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Lecture 16

Lecture 16 21st Century Families and Diversity.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology Nov. 7 2011 st Lecture 16: 21 Century Families and Diversity Topics: - Experience of gays and lesbians in their families of origin - Same sex couples and same sex couples raising children - Chapter 22, Fox, Gilligan Dunne, “Opting into Motherhood: Lesbians Blurring the Boundaries and Transforming the Meaning of Parenthood and Kinship” - Canadian research by Fiona Nelson; Bonnie Fox and Doreen Fumia Same Sex Marriage in Canada: - Legalized in 2005 - Increase in same sex marriage/cohabitation & adoption Difficult experiences with Families of Origin: - Research paints an overall negative picture in regards to responses of families to gay /lesbian kids - Including: o Lack of support o Misinformation  Suggesting that you can “straighten out”  Suggesting that you are an abomination o Harassment  Physical and verbal o Loss of freedom o Denial  “it’s just a phase” o Abuse  By parents, extended family, siblings  Physical/verbal/sexual o Harmful Myths  Gays/lesbians are sluts – don’t do long term relationships, only casual sex  Make lesbians and gays appear to be anti-family  Research: norm for gays/lesbians is serial monogamy  Gay men are more likely to be pedophiles  Not at all supported by the research – the majority of child abusers are heterosexual men (often fathers)  Kids of gay/lesbian parents will be gay  Research shows that the sexuality of the parent has no effect on the sexuality of the kid 2  Idea that children raised by gay/lesbian parents will not develop the appropriate gender identity because they don’t have 2 genders in their parents  Research finds no difference in terms of gender identity for children of hetero parents vs. children of gay/lesbian parents  Idea that children raised by gay/lesbian parents will be emotionally/psychologically damaging due to the stigma  Research finds the emo/psych wellbeing of kids of gays/lesbians is equal to that of kids of hetero couples  - These can all occur at school as well - Negative experiences lead to a disproportionate number of dropouts/suicide/attempted suicide o When pushed away by family, researchers argue that families are a hazard to gay/lesbian youths Same Sex Families: - Dunne: Studied a number of lesbian parents in England o Biggest obstacle: homophobia of wider society  Some had sperm donor involved in their children’s lives, which helped to legitimatize the family in a way to
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