New research looks at same sex family

New research looks at same sex family

13 Jul 2010

The modern family structure has multiple dimensions.

It can range from the parents' biological or non-biological ties to their children, to definition by marital status or the relationship history of the parents. 

Same sex familySince the late 1990s, the sexual orientations of parents, such as gay and lesbian couples have started to redefine the ‘traditional’ family structure.

Dr Jennifer Power is currently conducting the ‘work, love, play’ study, a major research project looking at the experience of same-sex attracted parents, and their family.

‘We will focus on the way same-sex families operate on a day to day level. We are not trying to demonstrate whether or not the children of same-sex attracted parents have equal outcomes to other children. We feel this work has already been done,’ Dr Power says.

Since the study began in 2008, Dr Power and her team have been asking families many questions about what is it exactly that helps a family stay together and continue to be happy?  How do families deal with stress and experiences of discrimination?

‘This study is working from a theory that indicates supportive family and friends, general good health and equity within the community and at home are contributing factors to a strong family unit,’ she says.

‘We plan to follow up with people at least two more times over the next five years conducting some in-depth interviews. We will ask the families questions about their involvement in their community, the parent’s health and wellbeing, experiences of discrimination they or their children may face and many more,’ Dr Power says.

The ‘work, love, play’ study is being run by the Bouverie Centre at La Trobe University, and is funded by the Australian Research Council, Relationships Australia, Vic Health and ACON, with support from Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and the Queensland  Association for Healthy Communities.  

For more information on the recent findings of the study go to Dr Power’s blog: or visit the Bouverie website and click on the current studies tab:

Media Enquiries:

Lisa Prowling
La Trobe University Communications Officer
T: 03 9479 5517




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