Washington, Apr 27 : Many lesbian and gay youth have expectations of spending their adult life in a long-term relationship raising children, finds a new study. The first of its kind study has found that more than 90 percent of females and more than 80 percent of males expect to be partnered in a monogamous relationship after age 30.
Two thirds of females and more than half of males expressed likelihood that they would raise children in the future, the research revealed.
"These findings, while appear to be representative of urban lesbian or gay youth's aspirations, are a glimpse into the future of the LGBT community," said Robert-Jay Green, PhD, executive director of the Rockway Institute, a national research and public policy center located at Alliant International University.
"If these young people realize their expectations, the LGBT community will be a vastly different place in 20 years, with many more families and children. The implications are staggering for how the lesbian/gay community will be different in the 21st century than in generations past, when it was mainly a secret society of singles," Jay Green added.
In the research, the scientists interviewed 133 young people from the New York City area who said they were "almost totally" or "totally" lesbian or gay. The participants were age 16 to 22, and they were asked about their future relationship and parenting plans.
One-third of males and one-half of females in the study reported being in a relationship. Males reported fewer and briefer relationships than females. In both genders, approximately 70 percent of participants expressed satisfaction with their relationship.
When asked about expectations of future relationships, 66 percent of males and 80 percent of females rated future long-term relationships as "extremely important" or "very important."
Eighty-two percent of females and 61 percent of males hoped to be partnered during the next five years. Ninety-two percent of females and 82 percent of males expected to be monogamously partnered after age 30, and 79 percent of females and 73 percent of males expected to live with their partner. Sixty-four percent of females and 37 percent of males said it was "extremely likely" they would marry if allowed by law.
When asked about expectations of child-raising, 36 percent of females and 20 percent of males said it was "extremely likely" they will raise children. Overall, 67 percent of males and 55 percent of females expressed some degree of likelihood that they would raise children.
Of those who expressed some likelihood, 58 percent of males and 54 percent of females expect to be raising their own biological children. Forty-two percent of males and 32 percent of females expect to adopt. Sixteen percent of males and 14 percent of females expect to be foster parents. Thirty-six percent of females and 17 percent of males expect to help their partner raise her or his biological children.
The study is published in the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling.