Independently planned parenthood: Sexual identity and evaluations of single-parenthood-by-choice

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Parenthood is usually viewed as happening within the institution of marriage. Single parenthood has a negative connotation and is typically associated with divorce, separation, or widowhood. However, independently planned parenthood, or single-parenthood-by-choice, is intrinsically different in that independently planned parents actively plan to pursue parenthood without a romantic partner, sexual partner, or other coparenting unit. This study examined attitudes toward independently planned parenthood and willingness to consider independently planned parenthood as a function of gender and sexual identity. Participants included 631 cisgender young adults (201 lesbian/gay, 430 heterosexual) living in the United States. Women had more positive attitudes toward independently planned parenthood than men, and lesbian and gay people had more positive attitudes toward independently planned parenthood than heterosexual people. Gay men were more willing to consider becoming parents independently than heterosexual men, but there were no significant differences between lesbian and heterosexual women. In all, independently planned parents are an underrecognized population within single parenthood. These parents challenge the patriarchal and heteronormative norms surrounding parenthood and may suffer social backlash and stigmatization because of their decision to pursue parenthood alone. However, this study finds that monosexual women and gay men may be more welcoming of this nontraditional family structure than heterosexual men. This research acts as a foundation to continue to explore issues of independently planned parenthood. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

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Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43)

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