Parenting Desires and Intentions among Sexual Minorities: An Intersectional Approach

Danielle Wondra, University of California, Los Angeles

Demographic accounts of parenting desires and intentions have largely neglected sexual minorities. Although the limited existing research in this area suggests that many lesbians and gay men want children, it has not fully addressed differences within sexual minority groups. Employing an intersectional lens, I use data from the 2002 and 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth (N=31,168) to examine variation in parenting desires and intentions among sexual minorities. Although lesbians and gay men are much less likely than heterosexual peers to report wanting a/another child, I find important differences within sexual minority groups by race/ethnicity and age. Sexual minorities are also more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to perceive barriers to having children, measured by a gap between desires and intentions. Among sexual minority women, however, the nature of this gap differs by race/ethnicity, education, and age. Results highlight the value of intersectionality in studying parenting perspectives among sexual minorities.

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Presented in Session 92: LGBTQ Population in Families and Households