The desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbians and gay men

From Journal of Family Issues

In the past two decades, legal and policy questions about same-sex families were strongly debated in various nations. Much progress has been made in advancing the cause of civil rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people in some countries. In Italy, there is still no law establishing the legality of the union between two adult persons of the same sex, so lesbians and gay males cannot gain a relationship status which is available to heterosexual married couples. Furthermore, it is not possible for gays and lesbians who are single or cohabitating to adopt a child.

This is the first study to evaluate the desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbian and gay adults. Results reveal that gay men have a lower desire to marry than lesbian participants. The Sexuality dimension revealed a pessimistic evaluation of the quality and duration of intimate relationships and a negative impression of gay or lesbian sexual behaviors. The data suggested that Italian gay men have a more negative evaluation of same-sex couples, and this is consistent with a greater pressure placed on gay men in Italy to conform to a heteronormative gender role. It was clear however that a large proportion of Italian lesbians and gay men possess a desire for long-term romantic relationships and to marry their partners should same-sex marriage be an available legal option in Italy.

 

Abstract

This is the first study evaluating the desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in an Italian sample of lesbians and gay males from 18 to 35 years of age. Even though the majority of participants reported a positive attitude toward same-sex family legalization, gay men expressed a lower desire to marry than lesbian participants. Participants with a high level of internalized sexual stigma were less likely to want to marry and to recognize the positive effects of the legal recognition of the same-sex family. Regression analyses showed the relevance of internalized sexual stigma, self-disclosure to family, political progressivism, and higher education to predict a desire to marry and a more positive attitude toward same-sex family legalization. The results point to the necessity of social policy reform to eliminate social and structural inequalities surrounding the pursuit of intimacy to reduce disparit 

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Article details
Baiocco, R., Argalia, M., & Laghi, F. (2012). The Desire to Marry and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Family Legalization in a Sample of Italian Lesbians and Gay Men Journal of Family Issues DOI: 10.1177/0192513X12464872

     
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