Advertisement

Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 285–292 | Cite as

Attitudes of Italian Heterosexual Older Adults Towards Lesbian and Gay Parenting

  • Roberto Baiocco
  • Nicola Nardelli
  • Lina Pezzuti
  • Vittorio Lingiardi
Article

Abstract

Several studies have examined the attitudes of heterosexuals towards lesbian and gay parenting, revealing mostly negative attitudes. Nonetheless, no research studies have examined these attitudes specifically among elderly adults. Two hundred eighty older heterosexuals adults ranged from 65 to 87 years old (women: M = 74.2, SD = 6.0; male M = 73.9, SD = 6.1) completed measures evaluating their knowledge of the existence of lesbian and gay parents, their attitudes towards lesbian and gay parenting and expected child outcomes, and opinions regarding legalization and recognition of lesbian and gay parents. As we expected, age was a relevant predictor of negative attitudes towards lesbian and gay parenting: older elders had a stronger prejudice than the others. Data revealed that the more positive evaluation was for the heterosexual and lesbian parents while the more negative evaluation was for the gay male parents. Regression analyses showed that a negative attitude towards lesbian and gay parents was predicted by older age, right-wing conservatism, and internalized sexual stigma. The expected effects on child outcomes were predicted only by the dimensions of sexual stigma.

Keywords

Older adults Sexual stigma Lesbian parents Gay parents Sexual orientation 

References

  1. Averett, P., Strong-Blakeney, A., Nalavany, B. A. & Ryan S. D. (2011). Adoptive parents’ attitudes towards gay and lesbian adoption. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7, 30–48. doi: 10.1080/1550428X.2011.537211.
  2. Baiocco, R., Argalia, M., & Laghi, F. (2012). Marriage desires among Italian young adults: the role of internalized sexual stigma. Journal of Family Issues. doi: 10.1177/ 0192513X12464872.Google Scholar
  3. Baiocco, R., D’Alessio, M., & Laghi, F. (2010). Binge drinking among gay, and lesbian youths: the role of internalized homophobia, self-disclosure, and connectedness to the gay community. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 896–899. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2010.06.004.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baiocco, R., & Laghi, F. (2013). Sexual orientation and the desires and intentions to become parents. Journal of Family Studies, 19, 90–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brumbaugh, S. M., Sanchez, L. A., Nock, S. L., & Wright, J. D. (2008). Attitudes toward gay marriage in states undergoing marriage law transformation. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 70, 345–359. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00486.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Camilleri, P., & Ryan, M. (2006). Social work students’ attitudes toward homosexuality and their knowledge and attitudes toward homosexual parenting as an alternative family unit: an Australian study. Social Work Education, 25, 288–304. doi: 10.1080/02615470600565244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coakes, S. J., & Ong, C. (2011). SPSS version 18.0 for Windows: Analysis without anguish. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Council of Europe (2011). Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe (2nd Edition). Retrieved from http://book.coe.int.
  9. Crawford, I., & Solliday, E. (1996). The attitudes of undergraduate college students toward gay parenting. Journal of Homosexuality, 30(4), 63–77. doi: 10.1300/J082v30n04_04.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cullen, J. M., Wright, L. W., & Alessandri, M. (2002). The personality variable openness to experience as it relates to homophobia. Journal of Homosexuality, 42(4), 119–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. D’Augelli, A. R., & Rose, M. L. (1990). Homophobia in a university community: attitudes and experiences of heterosexual freshmen. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 484–491.Google Scholar
  12. David, S., & Knight, B. G. (2008). Stress and coping among gay men: age and ethnic differences. Psychology and Aging, 23, 62–69. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.23.1.62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E., & McHugh, P. R. (1975). “Mini-Mental State”—A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinicians. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189–198. doi: 10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I., Kim, H.-J., Emlet, C. A., Muraco, A., Erosheva, E. A., & Hoy-Ellis, C. P. (2011). The aging and health report: disparities and resilience among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults. Seattle: Institute for Multigenerational Health.Google Scholar
  15. Herdt, G. (2001). Social change, sexual diversity, and tolerance for bisexuality in the United States. In A. R. D’Augelli & C. J. Patterson (Eds.), Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities and youth: psychological perspectives (pp. 267–283). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Herek, G. M. (2002). Gender gaps in public opinion about lesbians and gay men. Public Opinion Quarterly, 66, 40–66. doi: 10.1086/338409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Herek, G. M. (2009). Sexual stigma and sexual prejudice in the United States: a conceptual framework. In D. A. Hope (Ed.), Contemporary perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities (pp. 65–111). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Herek, G. M., & Capitanio, J. P. (1996). “Some of My Best Friends”: intergroup contact, concealable stigma, and heterosexuals’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 412–424. doi: 10.1177/0146167296224007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hicks, G. R., & Lee, T. (2006). Public attitudes toward gays and lesbians: trends and predictors. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(2), 57–77. doi: 10.1300/J082v51n02_04.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hollekim, R., Slaatten, H., & Anderssen, N. (2012). A nationwide study of Norwegian beliefs about same-sex marriage and lesbian and gay parenthood. Sex Research and Social Policy, 9, 15–30. doi: 10.1007/s13178-011-0049-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hopwood, M., & Connors, J. (2002). Heterosexual attitudes to homosexuality: homophobia at a rural Australian university. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 14(2), 79–94. doi: 10.1300/J041v14n02_07.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kinsey, A.C. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.Google Scholar
  23. Krendl, A. C., Heatherton, T. F., & Kensinger, E. A. (2009). Aging minds and twisting attitudes: an fMRI investigation of age differences in inhibiting prejudice. Psychology and Aging, 24, 530–541. doi: 10.1037/a0016065.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lannutti, P., & Lachlan, K. (2008). Assessing attitudes toward same-sex marriage. Journal of Homosexuality, 53, 113–133. doi: 10.1080/00918360802103373.
  25. Lingiardi, V., Baiocco, R., & Nardelli, N. (2012). Measure of internalized sexual stigma for lesbians and gay men: a new scale. Journal of Homosexuality, 59, 1191–1210. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2012.712850.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lingiardi, V., Falanga, S., & D’Augelli, A. R. (2005). The evaluation of homophobia in an Italian sample. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 81–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Massey, S. G. (2007). Sexism, heterosexism, and attributions about undesirable behavior in children of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 3, 457–483. doi: 10.1300/J461v03n04_05.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morse, C. N., McLaren, S., & McLachlan, A. J. (2007). The attitudes of Australian heterosexuals toward same-sex parents. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 3, 425–455. doi: 10.1300/J461v03n04_04.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Olson, L. R., Cadge, W., & Harrison, J. T. (2006). Religion and public opinion about same-sex marriage. Social Science Quarterly, 87, 340–360. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00384.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pacilli, M. G., Taurino, A., Jost, J. T., & van der Toorn, J. (2011). System justification, right-wing conservatism, and internalized homophobia: gay and lesbian attitudes toward same-sex parenting in Italy. Sex Roles, 65, 580–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rowlands, I., & Lee, C. (2006). Choosing to have children or choosing to be childfree: Australian students’ attitudes towards the decisions of heterosexual and lesbian women. Australian Psychologist, 41, 55–59. doi: 10.1080/00050060500391860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schwartz, J. (2010). Investigating differences in public support for gay rights issues. Journal of Homosexuality, 27, 748–759. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2010.485875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Steffens, M. C., & Wagner, C. (2004). Attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, bisexual women, and bisexual men in Germany. Journal Of Sex Research, 41(2), 137–149. doi: 10.2307/3813648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Superior Institute of Health. (2006). MODI DI. Ricerca nazionale sulla salute di lesbiche, gay e bisessuali [Be as you are. National research on lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people]. Retrieved from http://www.salutegay.it/modidi/risultati_della_ricerca/report_finale.pdf.
  35. Wright, L. W., Adams, H. E., & Bernat, J. J. (1999). Development and validation of the homophobia scale. Journal Of Psychopathology And Behavioral Assessment, 21, 337–347. doi: 10.1023/A:1022172816258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Baiocco
    • 1
  • Nicola Nardelli
    • 2
  • Lina Pezzuti
    • 2
  • Vittorio Lingiardi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Dynamic and Clinical PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations