Do Gays and Lesbians Want Children?: Childbearing Intentions and Attitudes towards Children among Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Men and Women in the United States
Nola du Toit, Bowling Green State University
Data from the National Survey of Family Growth is used to determine whether the childbearing intentions and attitudes towards children of sexual minority men and women are similar to that of heterosexual men and women. Research (Barber 2001, Schoen, Astone, Kim, Nathanson, and Fields 1999) shows that intentions and attitudes towards children are very predictive of actual fertility behavior. Yet these studies do not distinguish by sexual orientation. This work contributes to our understanding of an understudied portion of society who is a growing family context for raising children (Patterson 2000). Second, this research informs public policy targeted at sexual minority families. Third, most research done on sexual minorities rely on small, non-representative samples and this paper draws on nationally representative data. Preliminary results indicate that there are differences in the childbearing intentions and attitudes towards children between sexual minority men and women compared to heterosexual men and women.
Presented in Poster Session 4