Australian researchers are in the midst of the world's largest study on children of gay or lesbian parents, tracking participant's mental, social and physical health. Initial results of their analysis suggest children of same-sex marriages are just as healthy as, if not healthier than, children of heterosexual couples.

"Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying," said lead researcher Dr. Simon Crouch from the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne.

"This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis."

Dr. Crouch along with colleagues from Melbourne University issued questionnaires to 500 children with gay or lesbian parents. The research team also gauged the responses of 315 gay or lesbian parents, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Although the children of same-sex couples exhibited the same amount of self-esteem and time spent with their parents as children of straight couples, researchers did state that these children scored higher on overall health standards and family cohesion.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, some of the misconceptions concerning gay or lesbian couples raising children include the idea they are more likely to turn out gay, sexually abused, or confused about gender role behavior.

Current research focusing on the quality of a parent-child relationship claims that not one of these possible circumstances is affected by a parent's sexual orientation.

In fact, a large of portion of these findings agree with Dr. Crouch's assumption that most of the hardships faced by these children come from influences outside of the household like bullying.

Source: Crouch S, Waters E, McNair R. The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families. Melbourne University. 2013.