Influence of parents on their children's sexual orientation

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 1996

download word file, 3 pages 4.8 1 reviews

Downloaded 144 times

Bailey, J. Michael. Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers. Developmental Psychology. 1995, Vol. 31, No. 1, 124-129

Golombok, Susan. Do Parents Influence the Sexual Orientation of Their Children? Findings From a Longitudinal Study of Lesbian Families. Developmental Psychology. 1996, Vol. 32, No. 1, 3-11

Meyer-Bahlburg, Heino F.L. Parental Influences on the Development of Homosexual Orientation. Developmental Psychology. 1995, Vol. 31, No. 1, 12-21

Patterson, Charlotte. Sexual Orientation and Human Development. Developmental Psychology. 1995, Vol. 31, No. 1, 3-11

Do parents influence their children's sexuality? The answer may surprise you: no they do not. It has been found that about 90% of sons of gay fathers are heterosexual (Bailey 124). It was also found that 90% of daughters of lesbian women are also heterosexual (Golombok 4). According to a poll taken by Northwestern University almost 95% of people expect children of homosexual parents to be homosexual themselves (Bailey 125).

This popular belief has affected many child custody decisions because of the possibility of the parents molesting the children, or the possibility of the children becoming homosexual themselves. Even if the children becoming homosexual is a possibility, why deny custody to a parent based on his or her sexuality?

The question has been raised on what can and what can't make a child homosexual. Some believe that children learn by imitating their parents. This theory cannot be totally rejected, but due to recent research it is believed to be more unlikely. Others have said that children identify with an opposite-sex parent and copying their behavior, this coupled with a distant same-sex parent makes the argument even more believable. It is also possible that homosexual parents reinforce certain types of behavior, either homo- or heterosexual (Bailey 125-126).

Some say that hormones affect the sexuality of children, which may...