Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3

By Marc H. Bornstein | Go to book overview

10
Lesbian and Gay Parenthood
Charlotte J. Patterson
University of Virginia

INTRODUCTION

The central heterosexist assumption that everyone is or ought to be heterosexual is nowhere more prevalent than in the area of parent–child relations. Not only are children usually assumed to be heterosexual in their orientation, but mothers and fathers are also generally expected to exemplify heterosexuality in their attitudes, values, and behavior. From such a perspective, children with lesbian and gay parents seem not to exist; for some people, the idea of lesbian or gay parenthood may be difficult even to imagine. In contrast to such expectations, however, many lesbian women and gay men are parents.

In this chapter, I first review the historical context in which lesbian and gay parenting has emerged. I then provide an overview of lesbian and gay parenthood today, including information about the prevalence and diversity of lesbian and gay parenting and about the legal contexts in which lesbian and gay families currently live. I then describe the results of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children and discuss some implications of the research findings for theories of psychological development and for the politics of family life. Next, I describe services that have been developed specifically for lesbian and gay families. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future directions for research, service, and advocacy relevant to the needs of lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children.


HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTHOOD

The emergence of large numbers of openly self-identified lesbian women and gay men is a historical phenomenon of relatively recent vintage (Boswell, 1980; D'Emilio, 1983; Faderman, 1981, 1991). Although the origins of homophile organizations date to the 1950s and even earlier (D'Emilio, 1983; Faderman, 1991), the origins of contemporary gay liberation movements are generally traced to police raids on the Stonewall bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City in 1969

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Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents of Volume 3: Being and Becoming a Parent vii
  • Preface xi
  • Contents of Volume 1: Children and Parenting xv
  • Contents of Volume 2: Biology and Ecology of Parenting xvii
  • Contents of Volume 4: Social Conditions and Applied Parenting xix
  • Contents of Volume 5: Practical Issues in Parenting xxi
  • About the Authors in Volume 3 xxv
  • Part I - The Parent 1
  • 1 - Mothering 3
  • References *
  • 2 - Fathers and Families 27
  • References *
  • 3 - Coparenting in Diverse Family Systems 75
  • References *
  • 4 - Single Parenthood 109
  • References *
  • 5 - Grandparenthood 141
  • References *
  • 6 - Adolescent Parenthood 173
  • References *
  • 7 - Nonparental Caregiving 215
  • References *
  • 8 - Sibling Caregiving 253
  • References *
  • 9 - Parenting in Divorced and Remarried Families 287
  • References 310
  • 10 - Lesbian and Gay Parenthood 317
  • References *
  • 11 - Parenting and Contemporary Reproductive Technologies 339
  • References *
  • Part II - Becoming and Being a Parent 361
  • 12 - The Transition to Parenting 363
  • References *
  • 13 - Stages of Parental Development 389
  • References *
  • 14 - Personality and Parenting 415
  • References *
  • 15 - Parents' Knowledge and Expectations: Using What We Know 439
  • References *
  • 16 - Parental Monitoring and Knowledge of Children 461
  • References *
  • 17 - Parent Beliefs Are Cognitions: the Dynamic Belief Systems Model 485
  • References *
  • 18 - Parental Attributions 509
  • References *
  • 19 - Parental Attitudes Toward Childrearing 537
  • References 559
  • 20 - Psychoanalysis and Parenthood 563
  • References *
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