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Parenting Desire Among Sexual Minority Women in China: From the Stigma Perspective

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In China, women who are childless or have children outside of heterosexual marriage are generally stigmatized. Consequently, Chinese sexual minority women are challenged for their willingness to have children. This study explored how multiple (structural-interpersonal-individual) levels of sexual minority stigma are related to parenting desire among Chinese sexual minority women. Furthermore, it examined the mediation mechanism of individual stigma and the moderation effect of outness to one’s family in the link between structural/interpersonal stigma and parenting desire. Participants (265 lesbian and 193 bisexual women) completed online measures of structural stigma (adherence to Confucianism), interpersonal stigma (discrimination events), individual stigma (internalized homophobia and rejection sensitivity), outness to one’s family, and parenting desire. Lesbian women reported lower structural and individual stigma and parenting desire levels than bisexual women. Sexual minority women’s high adherence to Confucianism, internalized homophobia, and rejection sensitivity were positively associated with their increased parenting desires. Notably, adherence to Confucianism and discrimination events were associated with parenting desire through internalized homophobia, but not rejection sensitivity; moreover, outness to one’s family buffered the direct link between adherence to Confucianism and parenting desire and strengthened the direct link between discrimination events and internalized homophobia and the indirect link between discrimination events and parenting desire. This study contributes to a robust understanding of how sexual minority stigma is connected to parenting desire among sexual minority women in Chinese sociocultural contexts, providing cultural-specific evidence to support theories of stigma and minority stress.

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This research was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (22CSH050).

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Correspondence to Wenjian Xu.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest with respect to their authorship or the publication of this article.

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This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of the Sichuan University.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Pu, Y., Xu, W. Parenting Desire Among Sexual Minority Women in China: From the Stigma Perspective. Arch Sex Behav (2023).

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