Article

Children of Gay and Lesbian Parents

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to review research literature concerning children of gay and lesbian parents. The review includes studies that compared children of lesbian mothers to children of heterosexual mothers on gender identity, gender role, sexual orientation, and varying aspects of psychological health and adjustment. Experiences and perceptions of children of gay fathers are also reviewed. The author's study found that adult-aged daughters of lesbian mothers did not significantly differ from adult daughters of heterosexual mothers on gender identity, gender role, sexual orientation, and social adjustment. Clinical and legal implications were drawn, and suggestions for future research were made.

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... Early studies pertaining to children's gender development in LGB-parent families primarily focused on similarities between children raised by LGB parents and children raised by heterosexual parents, whereas more recent research has focused on LGB-parent families in their own right or on the potential particular aspects of growing up in such environments. Turning first to early studies, researchers reported no differences regarding gender identification (self-identification as a girl, boy, or another gender identity) between children of lesbian parents and children of heterosexual parents (Golombok, Spencer, & Rutter, 1983;Gottman, 1990;Green, Mandel, Hotvedt, Gray, & Smith, 1986), and they observed that children of lesbian parents displayed "appropriate" gendered behaviors and attitudes (Brewaeys, Ponjaert, Hall, & Golombok, 1997;Golombok et al., 2003;Gottman, 1990;MacCallum & Golombok, 2004). These early findings were critically important for protecting the rights of LGB-parent families and should be understood in that historical political climate of great pressure to show that nonheterosexual parenting is not harmful to children (Lev, 2010). ...
... Early studies pertaining to children's gender development in LGB-parent families primarily focused on similarities between children raised by LGB parents and children raised by heterosexual parents, whereas more recent research has focused on LGB-parent families in their own right or on the potential particular aspects of growing up in such environments. Turning first to early studies, researchers reported no differences regarding gender identification (self-identification as a girl, boy, or another gender identity) between children of lesbian parents and children of heterosexual parents (Golombok, Spencer, & Rutter, 1983;Gottman, 1990;Green, Mandel, Hotvedt, Gray, & Smith, 1986), and they observed that children of lesbian parents displayed "appropriate" gendered behaviors and attitudes (Brewaeys, Ponjaert, Hall, & Golombok, 1997;Golombok et al., 2003;Gottman, 1990;MacCallum & Golombok, 2004). These early findings were critically important for protecting the rights of LGB-parent families and should be understood in that historical political climate of great pressure to show that nonheterosexual parenting is not harmful to children (Lev, 2010). ...
Article
Eight nonheterosexual (i.e., bisexual, lesbian, bi/pansexual) mothers with trans* children between 6 and 11 years of age participated in semistructured interviews in which they discussed the intersections of their own sexual minority identities with their children's gender identities or expressions. Transfamily theory was utilized to understand how heteronormativity and cisnormativity operated in these families' lives. Initial lack of awareness among most of the mothers regarding trans* identities, as well as efforts by some to curb their children's gender expressions, paralleled previous reports on primarily heterosexual parents with trans* children. Having sexual minority identities and experience with LGBTQ communities was beneficial for some mothers but seemingly disadvantageous for others, in that some experienced blame for their children's trans* statuses, often due to the fact that these mothers identified as queer themselves. Findings reveal complexities in how participants were influenced by heteronormativity and cisnormativity and have implications for those looking to learn more about queer parents' experiences raising their trans* children.
... However, contrary to such assertions, and apparent scholarly consensus, it has been demonstrated that parental sexual orientation does appear-in a large number of studies, contrary to Herek's (2014) assertion-to be associated with child outcomes in terms of a child's sexual orientation . When a formal meta-analysis was performed on data from several studies that had provided rates for children from both heterosexual and same-sex parent families (Canning, 2005;Gottman, 1989;Javaid, 1993;Huggins, 1989;Kunin, 1998;Murray & McClintock, 2005;Regnerus, 2012aRegnerus, , 2012bRivers, Poteat, & Noret, 2008;Sirota, 1997;Swank, Woodford, & Lim, 2013), an overall OR of 3.12 (95% CI, 2.53 to 3.83, p < .001) was obtained, suggesting that the odds that children from same-sex parent families would grow up to identify as LGB or to engage in same-sex sexual behavior were three times greater than for children of heterosexual parents. For example, Ross and Dobinson (2013) cited Murray and McClintock (2005) as having found that ''43% of the participants raised by bisexual parents and 38% of the participants raised by gay/lesbian parents'' (p. ...
... for daughters of lesbian mothers vs. heterosexual mothers, again featuring stronger results for daughters than for sons. The third source cited by Fedewa et al. (2015) was Schwartz (1986;Gottman, 1989); remarkably, across two groups of heterosexual parents and one group of lesbian mothers, 24% of the daughters in each group reported higher scores on a scale assessing nonheterosexual sexual orientation. ...
Article
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Are the outcomes for children of gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents in general the same as those for heterosexual parents? That controversial question is discussed here in a detailed review of the social science literature in three parts: (1) stability of same-sex parental relationships, (2) child outcomes, and (3) child outcomes in same-sex adoption. Relationship instability appears to be higher among gay and lesbian parent couples and may be a key mediating factor influencing outcomes for children. With respect to part 2, while parental self-reports usually present few significant differences, social desirability or self-presentation bias may be a confounding factor. While some researchers have tended to conclude that there are no differences whatsoever in terms of child outcomes as a function of parental sexual orientation, such conclusions appear premature in the light of more recent data in which some different outcomes have been observed in a few studies. Studies conducted within the past 10 years that compared child outcomes for children of same-sex and heterosexual adoptive parents were reviewed. Numerous methodological limitations were identified that make it very difficult to make an accurate assessment of the effect of parental sexual orientation across adoptive families. Because of sampling limitations, we still know very little about family functioning among same-sex adoptive families with low or moderate incomes, those with several children, or those with older children, including adolescents or how family functioning may change over time. There remains a need for high-quality research on same-sex families, especially families with gay fathers and with lower income.
... We did not include studies that measured data with respect to 2GenV but did not report percentages (e.g., Bos & Patterson, 2004). In some cases, the same results were reported in two (e.g., Bozett, 1987Bozett, , 1988Goldberg, 2007a, b;Huggins, 1989aHuggins, , 1989bGottman, 1989;Schwartz, 1986;Tasker & Golombok, 1995;Golombok & Tasker, 1996) or even three different sources (Bozett, 1980(Bozett, , 1981a, but the results were counted as one data point despite being reported twice in the literature; in those cases, we used the source with the highest number of Google citations. Canning (2005) reported only the mean (14.7) and standard deviation (1.8) for the age of his children, as well as the possible range of ages, but did not report minimum/maximum ages; however, using the SPRITE program (Heathers, Anaa, van der Zee, & Brown, 2018), we were able to determine that the actual minimum/maximum ages were 12 and 18, respectively. ...
... but the results were not significant statistically (p < .20). We used the sample size associated with the number of children of same-sex parents, especially those who could identify the sexual orientation of their children, though this might differ from the number of parents interviewed or the total number of children; for example, Easterbrook (2019) interviewed 45 LGBT parents who had 95 children but only 29 of the children (genders not reported) were labeled by their parents as having a known sexual orientation, of whom 19 were nonheterosexual. ...
Article
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While a few have argued that social science has been subject to progressive biases, others have discounted such ideas. However, no one has yet performed empirical tests over a large range of studies for such possible bias, which we label macro-level social desirability (MLSD). Combining the results from fifty-nine empirical studies that assessed rates of nonheterosexuality among children of same-sex parents, we found that the higher the maximum rates reported, the less likely those reports were to have been cited in Google Scholar by counts or by annual rate, which may reflect MLSD. However, after several statistical controls, the association for counts became non-significant, while the association for rates became stronger, although the effect sizes were in a moderate (d = .28 or higher) to large range (d, up to .68) by either analysis. Generally, research quality acted as a suppressor variable for MLSD but was significantly related to both counts and rates of citations, indicating that higher quality articles were more likely to have been cited, even controlling for the number of years since first publication. Higher quality articles were slightly more likely to report higher rates of nonheterosexuality among children of same-sex parents. We discuss implications of our findings and suggest future directions of research.
... The first studies on the adult children of lesbian and gay parents reported that the vast majority identified themselves as heterosexuals, both when informants were the parents themselves (Miller, 1979), and when adolescent (Huggins, 1989) and adult children (Gottman, 1990;Paul, 1986) were interviewed directly about their sexual orientation. However, these studies were frequently carried out with very small samples that were heterogeneous in terms of the age of the children or the origin of the families, a circumstance that may, on occasions, have resulted in the introduction of extraneous variables that were not controlled for. ...
Article
This study examined the sexual orientation of 30 young adult children of lesbian and gay parents, analyzing three dimensions (sexual behavior, sexual attraction and sexual self-identification), their evolution over time and the possible influence of gender (19 women and 11 men). Sexual orientation was measured using KSOG. The results revealed that most participants defined themselves as heterosexual only, although percentages varied between 87% for sexual behavior to 67% for sexual attraction and 60% for sexual self-identification. Gender differences were found for sexual attraction and self-identification, with men having a polarized profile (responses at both ends of the scale) and women reporting a less exclusive and more fluid sexuality. These findings are discussed in light of the complex nature of sexual orientation, the freedom of these young adults for defining their sexual orientation, and the role played by gender and family experiences.
... Tampoco las hay en lo que respecta a la tipificación sexual, es decir, al proceso por el cual se aprende lo que, teóricamente, es considerado propio de cada sexo: Cramer (1986); Gottman (1989); Green y Bozzett (1991); Patterson (1992Patterson ( , 1997. En la misma dirección concluyen los estudios sobre la mayor posibilidad, por parte de los hijos e hijas de gays y lesbianas, de seguir la orientación sexual de sus padres y madres: Hotvedt y Mandel (1982); Green y Bozett (1991);Falk (1994); Golombok y Tasker (1996) y los más novedosos de Ocobock (2018) y Luke (2018). ...
Article
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This paper proposes as objectives of the study to determine the opinion of university students about homoparenthood, to verify if there are, or not, statistically significant differences when crosscheking opinion with different identification variables with the final objective of establishing a characteristic profile of the students with the best or worst attitude towards homoparenthood. The methodology used is based on a descriptive design type survey applied on a sample size of 332 students that have been selected by stratified probabilistic sampling of the Faculty of Education of the University of Granada. The results obtained suggest that the opinion, in general, is in favour of this family typology, while it is true that three of the four identification variables make statistically significant differences. Starting out from this premise, we have been able to establish as a main finding a profile of university students more favourable toward homoparenthood which is composed of women from all Degrees, except Degree in Pedagogy, who know same-sex couples, whose places of birth are, indistinctly, rural or urban.
... Research on adults raised in lesbian families provides an opportunity to test theoretical assumptions about the role of parents in their children's sexual orientation; if parents are influential in whether their children grow up to be heterosexual, lesbian, or gay, then it might be expected that lesbian parents would be more likely than heterosexual parents to have lesbian daughters and gay sons. With the exception of Gottman's (1990) investigation of adult daughters of lesbian mothers in which actual sexual behavior was not reported, research on lesbian families has focused on children rather than adults, and sexual orientation has not been assessed (Golombok, Spencer, & Rutter, 1983;Green, Mandel, Hotvedt, Gray,&Smith, 1986;Hoeffer, 1981;Kirkpatrick, Smith, & Roy, 1981; for a review, see Patterson, 1992). ...
Article
Tradução: Simão Mateus, 2007 Dados resultantes de um estudo longitudinal sobre a orientação sexual de adultos que foram criados, em crianças, por famílias lésbicas. Vinte e cinco filhos a de mães lésbicas, e um grupo de controlo de vinte e um filhos de mães solteiras heterossexuais, foram primeiro estudados com a idade média de nove anos e meio, e depois a uma idade média de vinte e três anos e meio. Entrevistas standard semelhantes foram usadas para a obtenção dos dados sobre a orientação sexual dos jovens adultos, no desenvolvimento do estudo, e, no início do estudo, nas características das famílias e seus desempenhos nos papéis de género das crianças e mães. Apesar de, aqueles que vinham de famílias lésbicas, serem mais aptos a explorar relações com o mesmo sexo, particularmente se o seu ambiente familiar na infância tiver sido caracterizado por uma abertura e aceitação de relações gays e lésbicas, a larga maioria desses filhos identificam-se como heterossexuais. We are grateful to Michael Rutter for his advice and encouragement at the early stages of the follow-up study and to Clare Murray for her help with coding data. We thank the Welicome Trust (U.K.) for funding this research and the staff at the National Health Service Central Register (U.K.) for their assistance in tracing participants. Os investigadores da psicologia e biologia dividem as opiniões entre sobre até que ponto é possível para os pais influenciarem a orientação sexual dos seus filhos. De uma perspectiva puramente biológica, os pais deveriam fazer pouca diferença. Em contraste, na área da psicologia acredita-se que a relação com os pais durante a infância é fulcral no desenvolvimento da orientação sexual na vida adulta. Pesquisas em adultos criados por famílias lésbicas dão uma oportunidade para testar os conceitos teóricos sobre o papel dos pais na orientação sexual dos seus filhos. Se os pais influenciam as suas crianças, quer estas cresçam como heterossexuais, lésbicas ou gays, então será de esperar que mães lésbicas tenham mais hipóteses, que pais heterossexuais, a virem a ter filhos gays e lésbicas. Com a excepção da investigação de Gottman's (1990) sobre filhas adultas de mães lésbicas, em que o actual comportamento sexual não é descrito, as pesquisas sobre famílias lésbicas têm-se focado nas crianças em detrimento dos adultos, e a orientação sexual não tem sido debatida. (Golombok, Spencer, & Rutter, 1983; Green, Mandel, Hotvedt, Gray, & Smith, 1986; Hoeffer, 198 1; Kirkpatrick, Smith, & Roy, 198 1; para uma revisão, ver Patterson, 1992).
... Firstly, there is the myth that the child(ren) will become homosexual. The avail-entation" (Epstein 110-1 11; see also Gottman;Green et al.;Kirkpatrick et al.;Patterson 1992aPatterson , 1992b. Studies have shown that, "lesbian couples are more flexible in social roles, more egalitarian and less oriented toward traditional gender divisions of labour than are heterosexual couples" (Brophy 490). ...
... Indeed, identified differences tended to favor the gay fathers. They were found to be more alert to children's needs and more nurturing in providing care than heterosexual fathers, who may see themselves primarily as the person providing financial security (26)(27)(28)(29). ...
Article
• •Single individuals, unmarried heterosexual couples, and gay and lesbian couples have interests in having and rearing children. • •There is no persuasive evidence that children are harmed or disadvantaged solely by being raised by single parents, unmarried parents, or gay and lesbian parents. • •Data do not support restricting access to assisted reproductive technologies on the basis of a prospective parent's marital status or sexual orientation. • •Programs should treat all requests for assisted reproduction equally without regard to marital status or sexual orientation.
... Indeed, identified differences tended to favor the gay fathers. They were found to be more alert to children's needs and more nurturing in providing care than heterosexual fathers, who may see themselves primarily as the person providing financial security (34)(35)(36). ...
Article
This statement explores the implications of reproduction by single individuals, unmarried heterosexual couples, and gay and lesbian couples, and concludes that ethical arguments supporting denial of access to fertility services on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation cannot be justified. This document replaces the previous version of this document by the same name, published in November 2006 (C) 2013 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
... While most of the literature on child development has been based on those raised in heterosexual families, there is also a substantial amount of empirical literature regarding those raised by gay and lesbian parents (e.g., Gottman, 1990; Riddle, 1978). Much of this research is in response to the growing visibility of lesbian and gay families, much like the single parent family, as an alternative to the traditional heterosexual family. ...
Article
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This paper sought to investigate the empirical literature to date regarding the parenting styles of gay and lesbian parents, and determine what effects, if any, these alternative family groups have on their children, as compared to those raised in heterosexual families. A total of 28 articles were analyzed, spanning 20 years of research in this area. Results indicated that, with regard to gender identity, psychosocial development, and prevalence of homosexuality, children of gay and lesbian parents do not significantly differ from those of heterosexual parents. Negative attitudes regarding the parenting abilities of homosexuals, as well as concerns regarding the outcomes of their children, cannot logically be based on the results of empirical research currently available. Implications for social policy and suggestions for future research are discussed
... 105 Lesbian mother custody cases inspired other researchers, and the immediacy of the legal battles led these scientists to undertake short-term studies that predicted sexual orientation. 106 Psychiatrist Martha Kirkpatrick and her colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) published their study of forty children between the ages of five and twelve in 1980, half raised by heterosexual women and the other half by lesbians. Like Green, Kirkpatrick's team cited lesbian custody cases as a primary motivator for undertaking their research. ...
Article
In 1974, gay father Bruce Voeller sought visitation with his three children after divorcing his wife. The New Jersey family court held a six day trial that centered on expert witness testimony as to whether Voeller's homosexuality would be detrimental to his children. Drs. Richard Green and John Money testified on Voeller's behalf, whereas Voeller's ex-wife called Dr. Richard Gardner, who concluded that “‘the total environment to which the father exposed the children could impede healthy sexual development in the future.’” In his opinion, which imposed strict limitations on visitation, the judge focused on the opposition within the American Psychiatric Association (APA) over the decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness, reasoning that psychiatrists' inability to agree on how to define or classify homosexuality indicated that it was impossible to know what effect Voeller's homosexuality would have on his children. The court consequently concluded that the medical controversy, combined with “the immutable effects which are engendered by the parent-child relationship, demands that the court be most hesitant in allowing any unnecessary exposure of a child to an environment which may be deleterious.” The court imposed visitation restrictions to prevent the children from being in “any homosexual related activities,” which included prohibiting Voeller from ever introducing his partner to the children.
... Gershon et al, 1999 Gold et al, 1994Goldberg, 2007Gottman, 1989Green, 1978Green, 1982Green et al, 1986Harris and Turner, 1985Hoeffer, 1981Kirkpatrick et al, 1981Kuvalanka and Goldberg, 2009Lambert, 2005Lewis, 1980O'Connell, 1993Osman, 1972Parks, 1998Patterson, 1992 Patterson Golombok et al, 1983Golombok and Tasker, 1994Golombok and Tasker, 1996Golombok et al, 1997Golombok et al, 2003Golombok and Badger, 2010 Fairtlough, 2009Javaid, 1993Kershaw, 2000 MacCallum and Golombok, 2004Rivers et al, 2008Saffron, 1998Tasker and Golombok, 1991Tasker and Golombok, 1995Tasker, 1999Tasker, 2005 ...
Thesis
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This thesis analyses how children of lesbian and gay parents are represented in the multi-disciplinary research on their health and well-being and how they represent themselves. This research is utilised widely in public and political debate, specifically regarding lesbian and gay family law reform. Those who oppose same-sex parenting contest the research, despite a research consensus that children do not suffer adverse effects from having lesbian and gay parents. I move beyond the boundaries of this debate and challenge the positioning of these children as passive objects of knowledge. I separate the research studies into quantitative and qualitative methodologies and analyse how both these bodies of research literature represent their objects of knowledge. Then I turn to accounts by Australian children of lesbian and gay parents who publicly claim this speaking position and ‘talk back’. I argue that children with lesbian and gay parents experience pressure to present themselves as well-adjusted and prospering to counter homophobic accusations. This pressure especially manifests regarding expectations about (hetero)normative sexuality and gender development as representations of children of lesbian and gay parents are constrained within heteronormative discourse.
... Differences are not found in parenting abilities or child outcomes based on sexual orientation of the parents (Anderssen, Amlie, & Ytteroy, 2002). Same-sex parents possess strengths similar to those of heterosexual parents (Goldberg & Smith, 2009), and their children do not differ in their development, including their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, compared with children of heterosexual parents (e.g., Bailey, Bobrow, Wolfe, & Mikach, 1995;Gottman, 1990). In fact, there is some suggestion that children of gay or lesbian parents may experience some advantages (Goldberg, 2010). ...
Article
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Attention has recently been given to how traditional masculinity ideologies impact men’s well-being in a variety of contexts. We sought to test the impact of masculinity ideology on counseling psychologists’ evaluations of fathers who varied on sexual orientation (heterosexual or gay) and gender role expression (traditional or nontraditional masculinity). One hundred and thirty-three counseling psychologists were randomly assigned to evaluate one of four experimentally manipulated vignettes regarding an adoptive father in distress on measures of personal reactions, parenting skills, and adjustment. We hypothesized that counseling psychologists would give poorer ratings to fathers who violated traditional masculinity ideology in sexual orientation or gender role expression, with masculinity ideology as a moderator. MANCOVA analysis showed differences in the way participants evaluated fathers, but not in the ways we predicted based on gender role strain theory. A follow-up descriptive discriminant analysis revealed that gay fathers received more favorable therapist personal reactions, and gender nontraditional fathers were rated as having more favorable parenting skills and less favorable overall adjustment. In general, the participants’ endorsement of masculinity ideology was low and had little variability which limited the scope of the moderation analysis. Findings are discussed in relation to masculinity and gender role studies.
... En la década de 1980 se consolidará el interés por continuar aportando evidencia empírica al cuerpo jurídico de los conflictos de custodia desde perspectivas similares, aunque recurriendo a metodologías cuantitativas psicométricas donde las familias heterosexuales ejercen de grupo control en las comparativas sobre competencia parental y ajuste (Golombok, Spencer y Rutter, 1983). Este énfasis comparativo se extiende en la década de 1990, añadiendo categorías como familias gays vs. lesbianas, o familias lesbianas con hijos mayores e hijos menores (Gottman, 1990). Se produce en estos años el primer estudio longitudinal con familias de madre lesbiana por parte de Golombok y Tasker (1996). ...
... Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen aus Regenbogenfamilien identifiziert sich als heterosexuell und unterscheidet sich darin nicht von Gleichaltrigen aus heterosexuellen Familien (Golombok und Tasker 1996;Huggins 1989;Gottman 1989;Bailey et al. 1995;Gartrell et al. 2011). Darüber hinaus berichtet ein Teil der Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenensowohl aus gleichgeschlechtlichen wie auch aus heterosexuellen Familiensich auch sexuell vom gleichen Geschlecht angezogen zu fühlen oder gleichgeschlechtliche sexuelle Fantasien oder romantische Gefühle zu haben (Golombok und Tasker 1996;Gottman 1990). Inkonsistente Befunde ergeben sich vor allem im Hinblick auf gleichgeschlechtliche sexuelle Erfahrungen. ...
... Nevertheless, some studies clearly indicate the children's greater openness and acceptance towards gender and sexual diversity (Gottman 1989;Fitzgerald 1999;Stacey and Biblarz 2001). Recent studies underline further "positive differences"; for instance, they indicate that children raised by lesbian couples are better socially adapted, more ambitious, and less aggressive than children from heterosexual families (Bos and Gartrell 2010;Gartrell 2006). ...
Book
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Queer Kinship on the Edge explores ways in which queer families from Central and Easter Europe complicate the mainstream picture of queer kinship and families researched in the Anglo-American contexts. The book presents findings from under-represented localities as a starting point to query some of the expectations about queer kinship and to provide insights on the scale and nature of queer kinship in diverse geo-political locations and the complexities of lived experiences of queer families. Drawing on on rich qualitative multi-method study to address the gap in queer kinship studies which tend to exclude Polish or wider Central and Eastern perspectives, it offers a multi-dimensional picture of ‘families of choice’ improving sensitivity towards differences in queer kinship studies. Through case studies and interviews with diverse members of queer families (i.e. queer parents, their children) and their families of origin (parents and siblings) the book looks at queer domesticity, practices of care, defining and displaying families, queer parenthood familial homophobia, and interpersonal relationships through the life-course. This study is suitable for those interested in LGBT Studies, Sexuality Studies, Kinship and Eastern European Studies.
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The U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) was initiated in 1986 to provide prospective, descriptive, longitudinal data on the first wave of planned lesbian families with children conceived through donor insemination (DI). It is the largest and longest-running study of its kind in the United States. The study was designed to follow a cohort of lesbian mothers with age-matched children from the conception of their child until that child reached adulthood. The aim of the NLLFS is to report on the growth, development, and mental health of the children; to describe the parenting experiences in lesbian-led families; to describe the lesbian mothers' lives, relationships, and careers; and to document the effects of homophobia on the mothers and the children. This chapter presents an overview of the data collected on the NLLFS families from conception of the index children until they reached the age of seventeen. The NLLFS is an ongoing study for which data continue to be collected and analyzed.
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In their review of the literature on parents, children, and gender, Coltrane and Adams (1997) conclude that parents "establish different learning environments for boys and girls and expect them to do different things" (245). Like other scholars offering broad overviews of the literature on gender and parenting (e.g., Maccoby 1998; McHale, Crouter, and Whiteman 2003), they reveal myriad ways in which parents gender their children, some of which are unconscious. In this chapter, I draw on data from qualitative interviews with parents of preschool-age children to explore how parents consciously monitor their children's gender performance and subsequently police gender boundaries by discouraging gender nonconformity. I argue that although many parents make efforts to stray from and thus expand traditional conceptions of gender, they do so within limits, balancing these efforts with conscious attention to producing socially acceptable gender performances, especially for their sons. This balancing act is evident among many parents I interviewed, regardless of their gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and partnership status. But within that broader pattern of balancing, I also document notable variations. Heterosexual fathers play a particularly central role in monitoring their sons' masculinity and, in the process, reinforce their own as well. Their expressed motivations for that monitoring and boundary work often involve personal endorsement of traditionally de- fined masculinity. Heterosexual mothers and gay parents, by contrast, are more likely to report motivations for monitoring and boundary work that invoke fear of monitoring by others as they craft their sons' masculinity.
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From the selection of toys, clothes, and activities to styles of play and emotional expression, the family is ground zero for where children learn about gender. Despite recent awareness that girls are not too fragile to play sports and that boys can benefit from learning to cook, we still find ourselves surrounded by limited gender expectations and persistent gender inequalities. Through the lively and engaging stories of parents from a wide range of backgrounds, The Gender Trap provides a detailed account of how today's parents understand, enforce, and resist the gendering of their children. Emily Kane shows how most parents make efforts to loosen gendered constraints for their children, while also engaging in a variety of behaviors that reproduce traditionally gendered childhoods, ultimately arguing that conventional gender expectations are deeply entrenched and that there is great tension in attempting to undo them while letting 'boys be boys' and 'girls be girls.'
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Both homophobic groups and those concerned to argue for the validity of gay and lesbian families invest in conceptual frameworks which rely on sameness and difference to make sense. Lesbian mothers are seen as fundamentally different to other kinds of mothers (for good or ill), or their similarity is stressed in order to ensure that their families are socially and legally recognized. This article explores the experience of navigating the contradictions of sameness and difference that cohere to being a ‘lesbian mother’. It locates its analysis in the context of post-apartheid South Africa. It explores the possibilities of inclusion and exclusion into the definition of the human enabled by the South African Constitution and the language of rights on which that document depends.
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Examine the impact of disclosure on sons whose fathers are gay!
Book
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To examine the extent to which the family relations of lesbians and gay men are integrated into the family literature, we reviewed over 8,000 articles published between 1980 and 1993 in nine journals that publish family research. Our review shows that research on lesbian and gay families is quite limited, and that, where these families have been studied, they have been problematized and their diversity has been overlooked. We describe and define lesbian and gay families, illustrating their diversity and challenging the neglect of this population in family studies. We direct researchers' attention toward a social ecologies model that incorporates the dynamics of family relationships. We discuss theoretical implications of studying lesbian and gay families, and propose research directions to improve our knowledge of these families and families in general.
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This article is the result of my concern with the number of mediators who have, over the years, expressed surprise with the difficulty of the mediations when one of the divorcing spouses was a lesbian or a gay man. (Throughout this article I will use the term "L/G" as an abbreviation for lesbians and gay men.) It does not surprise me that professionals find these cases more difficult to mediate then the traditional divorcing couple. Generally, for reasons which we are about to discuss, these are very difficult mediations. However, a mediator can learn to make the process more effective by becoming informed and sensitive to several basic issues. It is to that end that I write this article. Every mediator working with divorcing couples will encounter clients that include one L/G spouse. This may not involve a conscious decision on the part of the mediator to work with L/G clients, but may occur because "ten percent of the population is exclusively or predominantly homosexual in orientation" (McNaught p.7), and a significant number of these twenty million plus L/G have spent the better part of their adult life as part of a married, allegedly heterosexual union. It appears that as a L/G lifestyle becomes more of an option, we are witnessing individuals who choose that option later in life and therefore, seek to end their marriages. The road to divorce for the married L/G spouse and for their heterosexual spouse is often a difficult one.
Article
Gays and lesbians have faced many legal obstacles in trying to have children, often experiencing much conflict with the legal system. Parenting laws often define a 'parent' using gendered terms; such laws prevent the person from becoming a legally recognized parent because of his or her gender. Other laws specifically prevent two people of the same gender from adopting children together. Other conflicts arise when a gay couple with children breaks up. Once again, issues related to gender and sexual orientation clash with the legal system. The now-separated parents ask the courts to decide whether the social parent (i.e., the parent with no biological or adoptive relationship with the child) is a legal parent. Courts have issued conflicting rulings regarding the rights (e.g., custody, visitation) and responsibilities (e.g., child support) of social parents. If the couple was a male-female couple, there would be no conflict because both parents would be biologically related to the child and be considered "legal" parents. However, because the same-sex couple has violated traditional parent and gender roles, the courts have the opportunity to decide whether to social parent is a legal parent. Such laws affect the behaviors and attitudes of gays; for instance many become bitter toward the legal system, and many are forced to go to great lengths to become parents. These decisions also affect the well-being of children and parents. Much research has indicated that sexual orientation and gender has little effect on parental ability or child outcomes. Because other research highlights the negative effects of losing a parent or child, children and parents would benefit by the legal recognition of the parent's rights. Policy recommendations are offered which generally suggest that the legal system can take steps that recognize gay parents and their children as a "family." For instance, a legal process could be implemented that allows a gay parent to declare their intent to be a parent to the child. Also, statutes can remove gendered language and specify that gay parents are included in the legal definition of a parent. Such steps will promote the well-being of parents and children. These steps would reduce conflict and provide certainty for families.
Article
Science often must deal with issues that are politically controversial. However, there are dangers in dealing with controversial research and serious risks to the process of doing science and to the credibility of science, particularly social science. Here, I discuss lessons learned from engaging in and criticizing controversial research for nearly four decades. Social science research as a process is being damaged by questionable research practices, several of which are discussed. Social science results are being misrepresented through a variety of weak or incorrect methodologies, each of which is discussed. Discourse about social science results often shifts from academic discussion into attempts to discredit those with whom one may disagree. Science and the public are not being well served by these problems, so new researchers and policymakers need to be aware of them. For teaching purposes, examples are also presented of controversial research in which new analyses offer different results tha...
Book
Modern Families brings together research on parenting and child development in new family forms including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice and families created by assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation and surrogacy. This research is examined in the context of the issues and concerns that have been raised regarding these families. The findings not only contest popular myths and assumptions about the social and psychological consequences for children of being raised in new family forms but also challenge well-established theories of child development that are founded upon the supremacy of the traditional family. It is argued that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children’s psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception.
Book
Mothers in the twenty-first century confront us, both in clinical practice and in theory, with fascinating challenges that to some extent subvert the traditional maternal ideal: the motherhood of single women, motherhood in which the mother-child relationship seems minimal (in the case of very busy working mothers), teenage motherhood in which there is no true awareness of the maternal function, motherhood in couples of homosexual women, men who take upon themselves the maternal function (men-mothers), complex motherhood by virtue of the multiple variants that have nowadays become possible thanks to new reproductive techniques, shared motherhood, surrogate motherhood, sublimated motherhood, perverse motherhood. Psycho-history, the accumulation and variety of psychoanalytic theories of femininity and motherhood, the contribution of gender studies, cross-disciplinary research, and listening to what our patients have to say - all this has yielded, in the past few decades, much controversial data that challenges orthodox classical thinking with respect to the role and function of women as mothers. © 2006 The International Psychoanalytical Association and Arrangement and Preface by Alcira Mariam Alizade, and individual chapters by the contributors.
Article
In three studies, heterosexual participants were presented with descriptions of heterosexual and gay-male parents. Importantly, the level of gender-role conformity of the gay-male parents was experimentally manipulated, resulting in their level of gender-role conformity ranging from high to low. Compared to the son of a heterosexual couple, the son of all gay-male couples had a lower expected likelihood of developing as heterosexual. This result was independent of the level of gender-role conformity of the gay-male couples (study 1–3). The beliefs about the gender-role development of the son, in terms of anticipated masculinity (study 1), gender stereotyping (study 2), and affective adjustment (study 3), mapped onto the level of gender-role conformity of the parents, regardless of their sexual orientation. Also, heterosexual parents were consistently judged more positively than gay-male parents, independently of their level of gender-role conformity (study 1–3). Results were discussed within the theoretical framework of stereotypes about gay-male parenting.
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Full-text available
In three studies, heterosexual participants were presented with descriptions of heterosexual and gay-male parents. Importantly, the level of gender-role conformity of the gay-male parents was experimentally manipulated, resulting in their level of gender-role conformity ranging from high to low. Compared to the son of a heterosexual couple, the son of all gay-male couples had a lower expected likelihood of developing as heterosexual. This result was independent of the level of gender-role conformity of the gay-male couples (study 1-3). The beliefs about the gender-role development of the son, in terms of anticipated masculinity (study 1), gender stereotyping (study 2), and affective adjustment (study 3), mapped onto the level of gender-role conformity of the parents, regardless of their sexual orientation. Also, heterosexual parents were consistently judged more positively than gay-male parents, independently of their level of gender-role conformity (study 1-3).
Chapter
Empirische Studien zeigen, dass Eltern sehr flexibel auf familienstrukturelle Veränderungen reagieren. Alleinerziehende Väter können sich „mütterliche Funktionen“ aneignen und alleinerziehende Mütter „ersetzen“ Väterfunktionen. Allerdings scheinen insbesondere für kleinere Kinder einfache Ordnungsgebungen wie Vaterrollen und Mutterrollen hilfreich zu sein und in ihrer Komplementarität sinnvoll. Wenn wir an unsere Kindheit zurückdenken, erinnern wir uns an Momente, die wir mit unserer Mutter oder unserem Vater – oder beiden gemeinsam erlebt haben. Sind Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Eltern an das Geschlecht gebunden, oder können in Regenbogenfamilien zwei Eltern des gleichen Geschlechts auch verschieden und einander ergänzend erziehen? Überlegungen und Befunde zu Regenbogenfamilien zeigen ebenfalls die Bedeutung von Triangulierung und Differenzerfahrungen für Kinder auf.
Chapter
The experiences of youth and young adults who report nonheterosexual and gender nonconforming identities, and who also have LGBTQ parents (i.e., the “Second Generation”), have received very little attention in the family and social science literatures. Nonacademic writers and queer activists, however, have been discussing the second generation—and providing many of them with community and support—for more than 15 years. Systematic examination of the experiences of the second generation may be beneficial in that challenges, as well as advantages, that are unique to this population could be revealed. In this chapter, social constructionism is presented as the frame for the present discussion. The chapter reviews what is currently known about the experiences of second generation individuals from both academic and nonacademic sources. Preliminary findings from the author’s current research, based upon in-depth interviews with 30 LGBTQ young adults with LGBTQ parents, are presented. Lastly, future research directions are discussed for expanding knowledge and understanding of the second generation and their families.
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This book explores the experiences of LGBTQ+ parented families in school communities and provides a voice for this overlooked group who are becoming an increasingly common form of family diversity in school communities. Approaching the topic from a strength-based psychological perspective, the book presents LGBTQ+ parents' suggestions for school improvements and supportive structures and provides empirical evidence to inform future LGBTQ+ inclusive education policy. Research-based yet practically focused, it will be a valuable resource for researchers, students and education professionals alike. Mann, T. & Jones, T. (2022). Including LGBT Parented Families in Schools: Research to Inform Policy and Practice. Routledge: London and New York. ISBN: 978-0-367–76501-9 (hbk); ISBN: 978-0-367–76500-2 (pbk); ISBN: 978-1-003–16747-1 (ebk); DOI: 10.4324/9781003167471. Pre-order: https://www.routledge.com/Including-LGBT-Parented-Families-in-Schools-Research-to-Inform-Policy-and/Jones-Mann/p/book/9780367765019 Preview: file:///E:/AT%20UNI/CURRENT%20PUBLISHING/2021%20Trent%20parents%20book/2021%20Mann%20Jones%20LGBT%20Parented%20preview.pdf
Article
The adjustment of non-clinical homosexual women (N = 84) compared to heterosexuals (N = 133) was evaluated with the Scheier and Cattell Neuroticism Scale Questionnaire (NSQ) and eight additional factors selected from five scales. The NSQ results for homosexuals were also contrasted to the NSQ data from heterosexual women and neurotic women reported by Scheier and Cattell. The homosexuals were found to be as well adjusted as the heterosexuals. These findings were compared to four other psychometric studies involving non-clinical subjects.