2004
Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652

Abstract

Abstract

The legal and social climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals varies across countries. The Netherlands, for example, is known worldwide for its liberal and tolerant climate regarding LGBT people; other nations have less tolerant attitudes and some even penalize homosexuality. But even in the Netherlands, a substantial proportion of the population has the opinion that a child needs a mother and a father for healthy psychological development, and a large percentage disapproves of adoption rights and public expressions of intimacy for same-sex couples. As a consequence, the Netherlands could be described as a society that values the tolerance of homosexuality, while also endorsing heteronormative beliefs. It is in this heteronormative society that children and adolescents are confronted with assumptions that their parents should consist of a mother and a father who identify as heterosexual and who view their gender in binary terms (i.e., female or male). It is also a society in which young sexual minority and gender nonconforming youth are growing up. Less is known about how the health and well-being of sexual minority and gender nonconforming parents and the offspring who are born and raised in these families are influenced by the assumptions of heteronormative society as well as what growing up in such a society means for these youth. In mine Chair position within the Department of Child Development and Education of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences I will concentrate on sexual and gender diversity in families and youth by encompassing research and education on (1) lesbian, gay, and transgender parenthood, and (2) sexual minority and gender nonconforming youth. In this slightly edited version of my inaugural lecture I describe why it is especially important to focus on protective factors and resiliency in lesbian, gay, and transgender families and in sexual minority and gender nonconforming youth.

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2021-09-20
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