DOES "GAY MARRIAGE" RUIN THE MEANING OF "MARRIAGE"?
Gerald P. Mallon
25 Nov Same-sex parents. Cohabiting couples. Voluntary kin. Children with parents in prison. Immigrant-Americans. What we thought of as the typical American In this special issue of Science Times, NATALIE ANGIER takes stock of our changing definition of family. . Source: National Center for Health Statistics. 8 Aug College Educated Men and Women (From Do Daters Really Care About Education Level?) Having a degree doesn't necessarily mean you'll get more attention on an online dating site. – People with some college get 35% of incoming messages. – High school graduates get 26% of incoming messages. research findings on lesbian and gay parents and their children is to assist psychologists and other professionals Without denying the clarity of results to date, it is important also for psychologists and other professionals Reports results of a study of the meaning of motherhood and family to lesbian mothers, how these.
Encyclopedia of Social Work is now a consistently updated digital resource. Visit About to learn more, meet the editorial boardor explore the latest articles. Demographic information updated to reflect latest statistics College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary LGBT coupling and families.
Bibliography and citations updated to include new studies and literature. Since the s, a quiet revolution has been blooming in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT community. More and more lesbians and gay men from all walks of life are becoming parents. LGBT people become parents for some of the College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary reasons that heterosexual people do. Some pursue parenting as single people and others seek to create a family as a couple; still other LGBT people became parents in a heterosexual relationship.
Although there are many common themes between LGBT parenting and heterosexual parenting, there are also some unique features. Unlike their heterosexual counterparts, who couple, get pregnant, and give birth, most LGBT individuals and couples who wish to parent must consider many other variables in deciding whether to become parents because the birth option is not the only option. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT individuals and couples who wish to parent must give more careful consideration to how they will become parents and, at the outset, must be open to different ways of becoming a family and parenting this web page. Although many LGBT individuals and couples become parents through the birth of a child, they have also become parents through a number of additional avenues:.
Some LGBT people choose to parent as a couple and some parent as single persons. The stresses faced by single parents will have more to do with single parenting than with their sexuality. Those individuals who parent as a couple will also face challenges to their status as a couple or a family. Most LGBT people who parent are not invested in raising LGBT children, as suggested by some, but in raising children who will be authentic, happy, and self-confident and have the ability to support themselves regardless of their expression of gender or sexual orientation.
It is important to recognize that although many similarities exist, LGBT parented families also differ from heterosexually parented families.
The conventional notion of a family presumes there will be two parents, one of each gender, that they will share a loving relationship and live under one roof, that College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary will both be biologically related to the children they raise, and that they will be recognized legally as a family.
This source nuclear family is the baseline model in Western culture against which all other models of family are measured, and it is assumed by most to be the optimal family environment for child development; in comparison, all other types of families are viewed as deficient in some way Mallon, This model, however, does not apply to most families with LGBT parents.
In families involving an LGBT couple, typically at least one parent has no biological relation to the child. In such cases the parent—child relationship nearly always goes unrecognized or unprotected by the law Mallon, It is inaccurate to talk about the LGBT community as if it is uniform or easily identifiable.
As with all communities, the LGBT community is diverse in terms of how individuals wish to define themselves and live their lives. LGBT individuals are as diverse as any other subgroup of the general population, and they are part of every race, culture, ethnic College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary, religious group, socioeconomic affiliation, and family in the United States in the early 21st century Mallon, Although in recent years they have received greater visibility, LGBT people are frequently socialized to hide their sexual orientation, http://minimoving.info/lub/how-to-get-over-your-ex-girlfriend-dating-your-friend.php therefore, many still form part of an invisible population.
Census Bureau figures for same-sex unmarried partner households provide researchers and policy makers with a wealth of information about LGBT-headed families. Revised estimates from the Census U. Census Bureau, indicate that there weresame-sex married-couple households andsame-sex unmarried partner households in the United States. The results of the Census revised estimates are closer to the results of the American Community Survey ACS for same-sex married and unmarried partners.
The ACS estimated same-sex married couples atand same-sex unmarried partners atU. According to analysis by Gates bdemographic data indicate substantial diversity among same-sex couples with children.
He was weeping his quiet ocean of loss and would give no thought to the shore. But when he began lavishly dating the younger sister of a friend of hers, Ms. More than 60 years later, would that special girl remember me?
These families live throughout the country: These data provide policy makers at every level of government with compelling arguments for why they must fulfill the policy needs of LGBT families, who live in nearly every corner of every county in America. The geographical diversity of LGBT families is striking.
These facts will help us dispel stereotypes and present a fuller, more accurate picture of the LGBT family in America. Interestingly, Gates b points out in his analysis that the proportion of same-sex couples raising children has begun to decline. Despite the decline, the number of same-sex couples raising children is still much higher in the second decade of the 21st century than 10 years ago because many more couples are reporting themselves in Census Bureau data.
Inthe figure was greater thanAccording to a Williams Institute survey conducted in Aprilapproximately 3. However, a substantially higher percentage acknowledges having same-sex attraction without identifying as LGBT.
One study by Gates, Badgett, Macomber, and Chambers reported the following findings, which shed some light on the statistics associated with lesbians and gay men who parent or wish to parent:. Currently,children and youth live in foster care in the United States and more thanfoster children await adoption U.
Department of Health and Human Services, States must recruit parents who are interested and able to foster and adopt children. Although the majority of states no longer officially deem lesbians and gay men unfit to rear a child only two states Mississippi and Nebraska currently restrict LGBT individuals or couples College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary adoptingeach check this out decides independently who can adopt, and legislators, more for political reasons than for reasons having to do with child well-being, continue to introduce bills barring adoptions and foster parenting by LGBT people to state legislatures every year Tavernise, Historically, in the area of practice with LGBT parents, the social-work knowledge base has relied on theoretical applications from child development, child welfare, and psychology.
LGBT history indeed is rooted in decades of hiding and secrecy, when the mere whisper that one was not a stalwart heterosexual could destroy a career or a life. The keepers of public morals sought to keep those who strayed from this position firmly in line.
Kids React to Gay Marriage
But we must also take note of consequential shifts over time in cultural openness to LGBT people. A trio of events including the groundbreaking work of the late Dr. Evelyn Hooker in the s and s, which presented rigorous scientific research to provide indisputable evidence that homosexuality is not a mental illness; the advent of the Stonewall Rebellion of in New York City, generally regarded as the birth of the LGBT liberation movement; and the elimination of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in caused society to begin slowly to change its perceptions of homosexuality.
Concurrently, throughout the late s, as social activism in LGBT communities was nurturing the growth of a new sense of dignity among lesbians click here gay men, adult lesbians and gays became increasingly willing to identify themselves openly. The s focused on issues of LGBT parenting, whereas the early 21st century spotlighted lesbian and gay marriage rights.
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In light of this ostensible openness, many social-work practitioners have become increasingly aware of the existence of LGBT parents. Since the mids, the theoretical underpinnings of practice with LGBT people have shifted from the professional view that an LGBT identity was equal to a diagnosis of mental illness to the more LGBT-affirming approaches of contemporary 21st-century social-work practice.
Although there has been ongoing progressive change, the social-work profession undeniably continues to grapple with College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary reality of LGBT parenting. The nature and scope of research studies on LGBT-headed families continue to grow.
The earliest documentation learn more here lesbian mothers and gay fathers mostly explored the context of children born in heterosexual marriages that ended in divorce.
Such early studies have been replaced by those focusing on children in planned LGBT-headed families without the confounding variable of divorce and the coming-out process of the parents. As with all research, there are limitations to research in the area of LGBT parenting.
This is particularly true because no reliable data exist on the number and whereabouts of LGBT parents in the general population, in the United States or elsewhere.
The existing, limited research also includes biases toward White, urban, well-educated, and mature lesbian mothers and gay fathers. The relatively small samples that do exist in the research are recruited through community networks.
One of the most consistent findings since the mids is that same-gendered couples with and without children tend to establish a more even distribution of household tasks in comparison to heterosexual couples. Without socially prescribed guidance on gendered roles, LGBT parents tend to value equality in partnership and structure an equitable division of labor in housework, in childrearing, and in work outside the home.
Although this repeated finding seems to be well known in the mental-health community, it has not been click here in the mainstream dialog about the pros and cons of lesbian and gay parenting. Stacey and Biblarz identify parental gender as predictive of parenting skill. According to their research, all mothers heterosexual and lesbian are more likely than fathers to be more invested and skilled at caring for children.
That is not the case. As many as one in five fathers of young children are now providing their primary care.
The Ultimate Guide to Food and Dating. It permits young women to "go out and fit into the social scene, get attention from young men, and learn about sexuality", according to one report by sociologists. Muslims living in the United States can choose whether to use traditional Islamic methods, or date American-style; Muslims choosing to stick to Islamic tradition can "only marry another Muslim", according to one Malaysian account. According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, the number of gay couples with children has doubled in the past decade, and today well oversame-sex couples are raising children.
Good parenting is good parenting, whatever package it comes in. The research on biological gay fathers College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary their children is extremely limited.
Two studies McPherson, ; Sbordone, show similar parenting styles and skills between gay and heterosexual fathers. Further results indicate that gay fathers are as effective as heterosexual fathers in caring for their children.
They have been shown to be more consistent in setting limits with their children than are heterosexual fathers. This publication prompted international media attention. Although there has been a growing body of literature about LGBT parenting since the mids, the idea of an LGBT College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary as a primary nurturing figure rearing children is still remarkable to many. Many social-work professionals still hold firm to a belief system grounded in the ubiquitous, negative myths and stereotypes regarding LGBT persons.
Those who oppose the idea of LGBT persons as parents base their thinking on a number of fears, including the following:. The need for fathers to be involved in the lives of their children has been clearly established. Furthermore, the desire to parent is not exclusive to heterosexuals, but is shared by many LGBT persons. In other words, although differences exist, they were not identified as deficits. A few studies reported some differences that could represent advantages to lesbian parenting.
A few studies found that lesbians worry less than heterosexual parents about the gender conformity of their children. Perhaps this finding helps to account for the few studies reporting that sons of lesbians play less aggressively and that children of lesbians communicate their feelings more freely, aspire to a wider range of occupations, and score higher on self-esteem.
Most professionals view these differences as positive elements, but some critics of these studies have misrepresented the differences as evidence that the children suffer from gender confusion. Few of the young adults in this study identified themselves as gay or lesbian, but a larger minority of those with lesbian mothers did report that they were more open to exploring their College Dating Gay Parents Statistics Definitions Dictionary and had at one time or another considered or actually had a same-sex relationship.
Although most research to date on LGBT parenting is based on individuals who are biological parents, researchers looking at LGBT parenting have reached the same, unequivocal conclusions. That is, the children of LGBT parents grow up as successfully as the children of heterosexuals. Not one study has found that the children of LGBT parents face greater social stigma.
There is no evidence to support the belief that the children of LGBT parents are more likely to be abused or to suggest that the children of these parents are more likely to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender themselves.
Children will, in fact, be click the following article they are. It is important to bear in mind that the majority of lesbian and gay persons have been raised by heterosexual parents Mallon, Social workers have a key role to play in the lives of LGBT parents.
From direct practice with family systems to policy and legislative advocacy, the array of opportunities for social workers in practice with lesbian and gay parents continues to broaden. Because LGBT parents are increasingly more out and open in many geographic locations of the country, LGBT parents can no longer be viewed as an invisible population.
Although heterosexual privilege continues to dominate mainstream consciousness, assuming that all children live within the context of heterosexually headed families, most social workers will encounter lesbian- or gay-headed families at some point in their practice.
The ability of LGBT parents to provide for the social and emotional health of their children is equal to that of heterosexual parents.