Navigation Links
Study examines how parenthood affects gay couples' health, HIV risk
Date:6/27/2012

Gay parents face many of the same challenges as straight parents when it comes to sex and intimacy after having children, according to a new study of gay fathers published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology. The findings suggest that gay male couples who are raising children may experience lifestyle changes that could reduce their HIV risk.

"When gay couples become parents, they become very focused on the kids, they are tired, there is less time for communication and less desire for sex," said Colleen Hoff, professor of sexuality studies at San Francisco State University. "They go through a lot of the same changes as heterosexual couples who have kids."

Nationwide, approximately one in five gay male couples is raising children. Hoff and colleagues studied whether becoming a parent causes gay dads to change their lifestyle in ways that protect them from risky sexual behavior, or if the stress of parenting leads to increased health risks such as infidelity and unprotected sex with outside partners. The researchers interviewed 48 gay male couples who are raising children together.

"We found that gay fathers have less time for sex and less emphasis on sexuality, which could mean they are at less risk for HIV," Hoff said. "Many fathers said they feel a sense of responsibility toward their children which motivates them to avoid risky sexual behavior."

Many of the couples reported that having children increased their commitment to each other and deepened their relationship. Fathers reported they gained a new admiration for their partner as they observed them parenting.

Couples said they have sex less frequently since becoming parents, but few found this to be problematic. "From the fathers we studied, there was this pragmatic acceptance that this is what happens at this stage of life," Hoff said.

One surprising finding is that becoming parents did not affect the couples' sexual agreements -- the contracts that many gay male couples make about whether sex with outside partners is allowed.

"There wasn't the shift that we thought we might find," Hoff said. "For the most part, those who were monogamous before becoming parents said they stayed with that arrangement. Those who had open relationships before having children reported that they kept to that agreement."

While some of the lifestyle changes associated with parenthood might reduce HIV risk for gay couples, the study highlighted some changes that could raise problems for couples with open sexual agreements. These couples had fewer opportunities to discuss their sexual agreements with each other, and a few men said that once they became a parent they felt uncomfortable talking to their friends or their doctor about the fact that they are in an open relationship.

"Some men felt that there is this assumption that if you are a gay parent you are monogamous," Hoff said. "This kind of stigma around gay parents' sexuality could be a concern if gay fathers are reluctant to talk to their physician about their sexual agreement and get tested for HIV.

The study warns physicians and counselors against making assumptions about gay fathers and stresses the importance of offering them opportunities to discuss their sexual agreements and access to testing services. In particular, the study highlights the need for HIV prevention programs to find alternative ways to reach gay fathers since they spend less time in gay social venues where sexual health messages are typically promoted.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elaine Bible
ebible@sfsu.edu
415-405-3606
San Francisco State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... From 1999 to 2015, ... for over 33,000 of the 52,404 drug-related deaths in 2015.(2) To combat the ... proposes a tax on prescription opioids to fund drug rehabilitation and prevention services.(3) ...
(Date:3/26/2017)... ... March 26, 2017 , ... ... receive the RealSelf 100 Award, a prestigious award honoring the top influencers on ... to find and connect with doctors and clinics. , In 2016, more than ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Clean Earth, Inc., ... and hazardous and non-hazardous materials announced today the acquisition of privately owned ... add four additional processing facilities and a vast array of additional technologies, services, ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Infectious disease affects billions of ... United States, it’s a threat that is constantly changing and evolving. Mediaplanet's “Fighting ... offers strategies for the healthcare community to help decrease the number of completely ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... According to a new study by NCPA Senior ... not obey the rules Congress has directed the CBO to follow. The CBO itself ... would restore. Yet, it estimates a reduction in employer-based coverage due to the GOP ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Impax Laboratories, Inc. ... appointed Paul M. Bisaro as Impax,s President ... Company,s Board, effective March 27, 2017. Mr. Bisaro will ... as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since December ... generic and branded pharmaceutical experience, Mr. Bisaro, 56, is ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Invivotek, LLC, a Genesis Biotechnology Group ... pharmacology contract research organization (CRO), announced the completion ... expanded preclinical research facility in Hamilton, New ... renewable energy source to reduce costs and lessen the ... Genesis Solar Farm follows Invivotek,s recent expansion from a ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017  Zymo Research ... and Hamilton Robotics, Inc., who designs, manufactures ... ongoing collaboration that teams Zymo Research,s DNA ... and DNA extraction products with Hamilton,s high-throughput ... optimized methods for microbiomics and RNA isolation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: