Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents' Sexuality Influences Adoption Choices

Date:
April 2, 2009
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Study looks at heterosexual, lesbian and gay male couples preferences when choosing gender of child.

A couple's sexual orientation determines whether or not they prefer to adopt a boy or a girl. Gay men are more likely to have a gender preference for their adopted child whereas heterosexual men are the least likely. What's more, couples in heterosexual relationships are more likely to prefer girls than people in same-gender relationships, according to Dr. Abbie Goldberg from Clark University in the US.

These couples also have very different reasons for their preferences, depending on their sexuality. These findings, from the first study to compare the child gender preferences of prospective adoptive parents according to their sexuality, are published online in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

Unlike biological parents, adoptive parents can choose the gender of their child. Heterosexual, lesbian and gay male couples approach adoption with very different experiences and expectations as those of expectant biological parents. Dr. Goldberg looked at whether the unique contexts of adoption and sexual orientation have distinct implications for men's and women's child gender preferences.

She explored adoptive parents' child gender preferences in a geographically diverse American sample of 93 heterosexual, 61 lesbian and 48 gay male couples waiting to adopt their first child. The participants were recruited through adoption agencies in the US as well as national gay and lesbian organizations. They were interviewed between 2005 and 2008.

Dr. Goldberg found that many couples, irrespective of sexuality, had no preference for the gender of their adopted child. They were simply grateful to finally have a child and gender was insignificant in the context of their larger goal of becoming parents.

Among those who expressed a preference, gay men were the most likely to have a preference and heterosexual men were the least likely. Couples in heterosexual relationships were less likely to prefer boys than couples in same-gender relationships.

The study participants provided a range of reasons for their preferences for girls. The most common reason among heterosexual women was their inexplicable desire for a daughter, whereas heterosexual men most frequently listed a combination of their inexplicable desire to have a girl, their ideas about father-daughter relationships and their perceived characteristics of girls. Men felt girls would be easier to bring up, and more interesting and complex than boys, and less physically challenging than boys. Lesbians tended to focus on their perceived inability to socialize a child of the opposite gender, and gay men most frequently cited concerns about boys being more likely to encounter harassment than girls.

The most common reason for preferring boys among heterosexual women was an inexplicable desire for a son, whereas heterosexual men's preference for a son reflected patriarchal norms, including keeping the family name going and gender identity considerations i.e. their own masculine interests. When explaining their preference for a boy, lesbians most frequently mentioned their own atypical gender identities, including the fact that their own interests tended to be more masculine and tomboyish, whereas gay men most often highlighted that they felt more confident about their ability to raise and socialize boys.

Dr Goldberg concludes: "This study represents the first investigation known to date that explores the child gender preferences of both heterosexual and sexual minority preadoptive parents. The data suggest that both the adoption context and the sexual orientation context may have implications for how men and women think about the gender of their future children."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Goldberg et al. Heterosexual, Lesbian, and Gay Preadoptive Parents’ Preferences About Child Gender. Sex Roles, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s11199-009-9598-4

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Parents' Sexuality Influences Adoption Choices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090402092915.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2009, April 2). Parents' Sexuality Influences Adoption Choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090402092915.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Parents' Sexuality Influences Adoption Choices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090402092915.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins