Divided roles

时间:2019-03-07 11:14:00166网络整理admin

By Alison Motluk DON’T blame society. It’s the kids who impose stereotyped roles on the people who care for them, according to a pioneering study of lesbian adoptive couples. Claudia Ciano-Boyce and Lynn Shelley-Sireci of Westfield State College in Massachusetts wanted to know if the experience of adopting a child differed between homosexual and heterosexual couples. Massachusetts is one of the few states where same-sex couples can adopt. The researchers asked 10 lesbian and 26 heterosexual couples who had adopted a child to fill out an extensive 20-page questionnaire. On most topics, heterosexual and homosexual couples responded similarly. But lesbian parents reported significantly more dissatisfaction with the division of childcare. Despite their best efforts to be totally egalitarian, they said that the child always seemed to insist on one parent for “primary” needs—such as comfort, food and tucking in at bedtime. Meanwhile the child treated the other parent almost exclusively as a playmate. While heterosexual parents reported a similar division of roles, with the mother usually performing primary tasks, they didn’t consider it a problem. “The child chooses one parent over the other,” says Ciano-Boyce, and the two roles appear to be mutually exclusive. Since both parents in the lesbian families were interested in being primary caregivers, and neither was the biological mother, it’s not clear what criteria the child uses to pick its caregiver, Ciano-Boyce says. More on these topics: