Lesbian and Gay Families with Children: Implications of Social Science Research for Policy
ABSTRACT In this paper, we provide an overview of variability across jurisdictions in family law relevant to lesbian and gay parents and their children, showing that some courts have been negatively disposed to these families. We summarize recent research findings suggesting that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as are heterosexual parents to provide home environments that support positive outcomes among children. Research findings suggest that unless and until the weight of evidence can be shown to have shifted, parental sexual orientation should be considered irrelevant to disputes involving child custody, visitation, foster care, and adoption.
- SourceAvailable from: aviewfromwithincounselingcenter.com[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Legal and policy questions relevant to the lives of lesbian and gay parents and their children have recently been subjects of vigorous debate. Among the issues for which psychological research has been seen as particularly relevant are questions regarding child custody after divorce, same-sex marriage, adoption, and foster care. This article provides an overview of the current legal terrain for lesbian and gay parents and their children in the United States today, an overview of relevant social science research, and some commentary on the interface between the two. It is concluded that research findings on lesbian and gay parents and their children provide no warrant for legal discrimination against these families.American Psychologist 11/2009; 64(8):727-36. · 6.87 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although pregnancy loss is a distressing health event for many women, research typically equates women's experiences of pregnancy loss to 'married heterosexual women's experiences of pregnancy loss'. The objective of this study was to explore lesbian and bisexual women's experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. This study analysed predominantly qualitative online survey data from 60 non-heterosexual, mostly lesbian, women from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. All but one of the pregnancies was planned. Most respondents had physically experienced one early miscarriage during their first pregnancy, although a third had experienced multiple losses. The analysis highlights three themes: processes and practices for conception; amplification of loss; and health care and heterosexism. Of the respondents, 84% conceived using donor sperm; most used various resources to plan conception and engaged in preconception health care. The experience of loss was amplified due to contextual factors and the investment respondents reported making in impending motherhood. Most felt that their loss(es) had made a 'significant'/'very significant' impact on their lives. Many respondents experienced health care during their loss. Although the majority rated the overall standard of care as 'good'/'very good'/'outstanding', a minority reported experiencing heterosexism from health professionals. The implications for policy and practice are outlined. The main limitation was that the inflexibility of the methodology did not allow the specificities of women's experiences to be probed further. It is suggested that both coupled and single non-heterosexual women should be made more visible in reproductive health and pregnancy loss research.Human Reproduction 12/2009; 25(3):721-7. · 4.67 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Academic and policy effects of eight early dissertations on gay and lesbian parenting are discussed with a focus on their having been cited at least 234 times in over 50 literature reviews, beginning with Gottman in 1989 and 1990. Most literature reviews, referencing these eight early dissertations and agreeing with Gottman's early conclusions, have reiterated the theme that parenting by gay men or lesbians has outcomes no different than parenting by heterosexual parents. Here it is proposed that certain potential adverse findings may have been obscured by suppressor effects which could have been evaluated had multivariate analyses been implemented. Further, several adverse findings were detected by reanalyzing data where sufficient information was yet available. Some of the dissertations' results (absent controls for social desirability and other differences between homosexual and heterosexual parents) supported the 2001 "no differences" hypothesis discussed by Stacey and Biblarz. Yet, differences were also observed, including some evidence in more recent dissertations, suggesting that parental sexual orientation might be associated with children's later sexual orientation and adult attachment style, among other outcomes. Odds ratios associated with some of the apparent effects were substantial in magnitude as well as statistically significant. Also, more recent research on gay and lesbian parenting continues to be flawed by many of the same limitations as previous research in this area of study, including overlooked suppressor effects.Psychological Reports 09/2008; 103(1):275-304. · 0.44 Impact Factor