It's 2:00 AM: Who Does the Feeding In Gay Male Parented Families?
Methods: This study featured convenience sampling: utilizing list serve and e-newsletter ads for recruitment in local, regional, and national same-sex family organizations in the United States. An internet-based survey with a lottery component as an incentive was deployed to collect data over a 6-month period. A modified version of the Cowan and Cowan Who Does What instrument was included to determine predominance of CCR. Data from 76 families were utilized in the analysis of the study hypotheses. The sample was predominantly Caucasian (90%), working full-time (76%), and highly educated (56% with a post graduate degree). They had a mean age of 46 years and a mean relationship length of 15 years. Data related to all hypotheses were subjected to paired t tests with groups defined as the partner with greater CCR and lesser CCR.
Results: All hypotheses were found to be statistically significant in the expected direction (p≤.01) with the exception of career importance before the arrival of the first child (p=1.0), which had very high levels for both fathers.
Conclusions and Implications: This first quantitative study of CCR among these men found that gay fathers arrange CCR according to desire to parent, making less money, perception of providing a mothering role and career importance after the child arrives. These findings are in keeping with those of heterosexual families who adopt similar CCR patterns when they are not bound to traditional sex roles. Treatment around supporting communication to negotiate couple specific CCR is recommended. Longitudinal research with the population is indicated to validate this cross-sectional analysis. Policies to support equal treatment of and full equality for these families are indicated.