The relationship of female sexual orientation and identity to parenting perceptions

Danielle Filoso, Pace University


The current study examines parenting motivations and behaviors in a sample of lesbian and heterosexual women. Utilizing the Parenting Behaviors Questionnaire, lesbian and heterosexual women's perceptions of the importance of the six identified Parent Development Theory (PDT) parenting characteristics were studied. Additionally, the Value of Children Scale was used to determine similarities and differences between lesbian and heterosexual women regarding reasons for having children and the value of children in one's life. Finally, this study examined women's sexual identity in relation to parenting behaviors and the value of children. The results of this study support the emerging body of research indicating that homosexuals perceive parenting remarkably like their heterosexual counterparts. Minimal differences exist between the two groups of women studied. First, lesbians and heterosexual women place more value for having children on the adult-related goals and incentives associated with having children than heterosexual women. Additionally, while appearing that both sets of women agree that the six PDT parent role behaviors are important, the research reveals a statistically significant difference between lesbians and heterosexual women on the importance of education. Lesbians place more importance of educating their children than heterosexual women. The significant differences found on the subscales of the Value of Children scale and the Parenting Behaviors Questionnaire suggest that lesbians and heterosexual women are more similar than different in their motivations and reasoning for parenthood and the parenting behaviors they deem important.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Womens studies|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Filoso, Danielle, "The relationship of female sexual orientation and identity to parenting perceptions" (2005). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3192922.



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