BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Deciding to parent or remain childfree: comparing sexual minority and heterosexual childless adults from Israel, Portugal and the UK

    Shenkman, G. and Gato, J. and Tasker, Fiona and Erez, C. and Leal, D. (2021) Deciding to parent or remain childfree: comparing sexual minority and heterosexual childless adults from Israel, Portugal and the UK. Journal of Family Psychology 35 (6), pp. 844-850. ISSN 0893-3200.

    BIRon GS etal 2020 deciding to parent or childfree IS PT UK JFamPsy.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (295kB) | Preview


    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. For this purpose, 168 childless adults (57 self-reported as LGB) in Portugal were matched on socio-demographic variables with 168 participants from the UK and 168 participants from Israel, resulting in a sample of n=504 (Mage = 28.26, SD = 6.17). Participants were recruited through convenience sampling and completed online questionnaires assessing parenthood desire, intent, and 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. The findings are interpreted in light of the different socio-cultural contexts of the countries, i.e., the individualistic values characterizing the UK versus the familistic values characterizing the Israeli and Portuguese contexts, alongside a strongly pronatalist stance evident in Israel and economic context in Portugal. 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. Implications for clinicians are discussed.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI cited above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): parenthood desire, parenthood intent, concern about childlessness, cross-cultural comparisons, Israel, Portugal, UK
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS)
    Depositing User: Fiona Tasker
    Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 15:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:06


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item