What is it about?

This study compared Israeli, Portuguese, and British childless lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual adults on parenthood aspirations as indicated by their desire and intent to become a parent and their concern about childlessness. Results indicated that participants from Israel and Portugal reported higher levels of parenthood desire, intent, and concern about childlessness than participants from the UK. Parallel patterns also appeared separately for LGB and heterosexual participants between the countries. Heterosexual participants from Israel scored higher than counterparts from Portugal on parenthood intention and concern about childlessness. Additionally, LGB participants in general reported lower levels of parenthood desire, intentions, and concern about childlessness than did heterosexual participants.

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Why is it important?

The study contributes to the scant comparative literature on parenthood aspirations among LGB individuals as a function of cultural context by providing a multicontextual viewpoint on parenthood aspirations, sexual orientation, and diverse socio-cultural contexts. This is highly relevant as lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual individuals are becoming parents nowadays more than ever before due to advances in fertility technologies and legislation.


I hope this article will encourage further examinations of differences on parenthood aspirations among LGB and heterosexual individuals in a comparative international design, thus enabling a broader understanding of the intersection between legal and cultural context, sexual orientation, and deciding to become a parent or remain childfree.

Geva Shenkman
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Deciding to parent or remain childfree: Comparing sexual minority and heterosexual childless adults from Israel, Portugal, and the United Kingdom., Journal of Family Psychology, September 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/fam0000843.
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