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Growing Up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development Paperback – July 13, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (July 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157230412X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572304123
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"How does parental sexual orientation affect child development? In this book, Tasker and Golombok describe their important new study of young adults who grew up with a lesbian mother. This is serious, ground-breaking research in an area of tremendous public interest, and it makes a major contribution to both scientific and political debates about lesbian motherhood. As such, the book will be of interest to lawyers and policymakers as well as to psychologists and other mental health professionals." --Charlotte Patterson, Dept. of Psychology, University of Virginia

"This is a well-researched and thorough account of the issues affecting the sons and daughters of lesbians. On the basis of their well-designed research study and carefully considered conclusions, the authors effectively challenge assumptions about the ways in which parents of any sexuality influence their children's development. By comparison with a control group of people raised by divorced heterosexual mothers, a sense of perspective is maintained on peer stigmatization, development of sexual identity and relations with step-parents. If evidence has any effect on prejudice, this book should go a long way toward ending discrimination against lesbian mothers and reassuring those who need it that the children raised by lesbians are in no way disadvantaged or harmed by their upbringing. In fact, the book points to several benefits for children growing up in a lesbian-led family." --Lisa Saffron, author of What About the Children? Sons and Daughters of Lesbians and Gay Men Speak About Their Lives and Challenging Conceptions- Planning a Family by Self-Insemination

"Perfect timing! This is the heart of Hawaii's landmark same-sex marriage case -- what happens to children in same-sex couple households? Finally, a follow-up of boys and girls raised in lesbian-headed homes. Assumptions, prejudices, predictions, hopes, and fears aside -- here are the facts!" --Richard Green, M.D., J.D., Research Director, Gender-Identity Clinic, Charing Cross Hospital, London; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge; Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles

"An important contribution....Tasker and Golombok have made a significant body of literature much more accessible. This book would be especially useful to mental health professionals, activists, lawyers, and judges--anyone who might be involved in making decisions about the custody of children of lesbian parents....An important book about an important subject."--Lesbian Review of Books
(Lesbian Review of Books 1998-07-15)

"There are few landmark studies of sexual orientation, but this is one of them."--Journal of Marriage and the Family
(Journal of Marriage and the Family 1998-07-15)

"Situated nicely within the literature on sexual orientation and child development, this timely monograph is a valuable addition to courses on human sexuality, family, or gender. It is both accessible enough for undergraduates and comprehensive enough for graduate students."--Choice
(Choice 1998-07-15)

About the Author

Fiona Tasker, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, and was a post-doctoral research fellow at City University, London. Her previous publications include papers on children of divorce and children in lesbian and gay families.

Susan Golombok, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London. She is coauthor of three previous books and has published widely on the influence of nontraditional families on childrens development.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mona.thurman-sarkiss@mail.sprint.com on April 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was very informational for research on lesbian parenting. The research was conducted in the United Kingdom, therefore the subjects interviewed were all British. This book gave a realistic overview of the adverse effects on child development as well any postive effects.
This book seemed to be more objective on the subject, with clynical results. At times, the book was somewhat "dry", but most detailed research material is "dry" in nature.
Mona, Employee, Student, Mother & Wife
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By HEM6 on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although the data analyzed in this book are almost 10 years old, this text does provide a timely *empirical* analysis of children growing up with lesbian mothers. The authors discuss a variety of previous research evidence that it is quality of family relationships -- not the sexual orientation of the parents -- that most impacts children's development; but their study adds to this literature in an important way: theirs is a longitudinal study that looks at *adult* adjustment of children of lesbians. On the down side are some editorial issues: typos, repeated annoying use of the redundant term "lesbian women," and worst of all LOTS of material directly from Golombok & Fivush's 1994 book, Gender Development! The greatest contribution of this book is the evidence it provides to dispel ignorant, homophobic myths and sterotypes that children brought up by gay parents are somehow necessarily worse off than children raised by straight parents. I think the authors actually intend this book to be used to change public opinion and even influence court decisions on child custody. I hope it works.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across this book when seeking material for my Master's thesis. The topic of my thesis was prejudices and hate crimes met by rainbow families. I, very specifically, targeted material produced by respected professionals and researchers. Instead of hard scientific facts, this book offered an insight view into the lives of children of rainbow families. The stories are real and told by male and female children of different ages. This book offers information as well as an interesting and compelling reading experience. Will recommend to anyone who is interested in the subject.
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