Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities in Families: Psychological Perspectives

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Traditional understandings of families incorporate the assumption that both parents and children are heterosexual. Only quite recently have psychological research and theory examined lesbian, gay, and bisexual lives within the context of families. In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities in Families, Charlotte J. Patterson and Anthony R. D'Augelli draw together the psychological research and examine the entire multifaceted experience of such relationships. The editors bring together the most important recent ...
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Overview


Traditional understandings of families incorporate the assumption that both parents and children are heterosexual. Only quite recently have psychological research and theory examined lesbian, gay, and bisexual lives within the context of families. In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities in Families, Charlotte J. Patterson and Anthony R. D'Augelli draw together the psychological research and examine the entire multifaceted experience of such relationships. The editors bring together the most important recent scholarship and empirical research on family relationships and dynamics, and they identify directions for future research and theory in this area.
The first section of the book discusses different perspectives on sexual orientation in families. It focuses on evidence relevant to genetic contributions to sexual orientation, and looks at social interactions and their development. Ethnic identity and family dynamics along with cultural influences on conceptions of sexual orientation and family lives are examined. The next section focuses on key aspects of interpersonal relationships within the families of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals. The interactions between children and parents of different sexual orientations and a variety of intergenerational processes in lesbian-headed families are explored. The final section of the book focuses on community and contextual issues. It explores economic issues, antilesbian/antigay attitudes, social structures, and social policies that affect lesbian and gay family lives. This volume, one of the first to discuss the family relationships of gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women, will be of interest to psychologists, sociologists, social workers, scholars of gay/lesbian/bisexual studies, as well as laypersons.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is probably the most comprehensive collection of recent studies on lesbian, gay male, and bisexual identity development in the context of family lives. It reveals the diversity of sexual orientations within family relationships, focusing on the perspectives of lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transgender persons at various stages of the life cycle. Therefore, the present book examines behavioral genetic, environmental, cultural, social, and psychological factors which contribute to the development of queer (nonheterosexual) identities, same-sex partnerships and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender family relationships. . . . [T]his outstanding book enriches not only various research approaches in family studies, developmental, social, and clinical psychology, but enables one to redefine the traditional bifurcated knowledge of heterosexual gender identity within family lives in general."--Swiss Journal of Psychology

"The book offers a wealth of information including valuable reviews of the psychological literature on multiple aspects of sexual orientation, sexual identity development, and the families of LGB [lesbian, gay, and bisexual] individuals. ... With less than thirty years having passed since the depathologizing of homosexuality, sexual orientation research still seems to be searching for its place in psychology. The progressive move that Patterson and D'Augelli have made in recognizing the need to address the role of the family in the lives of sexual minorities certainly gives new life to this search. This book reminds us that we have a long way to go to untangle the multiple facets of identity but offers many insights about how, within a psychological framework, we might come to comprehend the true nature of sexual orientation and to locate the role of the family in identity development."--Journal of Lesbian Studies

"Each chapter in the book is written by an expert in the field and, as such, is a 'state of the art' summary of their specialist area. [. . .] [T]he reader has a rich variety of interesting material to reflect upon and from which to draw his or her own conclusions."--Psychology Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195110500
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Virginia

Pennsylvania State University

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Table of Contents

I Perspectives on the Families of Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals
1 Behavioral Genetics, Sexual Orientation, and the Family 3
2 Biopsychosocial Interactions and the Development of Sexual Orientation 19
3 Family, Ethnic Identity, and Sexual Orientation: African-American Lesbians and Gay Men 40
4 Social Acceptance of Same-Sex Relationships in Families: Models from Other Cultures 53
II Aspects of Family Relationships
5 Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youths' Relationships with Their Parents 75
6 Gay and Lesbian Relationships in a Changing Social Context 99
7 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Friendships in Adulthood 122
8 The Family Lives of Children Born to Lesbian Mothers 154
9 Older Gay Men and Lesbians in Families 177
10 Invisible Ties: Lesbians and Their Families of Origin 197
III Community and Contextual Issues
11 The Economic Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults' Families 231
12 Cultural Heterosexism and the Family 249
13 Clinical Issues in Psychotherapy with Lesbian-, Gay-, and Bisexual-Parented Families 270
Index 293
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