Parenting Desires and Intentions: A Comparison of Childless Gays and Lesbians in Germany

[Speaker] Kranz, Dirk:1
[Co-author] Fischer, Jan Andrej:1, Niepel, Christoph:2
1:University of Trier (Germany), 2:University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Parenthood is one of the most universal developmental tasks. Compared to other persons, homosexuals face more biological and societal barriers to parenthood--although there has been enormous social change in recent decades, at least in the Western world. This study explores psychological factors that may contribute to parenting desires and intentions among German gays and lesbians aged 18 to 40 years (N = 628 + 562). Referring to the theory of planned behavior, three potential factors were distinguished: attitudes toward children, perceived attitudes of significant others toward parenting, and parental self-efficacy. Although lesbians reported somewhat stronger parenting desires and intentions than gays, sexual orientation made no difference at the correlational level. Participants' parenting intentions (mediated by parenting desires) were only affected by their appreciation of children and their perception of parental self-efficacy; however, the impact of significant others' attitudes was insignificant. Results are discussed from a psychological and sociological perspective.
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