The Nuclear Family

Prior to taking so many Women and Gender Studies classes at Brock, I had never heard of the term ‘Nuclear Family’. To briefly define, the nuclear family categorization refers to a family unit consisting of a man and a woman who are legally married and their children. Basically, the nuclear family refers to a family that is considered to be ‘normal’ by societal standards, meaning a heterosexual couple consisting of a man and woman with heterosexual children.

To keep it simple, the societal recognition of the nuclear family excludes any family that fails to abide by heterosexual norms. A family with queer, gay, or lesbian parents does not fall into the nuclear family criteria, meaning society deems them as abnormal.

For the sake of this post I want to focus on the oppressions issued towards lesbian parents. Of course, gay and queer parents are subject to the same discrimination as lesbian parents, but lesbianism within parenting is what this post is going to address. Lesbian parents face a lot of scrutiny in society for their role as parents, and are often times identified as being ‘unfit’ or poor mothers simply because their family unit lacks a masculine figure in the parenting role.

For a long time throughout history, it was believed that children raised in lesbian homes would develop abnormal gender identities, roles, and behaviours, but as heterosexual acceptance continues to progress in society, there is a lot of questioning in regards to why it is believed that lesbian parents and families are any different than heterosexual families.

In fact, lesbian families allow children to recognize that they are able to embrace their femininity and female relationships as opposed to feeling dominated by patriarchy, and they furthermore encourage children to respect sexual diversities.

What are your thoughts on lesbian or homosexual parenting? Let me know, and thank you for reading! :)

– Lauren

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