Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gay and Lesbian Parenting, Community Attitudes toward
Lynn M. Shelley-Sireci
During the past half century, the profile of the traditional family has changed dramatically, and today there is great diversity in family constellations. While society has become less discriminatory and more accepting of some nontraditional family types, families headed by sexual minority parents face considerable social, legal, religious, and economic barriers. The assumption and expectation in our society is that all people are inherently heterosexual—this is especially true for parents. Yet, an estimated 4 to 14 million children have gay or lesbian parents. Many individuals hold negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian parenting, and numerous religious, political, and social groups have objected to parenting by sexual minorities. The rationale for condemning lesbian and gay parenthood is typically based on the assumptions that homosexuals are not fit to be parents because they are mentally ill or because they are pedophiles and sexual predators, and the concern that children with homosexual parents ...