Monday, July 27, 2009
Clifford J. Rosky (University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law) has posted Like Father, Like Son: Homosexuality, Parenthood and the Gender of Homophobia on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Next, both gay fathers and lesbian mothers are subjected to two stereotypes that are influenced by the child’s gender. They are stereotyped as recruiters and role models - people who encourage children to become homosexual. Although recruiting and role modeling stereotypes are applied to both gay and lesbian parents, they are applied more often to the parents of sons than the parents of daughters, and they are rarely applied to the fathers of daughters. This pattern betrays patriarchal concerns about the importance of fathers in the production of masculine, heterosexual boys. Finally, all of these stereotypes are influenced by the judge’s gender. Male judges are more likely than female judges to accept gender-influenced stereotypes about gay and lesbian parents. This pattern reflects the observed tendencies of heterosexual men to accept homophobic and heterosexist stereotypes more often than heterosexual women and apply such stereotypes to gay men more often than to lesbians.
In the legal academy’s responses to stereotypes about gay and lesbian parents, scholars have been blind to the influence of gender. By ignoring the influence of the parent’s gender, we have introduced unnecessary omissions and weaknesses into our responses to HIV and child molestation stereotypes. By ignoring the influence of the child’s gender, we have failed to notice the reciprocal relationship between homophobia and gender, and we have imposed arbitrary limits on our responses to recruiting and role modeling stereotypes. By taking account of the relationship between homophobia and gender, we can develop a more rigorous and inclusive case on behalf of gay and lesbian families - a case that vindicates not only the parental interests of gay men and lesbians but the developmental interests of children who may grow up to be gay men and lesbians, too.