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Unformatted text preview: TIMOTHY J. BIBLARZ AND EVREN SAVCI University of Southern California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families This article reviews new scholarship on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. The past decade witnessed rapid expansion of data and strong research designs. The most notable advance was in studies on variation among mostly planned lesbian comother families. Cumulative evidence suggests that although many of these families have comparatively high levels of shared labor and parental investment, they may not be as genderless as previously depicted. Gay mens diverse paths to family formation and planned parenthood have also been explored, but almost no research studies their childrens experiences. Conceptualizations of sexual orientation expanded to include bisexuals and others, and some understanding of the experiences of transgender people has begun to emerge. Future work should explore relationships among members of the families they create. In the 1990s, marriages between same-gender partners were not legally recognized anywhere in the world and families formed by gay men, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people faced considerable opprobrium and intolerance. Researchers were documenting what most social scientists already knew but what much of the public, perhaps inundated by virtual social science (Stacey, 1997), did not: that sexual orientations and gender identities per se have almost nothing to do with fitness for family roles Department of Sociology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2539 ( Key Words: bisexual, family diversity, gay, gender, lesbian, sexuality, transgender. and relationships, including parenting. Many of the studies during this period, reviewed by Patterson (2000) in JMF , showed that lesbian and gay couples, parents, and their children averaged at least as high as their heterosexualcounterparts in relationship quality, psychological well-being, social adjustment, and parental investment. Beginning in September 2000, when The Netherlands extended the right to marry to include same-sex couples, the ensuing decade brought significant expansion of legal rights and recognitions. Same-sex marriage became legal in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Canada, and Mexico City, and in the United States in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Wash- ington, DC. Dozens of other nations and states granted same-sex couples rights associated with marriage via domestic partnerships, civil unions, and the like. A number allowed second-parent adoption by same-sex couples. Of course, homo- phobia and discrimination are still prevalent, and there was a push back by opponents (e.g., Cali- fornians voted to amend the state constitution to limit legal marriage to that between a man and a woman, bans on same-sex marriage passed by popular vote in dozens of U.S. states, and some states passed restrictions to exclude gay...
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:272 taught by Professor Mouzon during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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