Do adult men and women in same-sex relationships have weaker ties to their parents?

M.M. Fischer, M. Kalmijn

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Using a national sample of people in same-sex relationships (N = 843) and different-sex relationships (N = 510) in the Netherlands, we examine the frequently discussed but infrequently tested hypothesis of weaker intergenerational ties between parents and their adult daughters and sons in same-sex relationships. We also test hypotheses linking the strength of these ties to gender differences and the liberal or traditional views held by the parents when the child was growing up (reported retrospectively). Overall, we find few differences in the strength of the current parent-child relationship but clear differences in the process of leaving home. Our findings show that people who are in same-sex relationships in adulthood left home earlier and moved further away from their parents than those in different-sex relationships. In addition, they left more often due to conflicts at home and due to an unpleasant atmosphere in the community of origin, and less often to move in directly with a partner. In adulthood, people in same-sex relationships show many commonalities with people in different-sex relationships and only a few differences. Men in same-sex relationships have more ambivalent relationships with their mothers and weaker relationships with their fathers than men partnered with women. When the parental home was more traditional in terms of gendered role division in parenting, the current relationship of women in same-sex relationships with their father is on average weaker in adulthood. Women in same-sex relationships also have less frequent contact with both parents compared to women in different-sex relationships
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2020

Keywords

  • adult
  • same-sex relationships
  • parents
  • ties

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