🌈Femme Women Give Birth More Than Butch
In female same-sex couples, the younger woman “is more likely to be the birth mother” & more likely to be femme
Birth: Femme/ Butch — Sarah Carver-Steil McNay, 2009
Among Butch women, 7.3% personally gave birth.
Among femme women, 23% personally gave birth.
Lesbians With 2+ Kids — Katarina Boye and Marie Evertsson, 2021
In female same-sex couples,
the younger woman “is more likely to be the birth mother, the birth mother gave birth to both children in 55% of the couples who had a 2nd child,
& taking turns was slightly less common than having the same birth mother” (Boye & Evertsson, 2021).
The Child’s Last Names
In same-sex female couples, most children are given the last name of the biological mother (Almack, 2005; Gartrell et al., 1999; Patterson, 1998).
Naming kids after the nurturer makes sense as that parent generally spends the most time with them.
In heterosexual marriages, children take the last name of the parent that didn’t give birth (the father) (Johnson & Scheuble, 2002; Liss & Erchull, 2013l; Nugent, 2010).
Table of Contents
∘ STEM & HEED — Puzio & Valshtein, 2022
∘ 2nd Shift & Fertility Rates — Hwang & Kim, 2021
∘ Never-Married & Divorced Lovers
∘ Kids & Divorce
∘ Housework in Childhood: Briole et al., 2020
∘ Hebdomadal Weekday and Weekend — Kamila Kolpashnikova & Yan, 2019
∘ Stepmothers — Melissa Day, 2019
∘ Stepfamilies — Ayla Visser, 2015
The social/non-biological mother spends more time with the child than heterosexual fathers (Badgett, 2003).
“It is more than 4x as common that a heterosexual mother gives birth to a second child than that a lesbian birth mother (of the first child) does so” (Ylva Moberg, 2016).
For same-sex “couples, the norm — involvement of a third party — is the abnormal heterosexual experience (Peel, 2010), for whom involvement of an outside entity occurs only when pregnancy is elusive or there is a known history of reproductive impairment.”
Nurses working with such couples should be aware that the nonbiological mother may wish to induce lactation as a way to mitigate this loss. The Newman-Goldfarb protocol, a regimen developed using breast stimulation and galactagogues to induce lactation in adoptive mothers (Newman & Goldfarb, 2002–2013), has been used with success by some lesbian couples to share breastfeeding responsibilities.
Siegalit Zarr et al., 2022
A study of 76 individuals conceived through donor insemination in planned lesbian families found that 61 participants (80.3%) identified as heterosexual, 4 (5.3%) as lesbian/gay, and 11 (14.5%) as bisexual.
Same-sex “female couples are more divorce prone than their male counterparts” (Wiik et al., 2014).
Couples with children are less likely to dissolve their unions than their childless counterparts (Lyngstad & Jalovaara, 2010), even when accounting for selection into parenthood (Steele, Kallis, Goldstein, & Joshi, 2005).
The presence of stepchildren in the household, on the other hand, is associated with a higher dissolution risk for opposite-sex couples (Manning, Smock, & Majumdar, 2004), and same-sex couples (Andersson et al., 2006).
Children act as “glue” in situations where a breakup would otherwise be a likely solution. According to Stanley and Markman (1992), children create “internal constraint commitment,” defined as actual or perceived costs of exiting a union, and they argued that the greatest increase in constraint commitment comes when couples have children. Similarly,
that increases partners’ commitment to the union.
Child Support For Daughters & Sons
Divorced moms of daughters receive more child support than those with sons (Mammen, 2008, 2020; Mitchell et al., 2011; Seltzer, 1991), Divorced fathers of all daughters are more likely to pay for dental care & health insurance (Paasch and Teachman, 1991).
However, divorced fathers with new coresidential sons are less likely to visit kids living with their ex than fathers with new coresidential daughters (Guzzo, 2009).
Evertsson et al., 2021
Carrington (1999) found that lesbian women tended to over-report, while gay men tended to under-report, the time they spent on domestic work.
Although same-sex parents are not expected to ‘do gender’ by doing difference (i.e., to ‘do’ motherhood and fatherhood) (West and Fenstermaker 2002), norms on breastfeeding and the child’s need for its birth mother are strong. Consequently, birth mothers typically take the first and the longest leave period.
social mothers usually take a much larger share of the leave than heterosexual fathers do,
which indicates that gender norms play a role in within-couple divisions of work and care in different-sex couples (Evertsson & Boye, 2018; Rudlende & Lima, 2018).
Rosenbaum (2019) studied female same- and different-sex couples who adopted a child in Denmark, and found that
female same-sex couples tended to share the leave more equally than different-sex couples did.
In addition, Moberg (2017) found that the share of the leave taken by each of the parents in different-sex couples was similar regardless of whether the children were biological or adoptive.
Bio & Social Mother — Patrick Mthombeni & Mark E. Casey, 2020
The nonbiological mother in our families was often the partner who was in employment; the biological mother to the child/ren stayed at home to undertake childcare and wider domestic chores.
In the more recent work of Raes et al. (2015), child participants from same-sex families held strong ideas around the roles their mothers should have, including describing biological mothers as having “the caring element in the sense that the biological mother was someone who takes care of you, prepares food, buys clothes and watches over you” (p. 86). These beliefs and values were also experienced by some of the research participants who are biological mothers themselves.
Studies that employed family-systems theory found that nonbiological mothers in lesbian relationships tended to participate more in ‘paidwork’ while biological parents were actively involved in child-care (Demo & Allen, 1996; Potter, 2012; Weeks, Heaphy & Donovan, 2001). According to Ciano-Boyce and Shelley-Sireci (2003), this is because biological birthing may differentiate some women from their partners creating linkages between expected roles and identity/ies.
Biological lesbian mothers experience other people’s expectations that they are to undertake real mother duties. From the moment of birth, some biological and nonbiological mothers experience normative assumptions through the defining of the mother in terms of who gave birth. As a result, this leaves those nonbiological mothers effected as having to negotiate a terrain that creates a binary between the real mother and the less-real mother, as found by Raes et al. (2015). This terrain did not only shape interactions within the home and domestic responsibilities but interactions within the wider community
These reactions experienced by nonbiological mothers reflect work by Goldberg and Perry-Jenkins (2007) concerning how people expect the biological mother to have a stronger bond with her children, alongside carrying out the household chores. This belief may also develop into an understanding that the biological mother in a lesbian relationship is the main parent that children should seek permission from when wanting to do something. The nonbiological mother may not be seen to have sufficient investment in the children or authority to make parental decisions over their actions or behavior. Such beliefs suggest that to be a real woman and a true mother, a woman has to have given birth to her own children, underpinning the centrality of heterosexuality to reproduction and ideas of family, alongside the limited gendered roles of parents, which inform growing understandings of nonheterosexual parenthood (Chan et al., 1998; Goldberg, 2013).
Adoption Laws — Michael Stambolis-Ruhstorfer & Virginie Descoutures, 2021
Historically same-sex couples weren’t allowed to marry.
Now, in some countries, same-sex parents are REQUIRED to marry for the non-biological parent to legally adopt the child (ILGA World et al., 2020; Magdalena Siegel et al., 2021; Michael Stambolis-Ruhstorfer & Virginie Descoutures, 2021; Waaldijk et al., 2017; Kees Waaldijk, 2020).
In 1948, the married mothers were around 17% of the labor force (Cohany & Sok, 2007).
In 1955, women were 33% of the American labor force & were unlikely to go to college. In January 2020, women made up more of the workforce than men for the first time (Claire Miller, 2021).
Chabeli Carrazana (2020): “Right before this pandemic started in December of 2019, women surpassed men as the majority of the labor force… they got to that 50.04%, just edging out men.”
STEM & HEED — Puzio & Valshtein, 2022
HEED = Healthcare, Early Education, & Domestic Roles STEM = Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
“The number of women entering STEM fields in the last 20 years has not been matched by men entering HEED fields (Croft et al., 2015; England, 2010), as culturally feminized fields have seen little to no rise in the percentage of male employees in recent years (Blau et al., 2013; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).
From 2000 to 2011, men in HEED occupations earn approximately 5.4% more than women in HEED occupations, whereas women in STEM earn 9.5% less than men in STEM occupations”
2nd Shift & Fertility Rates — Hwang & Kim, 2021
Husbands proportion of childcare on weekdays is positively associated with the wives’ interest in having another child (Woosang Hwang & Seonghee Kim, 2021). Thus, increased effort by husbands would increase national fertility rates.
Never-Married & Divorced Lovers
About ~46% of all new marriages involve at least one previously divorced lover;
Among divorced lovers, about 49% of their remarriages involve a lover who was never-married;
Among never-married lovers, ~71% of them marry someone who was never married (Ozawa & Yoon, 2002).
Taken together, never-married people are more likely to marry each other than they are to marry someone who has been divorced.
“Men further benefit from women’s willingness to marry divorced men, whereas women are hindered by men’s strong preference for never-married partners — even if they themselves are divorced (Goldscheider et al., 2009; Raley & Bratter, 2004)” (Shaver & James, 2013).
“Remarried Asian Americans, regardless of sex, have low percentages of marrying U.S.-born Asians (15.6% for men & 17.1% for women), but have high percentages of marrying foreign-born Asians (22.2% for men & 24.4% for women)” (Qian & Lichter, 2013).
Never-married people of “lower” racial status (minorities) are more likely to marry previously married people of “higher” racial status (Whites) compared with marriages involving both spouse-A & spouse-B in 1st marriages (Qian & Lichter, 2018).
Kids & Divorce
“Divorce rates for lesbian couples are significantly lower when couples are raising children together (Wiik et al., 2014)” (Stambolis-Ruhstorfer & Descoutures, 2020).
“Among lesbian mothers, custody arrangements are more equal between them in the case of separation (Gartrell et al. 2005) and that children report feeling closer to both parents (Gartrell et al. 2011)” (Stambolis-Ruhstorfer & Descoutures, 2020).
Indeed, kids increase the stability of lesbian couples but decrease the stability of gay couples (Wiik et al., 2014).
Equal earnings increases the stability of SS couples but decreases the stability of OS couples (Weisshaar, 2014).
Couples with a first-born son are more likely to stay married (Ichino et al., 2011; Ananat and Michaels 2008; Bedard and Deschênes 2005; Dahl and Moretti 2008; Mammen 2008; Morgan et al. 1988; Spanier and Glick 1981; Prashant Bharadwaj, 2014).
Women whose ultrasound reveals a daughter are less likely to be married when she gives birth (Dahl & Moretti, 2008) whereas ultrasounds that reveal a boy lead unwed couples to get married faster (Lundberg & Rose, 2003).
Housework in Childhood: Briole et al., 2020
¨Previous studies have shown that female children spend more time than male children doing housework or taking care of other members of the family, and tend to reproduce their parents’ household chores division (Raley & Bianchi, 2006; Solaz & Wolff, 2015).
The amount of housework participation among breadwinner women was positively associated with the level of their resource contribution, especially on weekends, when they did more routine housework than on weekdays. The gender deviance neutralisation process for breadwinner wives, therefore, amplifies on weekends, implying that weekends transform the institution of marriage into a ‘gender factory’ (Berk, 1985).
Stepmothers — Melissa Day, 2019
The U.S. Census records the primary residence of children in one household, even in cases where divorced parents have equally shared custody; this most often ends up being the mother’s home — a result of the cultural primacy we place on the caregiving relationship between mothers and children.
Inconsistent Cultural Messages
On the one hand, being a stepmother is depicted in popular culture as a role extended from our cultural constructions of “good mothers” who are nurturing and kind and, therefore, stepmothers should and will instantaneously love their stepchildren (Dainton 1993) — think, Carol Brady. On the other hand, stepmothers have been construed as ‘wicked,’ cruel, jealous, and ill equipped for motherhood in fairytales (e.g., Cinderella and Snow White) and in Hollywood movies (e.g., Stepmonster (1993) and Stepmom (1998).
Stepfamilies — Ayla Visser, 2015
The stepmother-stepchild relationship “has been found to be one of the most complicated, challenging, and conflictual relationships within the blended family (Baxter, Braithwaite, & Nicholson, 1999; Ganong & Coleman, 1994; Lutz, 1983).”
“The depiction of the “evil stepmother” in movies and fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Snow White has resulted in cultural stereotypes and expectations that stepmothers will be cold, uncaring, distant, and cruel towards stepchildren (Dainton, 1993). Faced with this damaging stereotype of the “evil stepmother”, stepmothers may experience heightened scrutiny or surveillance and considerable pressure to perform their role in a manner that disproves this myth (Dainton, 1993).
Contrary to the myth of the evil stepmother, there also exists the “myth of instant love” in which stepmothers are expected to love their stepchildren immediately and successfully adopt a mothering role (Visher & Visher, 1978). When this does not occur, stepmothers may be left feeling guilty, frustrated, or disappointed (Visher & Visher, 1985).
Faced with these contradictory myths, stepmothers may experience additional role ambiguity, resulting in feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, frustration, and stress (Coleman et al., 1996).”
When compared with biological parents, stepparents have been found to be less emotionally invested, supportive, involved, and affectionate; and more disengaged, negative, jealous, and resentful towards stepchildren (Coleman et al., 2000; Gamache, 1997; O’Connor & Boag, 2010).
Stepparent-stepchild relationships have also been found to be more conflictual, negative, and distant than nuclear parent-child relationships, especially during the initial periods of blended family formation (Bray & Berger, 1993; Coleman et al., 2000; Levin, 1997). In a critique of the existing literature surrounding blended families, Gamache (1997) found that steprelationships were often described as “less supportive”, “more disengaged”, “less positive”, “more disruptive”, “conflictual”, and “less warm” compared to biological parent-child relationships.
Walsh (1992) found that, after several years together, blended families do not display more issues than nuclear families.