaking of children who are very much still in development. However, this post is picking up on a recent study that looks at the standardized scores of primary aged children. And yes, it is written in a bit of defence against some recent discussions that have once again surfaced as Taiwan debates same-sex marriage and the ins and outs of rainbow families…
A research project was undertaken in the Netherlands, a country well respected for their approach to schooling and education of children; followed all children born from 1995 to 2005 through primary schooling and beyond. The data collected included information about the child’s educational achievements as well as information about the family’s makeup including parents’ incomes levels, ethnicity and same-sex or different-sex households, amongst many other demographic data.
The data sampled used tracked the outcomes of 1,200 children raised in same-sex households and over 1-million children from different-sex households. On average the children from same-sex households outperformed their peers from different-sex households by 0.18 standard deviations. Which indicates that these children are 6.7% more likely to complete school studies and graduate with post-school opportunities than their peers from different-sex households.
Now, this does not necessarily mean that children from same-sex homes are ‘smarter’ but rather that they have a number of other demographical advantages… Same-sex families tend to be, and this study found this to be true, wealthier, older and more highly educated than the average different-sex household.
So, this study affirms one very important factor to providing educational outcome opportunities for children: we need to focus in on the social deviations that will affect a child’s likelihood to excel in their school environment. This is evidenced by the fact that when the researchers took a sample group of children from same-sex households and different-sex households that held a closer resemblance of income and wealth the gap between test scores was noticeably smaller.
Although interesting children from same-sex families still had a slightly higher score average when the income brackets are similar – which I think might be evidence for other reasons children achieve at school… same-sex couples often driven from social pressure to be seen as ‘normal’ or ‘just as good’ as their different-sex couples in school settings probably push (or one could say drive) their children a little harder to achieve so that they will provide opportunities; that we may deep down fear they could be overlooked due to subtle unconscious biases, but that is for a later discussion!
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