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Gay and Lesbian Adults' Relationship With Parents in Germany

Karsten Hank and Veronika Salzburger (2015)

In: Journal of Marriage and Family


Despite a rapid expansion of research on gay and lesbian family issues, a comprehensive account of intergenerational family relationships for a population-based sample of adult homosexual children is still lacking. Using more than 7,500 baseline interviews from the German Family Panel (pairfam), this study aimed to fill this gap. The authors analyzed nationally representative data for 2 cohorts (born in 1971–1973 and 1981–1983, respectively) with regard to 5 outcome variables: (a) emotional closeness, (b) contacts, (c) geographic proximity, (d) conflicts, and (e) ambivalence. They found indications of modestly lower levels of emotional closeness to both parents as well as evidence for less frequent contacts of homosexual children with their fathers. Overall, however, the results suggest that adult gay and lesbian children's relations to parents do not differ substantially from those observed among their heterosexual counterparts. The article concludes with a discussion of limitations and potentials for future research.