Clark U. Professor Guides Parents of Gay/Lesbian Children in New Book
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
The book is the first one to look at implications for parent and adult child relationships, which are a central part of family life and affect care giving in later life.
"Parents who are able to accept their child's sexual orientation and incorporate their spouse into the family will find that they gain a second daughter or son and bypass much of the tension involved in a child's heterosexual marriage,” said Merrill.
The book is a guide for parents to help them understand the ways in which relationships with their gay/lesbian children might change from a child's "coming out of the closet" to a gay son or lesbian daughter raising his/her own children.
The book aims to help parents better comprehend the nuances of same-sex marriage and the struggles their children face as they explore their sexual orientation over time.
The book is based on interviews with gay men and lesbians who were married at some point when their parents were alive, as well as with the parents of both gay/lesbian married child and heterosexual child, for purposes of comparison.
Merrill advises parents to separate their feelings about their child from their feelings about homosexuality, and to remember how much they love their child.
Merrill is a professor of sociology at Clark University. Her research focuses on relationships between parents and adult children in later life as well as marriage.
Merrill is the author of four books, including “When Your Children Marry: How Marriage Changes Relationships with Adult Children” (2011) and “Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law: Understanding the Relationship and What Makes Them Friends or Foe” (2007).
Clark University was founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts and is a liberal arts based research university
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