Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ingrained homophobia

I am no exception to ingrained homophobia. It is, hopefully less so now, part of many children's upbringing and while mine wasn't overtly homophobic, an amount was picked up. Not that it stopped two out of the four of us kids turning out to be gay.

An example of mine would be the other day when I was reading a magazine feature on lesbians with children. Several couples were profiled. From memory most had produced a child after several years of being together, but one couple had a child after only three years together. Note the word only. I thought, hmm, that is perhaps a bit too soon. I reckon perhaps five years minimum for a gay couple to be together before having children by whatever method they choose.

Now why do I think like this? Would I think like that if it was a straight couple? Of course not. Especially not if they married and then months later had a child. Perhaps I think like this because gay relationships are less stable than straight ones (from a pretty low base rate, I must say) but surely if two people commit to having a child and bringing it up together, it shows they at least have commitment to each other, their future and the child.

Whatever way I look at it, my thoughts were wrong but at least I do a bit of self analysis. There is no reason that a gay or lesbian couple can't have a child in whatever way they choose after months of being together.

11 comments:

  1. The worst is a non-gay couple having a child after 9.01 months of being together. At least a non-straight couple would find that a difficult feat to achieve.

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  2. @Julie Well said! A casual f*ck but different results.

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  3. I don't know how I'd feel about a straight couple having a baby after three years. Most people I know are together for much longer than that, before having a kid. I doubt I'd see it as a bad thing, but maybe a bit surprising?

    With the people I know, it usually takes between 5-10 years between the beginning of the relationship, and the popping out of the first child.

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  4. Anonymous7:35 am

    Why a couple of months?

    How did you choose that time frame.

    Why not five weeks?

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  5. We seem to take in our stride straight couples starting a family before marriage and then having their offspring as attendants at their subsequent wedding so I suppose we shouldn't use different standards for gay relationships but I agree that even as a gay man I would probably have a negative reaction to the latter situation.

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  6. Quite so Julie. It indicates a lack of care.

    Peter, not that we we know about such things as casual.

    It is probably the same here Dina, but as always, my views are caught in a bit of a time warp where the first thing to happen after marriage was to produce a child.

    Anon, just an arbitrary figure. I doubt you could know anyone well enough in five weeks. No set period is appropriate really.

    Victor, do you think it is a kind of homophobia or because we think gay r'ships are less stable? Another reason?

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  7. In my experience people seldom talk about having a child, they tend to talk about having a baby.

    Babys are like puppys, cute and all but inclined to grow up into less cute and hang about for years. How long, well pick your timeframe as I know "kids" that seem dependent on thier parents at 40 something.

    So it all ends up being about confidence in the commitment of the parents to hang about for 18 plus years.

    In a time when Dad couldn't cook and Mum couldn't earn there was a mutual co dependancy that kept couples together. Those days are over and I suspect influences increased numbers of break ups.

    Gay couples obviously advertise a lack of codependancy because they are both "the same" so I think our historic notitions come into play that there is an increased likelyhood of a breakup. I suspect unproven but I have no idea of the stats.

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  8. Good point Andrew; not homophobia as such but an assumption that a significant proportion of homosexual relationships are more transient although your own relationship is an outstanding exception to that view.

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  9. Interesting Big Dog. I kind of left home at 16 so I don't have much sympathy for molly coddled kids still at home in the 20s and 30s. I'd suggest that although we had a great childhood, we weren't smothered and we all learned to do things for ourselves. But I am of a certain age and life is different now.

    All though the sample must be low, I would guess that gay and lesbian couples who have children are much less likely to separate than straight couples. But as for co-dependency, I am guessing it is not so different for us than straight couples. My partner and I are as co-dependent as any straight couple our age who both work.

    Which Victor, goes back to what I said about a gay couple not choosing to have children unless they are 100% sure, regardless how long they have been together.

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  10. Self analysis is good, keep it up. As long as you're self aware then you're way ahead of most people!

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  11. I try to be Fen.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.