Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definitions of Family
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Series Information
About the Authors
1. Family Counts
Family counts. That is, a family counts for its members and for its inextricable ties to other institutions. It counts for society at large because it represents a major conduit through which cultural knowledge flows from one generation to the next and beyond, and because...
2. Who Counts as Family?
Who do Americans count as family? Do they see family through the lens of nostalgia or through conventions that favor traditional forms? Alternatively, does public opinion indicate movement toward greater acceptance of various nontraditional living...
3. Family Accounts: How Americans Talk About Family
In the previous chapter, we identified the living arrangements that Americans count or do not count as family. We found deep disagreement, especially regarding same-sex couples and childless heterosexual cohabiting couples. From their responses, we also discovered...
4. Family Counts Divided: Social Location and Definitions of Family
To this point we have outlined Americans’ definitions of family and whether same-sex couples are counted in or out of these definitions. Americans splinter into three distinguishable groups that set markedly dissimilar boundaries between family and nonfamily...
5. Accounting for Sexuality: God, Genes, and Gays
Up until this point we have identified ways in which Americans define family—and in particular, the extent to which same-sex couples are counted in or counted out of these definitions—and have articulated how such definitions are shaped by location in the social structure, among these factors being gender, age, and...
6. Discounting Sex: Gender, Parenting, and Definitions of Family
In the previous chapter, we saw that Americans’ views about the etiology of sexual preference are intertwined with their definitions of family. When respondents attributed sexual preference to external factors beyond individual control, including genetics and “God’s will,” they were more likely to express a wide-ranging view of family...
7. Family Names Count: Martial Name Change and Definitions of Family
In the last chapter, we explored how gendered views of the ideal parent in single-parent living arrangements are related to the boundaries that Americans draw in defining family.1 Respondents who had the most gendered approach to parenting had the most restrictive view of who counts as a family. From this perspective, a same-sex...
8. Changing Counts, Counting Change: Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Family
Family counts. Few would dispute this statement. Family is assigned a great many responsibilities and in turn is afforded a great number of benefits. It has a profound influence on our lives. But “family” counts too. How “family” is defined determines which...