Gay father takes on parenting research

Chris Azzopardi
By | 2006-06-15T09:00:00-04:00 June 15th, 2006|News|

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University professor Dr. Dennis Patrick and Northwestern University professor Dr. Kathleen Galvin will embark on a research project examining the lives of gay fathers.
“There’s so many negative beliefs about gay parenting in general, especially gay dads,” Patrick said.
As a father of four children between the ages of 4 and 10, Patrick believes these stereotypes include assuming gay men aren’t nurturing enough for children and that they are sexual predators. He hopes the research will defeat these assumptions.
“With 16 states considering a ban on gay and lesbian adoption or foster care, this type of research is an important way of dispelling some of the negative stereotypes associated with gay parenting,” he said.
Although the project has been in the hopper for two years, Patrick and Galvin didn’t seriously consider until six months ago.
The two colleagues will also examine the response of gay fathers when their family form is challenged. “We get a lot of comments in grocery stores or in restaurants, [and] when they find out we’re gay dads, they’ll say things like, ‘Don’t you think every child needs a mom?'” he said. “If we learn how gay dads respond to those kinds of challenges [in front of their children] we’re hoping other gay dads who struggled with those situations will be able to deal with them more effectively.”
Patrick and Galvin will conduct interviews for six months before presenting their work in conferences. They also hope to publish it. “[We want] to make it available to gay parenting groups or anyone else who’s interested in gay parenting,” he said. “We will put the research out there to people who need it.”
Gay dads at least 21-years-old and living together with children who are interested in participating in the study should contact Patrick at 734-487-4199 or dpatrick1@emich.edu, or Galvin at 847-491-2260 or kgalvin@northwestern.edu.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at http://www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).