Free Essay About Characteristics Of LGBT And Heterosexual Families
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What characteristics do heterosexual couples believe they possess, that differs from LGBT couples, who desire to have a family of their own?
1.1 Background of study
Many LGBT couples are choosing to become parents despite the unnatural circumstances surrounding their orientation and relationships. Lesbian women want to become mothers while gay men want to become fathers. Both men and women are generally socialized to want to become parents and this desire is not impeded by the orientation of their sexuality. However, the decision to be parents by members of the LGBT community faces challenges and sometimes disappointments. Many of them receive messages that they are not worthy to be parents and that their reprobate desires have the potential to harm children or make them less adequate of parents. For normal parents, the limitations and restrictions appear not be to be limited in the sense that it is possible for a husband and a wife to become parents through the various available legal options with few impediments. The purpose of this study is to source for the views of normal couples who believe to have different characteristics that distinguishes them from LGBT couples desiring to have a family of their own.
1.2 Problem Statement
For many years, the needs of members of the gay and lesbian community have been an area of interest in research studies and in the society. It has received great recognition in social research. Studies by Kleinert et al. (2015) and Wall (2011) come to an agreement that human beings have generally been socialized to group themselves into social units called families which consist of adults and children. It is therefore not surprising for members of the LGBT community to develop the interest and desire to become parents. However, the challenges they face have drawn research interests. Most literature materials on this topic tend to focus predominantly on views of LGBT people. They tend to gather data and analyze data that mostly covers the interests and perceptions shared within the LBGT community. This study, however, seeks to have a different focus by collecting the views of normal couples and analyzing the characteristics of what they perceive to distinguish them from LGBT couples when pursuing the desire to become parents.
1.3 Significance of Study
Review of literature reveals that there has been significant social change over the last few decades, but the LBTG couples still face barriers that make them less likely than their normal peers to not only be married but also become parents. The findings of this study will further reveal more factors that play out in creating these hindrances. Despite having the potential to confirm what other studies have found, the context and scope upon which this study will be done will be unique on its own to make a significant contribution to this area of research interest. Therefore, this study will actually benefit a number of stakeholders in the society including LBGT community.
1.4 Aim of study
The main objective of this study is to determine the characteristics that heterosexual couples believe they possess, that differs from LGBT couples, who desire to have a family of their own.
The study restricts itself to normal couples and LGBT couples. It particularly seeks the views of normal couples in regard to the characteristics that distinguish them from LGBT couples in becoming parents. The study also limits itself to the US and all participants will fall under this scope. Analysis will be undertaken to complement descriptive and inferential statistics in examining those characteristics making normal parents advantaged and different from LGBT parents.
The study seeks to collect the views of heterosexual couples on some of the characteristics that deem them different from LGBT couples desiring to become parents. The will take a survey research design where quantitative data will be collected using a self-completed questionnaire tool.
The key variables that the study intends to measure in order to answer the research questions include legal restriction, family acceptance, acceptance from friends, acceptance from colleagues and peers, internal stigmatization, among others. The target population in the study includes heterosexual couples. The sample will be drawn from this population.
3.0 Literature review
Many studies have been done to investigate the desire of LGBT couples to become parents and the challenges they face in their quest. Kleinert et al. (2015) sought to establish the motives and the decisions for and against having children among LGBT couples and notes that a growing number of gay and lesbian couples often come out in the open to speak about their desire of having children. The study identifies factors that motivate this reprobate group to have children. It is particularly relevant because it provides insight into the topic and the researcher is able to identify key variables that will assist in the collection of primary data. For instance, some of the characteristics identified to create the rift between normal parents and LGBT parents have to do with legal restrictions. The study by Kleinert et al. also identifies internalized stigma as a key characteristic that distinguishes normal couples from LGBT couples when it comes to the desire to be parents. Another critical characteristic is the general acceptance in the community. For instance, LBGT couples wishing to become parents have to face acceptance from public authorities, friends, family, colleagues at school or place of work, and the community as a whole. The study by Kleinert et al. took a survey design which is also applicable in this study
Kleinert et al. (2015) presents gaps that could further be filled by this study. It focuses its attention mainly on the views of members of the LGBT community and has little concern for what normal people think. This study intends to bring out the views and the perception of normal or heterosexual parents and couples. The characteristics of normal oriented people are quite large just in the same the characteristics of LGBT couples are unknown. The study will take into account this limitation.
The study by Wall (2015) further confirms the findings of many others studies that members of the LGBT community are increasingly choosing to become parents. It brings an interesting perspective into the topic by presenting findings of some of the barriers lesbian women face when choosing to become mothers. She argues that there are complex social messages that weigh down their effort to be mothers. Despite the existing modern options available for adults intending to become parents, lesbian women on this path are laden with several barriers. Wall bases her argument on some important theoretical concept. One of the major discourses in feminist literature that also involves parenting by homosexual women, is the need to redefine motherhood and family because Becker and Todd (2013) were able to establish that majority of Americans tend to view a family to be composed of a husband and wife with one or more children. Almost 100% of all participants interviewed in their study had this view of the status of a family. Nonetheless, a significant proportion also bore the view that a family may involve LGBT couples living together and raising one or more children. This shows the general acceptance of a family by the society. Therefore, is one is to go against this view, they are deemed reprobate and will have to face a lot of rejection from the society which normal couples intending to be parents do not face.
Patterson and Riskind (2010) contend less differently from other scholars and studies on this topic. They say that the popular belief that parenthood is exclusively a prerogative of normal couples is gradually changing. There are new developments in the theatre and a lot of beliefs and norms are being redefined. They note the need to learn more about the factors that hinder family formation in the context of what is traditionally considered unnatural. They point out to a number of characteristics of gay and lesbian couples which create barriers to their decisions to have family. The study by Patterson and Riskind (2010) is particularly important for the broad insight it offers to this study.
Bateman, G. W. (2011). Parenting. GLBTQ, 1-6.
BECKER, A. B., & TODD, M. E. (2013). A New American Family? Public Opinion toward Family Status and Perceptions of the Challenges Faced by Children of Same-Sex Parents. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 9:425–448.
Kleinert, E., Martin, O., ¨hler, E. B., & ¨bel-Richter, Y. S. (2015). Motives and Decisions for and Against Having Children Among Nonheterosexuals and the Impact of Experiences of Discrimination, Internalized Stigma, and Social Acceptance. Journal of Sex Research, 52(2), 174–185.
Patterson, C. J., & Riskind, R. G. (2010). NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELD To Be a Parent: Issues in Family Formation among Gay and Lesbian Adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6:326–340.
Sobocan, A. M. (2011). Female Same-Sex Families in the Dialectics of Marginality and Conformity. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 15:384–405.
WALL, M. (2011). Hearing the Voices of Lesbian Women Having Children. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7:93–108.
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