Same-Sex Parent Socialization: Understanding Gay and Lesbian Parenting Practices as Cultural Socialization

Marykate Oakley, Rachel H. Farr, David G. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cultural socialization refers to the processes by which parents communicate cultural values, beliefs, customs, and behaviors to their children. To date, research on cultural socialization has focused primarily on racial- and ethnic-minority families, and more contemporary studies have examined these practices among international and transracial adoptive families. In general, four main themes have emerged in the literature: Cultural Socialization, Preparation for Bias, Promotion of Mistrust, and Egalitarianism. Since families with same-sex parents continue to experience stigma in society, there is reason to believe these parents engage in cultural socialization strategies specifically around issues of sexual orientation. Yet, current research on cultural socialization has not explicitly investigated same-sex parenting. Thus, the present study examined same-sex parent socialization among families headed by sexual-minority parents (52 fathers, 43 mothers) using a preexisting socialization framework. Findings revealed that the majority of parents endorsed behaviors designed to promote children's awareness of diverse family structures and prepare them for potential stigma-related barriers socialization along three dimensions: Cultural Socialization, Preparation for Bias, and Proactive Parenting. These results contribute to our empirical understanding of same-sex parenting and justify the need to broaden our conceptualization of cultural socialization to be more inclusive of these diverse family structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-75
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • children
  • cultural socialization
  • Gay and lesbian parents
  • parenting strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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