ERIC Number: ED335627
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Heterosexual Mothers/Lesbian Daughters: Parallels and Similarities.
Pearlman, Sarah F.
Since the Stonewall riots between gay men and police in New York City in 1969 and the lesbian manifestos of the Women's Liberation Movement in the early 1970s, there has been an intensification of the struggle to end the stigmatization of homosexuality. This study explored retrospectively the experience of mothers (N=10) who had learned that a daughter is a lesbian. The central question of this study was whether there was an identifiable sequence or process by which mothers came to accept a daughter's lesbianism and if this process paralleled the process of lesbian identity formation as previously described in research. Subjects were selected from a special group of mothers who were anticipated to have reached an advanced level of acceptance, as defined by these mothers' public disclosure through engaging in some activity supportive of parental acceptance and/or the gay civil rights movement. The results indicated that coming to terms with nonconforming gender role, or masculine-like appearance and behaviors in daughters and partners presented a major hurdle. Despite their public social and political engagement, the majority of the mothers interviewed reported that they continued to struggle with unresolved feelings towards homosexuality; that feelings of loss, concern over discrimination, and self-consciousness about themselves as the mother of a lesbian daughter persisted; and that they often wished their daughters were heterosexual. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).