Factors influencing parental investment : does parental financial allocation vary as a function of perceived child sexual orientation?
Trouton, Grant Thomas
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SubjectSexual orientation economic aspects; Parenting psychological aspects; Parents of gays; Parental acceptance
An evolutionary perspective on parental investment suggests that natural selection might have favored mechanisms by which parents can evaluate the likelihood of a given offspring’s chances of successful reproduction. Adopting such a perspective, an online survey-based monetary allocation task was employed to test the hypothesis that parental investment was positively related to likelihood of offspring heterosexuality, such that vignettes describing heterosexual offspring would receive more money than vignettes describing homosexual offspring. Results did not support this hypothesis, as investment in offspring was unrelated to perceived offspring sexual orientation. However, exploratory analyses revealed that increasingly negative attitudes towards lesbians and gays predicted decreased investment in offspring. Such findings could serve to embolden civil rights activists in their struggle for increased LGBT social rights. Future research in this area would benefit from correlational research examining real familial relationships and investment patterns, rather than experimentally simulated relationships, to increase the external validity of findings and to reduce social desirability bias.
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