Same-sex Marriage and Family

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15 Jan 2011

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Same-sex Marriage and Family (August 3)
For Exam:
Compare and contrast between gay/lesbian & heterosexual
Reading on how to negotiate similar to process of legalization of gay marriage (gradual change to
be recognized)
Transform the definition of marriage and family (much more flexible in the process)
A long process to gain rights
I.New understanding of marriage: family as a new practice (functional aspect => emotional
II.Universal human rights
I.Religious background (moral issues)
II.Functional reasons: reproduction for the next generation; children cant stay with biological
III.Gender-role concerns
In general, diverse forms are getting more acceptable: it all depends on individuals choice, and norms
are not as rigid as in the past
However, this is within a Canadian context: some other cultures are still in the process of accepting
this topic
Political fights against this was prevalent, but not it has become legalized, and the government now
focuses more on how to build new forms of emotional bound
Therefore, the people who were once regarded as deviant are now recognized not only legally but also
Some facts of same-sex unions
The statistics may not be accurate because its based on self-report, and some gays/lesbians still dont
want to report for many personal reasons
Gates and Sanders (2002) estimate that from 2% to an upper limit of 5% of men are gay and from 1%
to 3.5% of women are lesbian. This closely matches the 4% in the Laumann et al. study.
Around 0.5% of married and cohabitating couples are homosexual (Statistics Canada, 2002), and the
proportion is very likely to be underestimated because only 1/3 self-reports as such.
In Canada, the 2001 census revealed that 15% of households headed by lesbian couples had children
versus 3% among male same-sex households (Statistics Canada, 2002).
The relationship between same-sex partners (Ambert, 2005)
Gender-role is still much based on patriarchic ideology, which causes the conflict between husband
and wife
In general, lesbian/gay couples report a more egalitarian division of labor than married couples
(Patterson, 2000).
Kurdek found that gay couples reported more autonomy from each other in terms of activities,
friendships, and decision-making than married dyads.
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