Gay parenting researched

Though homosexuality is becoming increasingly accepted in society, one issue in particular has become more prominent: gay parenting and the questions that surround it.

Anna Wilk noticed a lack of research on this subject and completed her masters of sociology at WLU on gay fatherhood under the supervision of Dr. Glenda Wall, associate professor.

Wilk decided to focus on gay fatherhood, as opposed to lesbian motherhood, because while doing her literature review she found that “there is actually quite a bit of information available on gay mothers and their experiences and a very minimal amount of work currently done on gay fathers and their experiences.”

From her research, Wilk found that the main difference between gay fatherhood and lesbian motherhood is that lesbian mothers are more accepted than gay fathers.

“A stereotype exists that all women are natural nurturers. When you have two women, the child has what he or she needs, as opposed to men [who]…[are] taught to believe, that they are the breadwinners,” said Wilk.

Wilk conducted her research through snowball sampling. Most of the individuals who participated in Wilk’s research learned about it through their volunteer work at gay pride events and gay fatherhood events that were taking place in Toronto. She then proceeded to set up meetings with the individuals who took an interest in her research.

“[The participants] understand the importance of … the research that is being conducted and how it can lead to policy change and … future understanding about their family formation.”

Wilk noted that gay parenthood, along with heterosexual parenthood, is very situational.

“It can’t be stereotyped and generalized that all men are the same,” said Wilk.

“What the fathers are saying is that everyone learns how to be a parent. Parenthood is not innate, you learn as you go.”

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