The Family Relationships of Sexual Minorities

Authored by: Lisa M. Diamond , Kendrick A. Rith , Molly R. Butterworth

The Routledge Handbook of Family Communication

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415881982
eBook ISBN: 9780203848166
Adobe ISBN: 9781136946370


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After decades of invisibility, the unique family experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (collectively denoted sexual minority) individuals are finally receiving systematic attention. Whereas much early research on this population focused on individual-level dynamics and challenges, such as identity development and mental health, the past several decades have witnessed an explosion of research on their interpersonal experiences. These studies have broadened our knowledge of the sexual-minority life course and have advanced our understanding of the processes through which sexual orientation shapes day-to-day interpersonal functioning. The present chapter reviews the state of contemporary research on the family experiences of sexual-minority individuals, focusing on their romantic relationships and parenting practices.

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