Department of Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Imagining Men: Lesbian Mothers’ Perceptions of Male Involvement During the Transition to Parenthood
Version of Record online: 8 APR 2007
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 352–365, May 2007
How to Cite
Goldberg, A. E. and Allen, K. R. (2007), Imagining Men: Lesbian Mothers’ Perceptions of Male Involvement During the Transition to Parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69: 352–365. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00370.x
- Issue online: 8 APR 2007
- Version of Record online: 8 APR 2007
- family diversity;
- transition to parenthood
Much popular and professional literature has focused on the effects of father absence, particularly in lesbian parent households; yet, little attention has been paid to lesbian parents’ preferences and intentions surrounding male involvement. This qualitative study of 60 lesbian women who were transitioning to parenthood explores this issue. Most women desired some level of male involvement, even before their children were born. Far from describing a desire for “father figures,” however, they conceptualized male involvement in novel, diverse, and sometimes ambivalent ways. Having a boy enhanced some women’s motivations to actively pursue male role models for their children. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding of the kinship structure of lesbian-parent families and families in general.