The importance of partners to lesbians' intergenerational relationships

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16 Scopus citations


The strong likelihood of parental disapproval of a daughter's lesbianism indicates that for gay women intergenerational dynamics may be uniquely challenging and complex. In this qualitative study, 40 lesbians in 20 couples were interviewed about their relationships with their parents and their partner's parents. Respondents reported that since coming out, their parents' attitudes about their lesbianism shifted over time from profound disapproval to ambivalence. Partners emerged as a beneficial influence on most of the respondents' intergenerational relationships. Social workers assisting lesbians with intergenerational difficulties are advised to include the client's partner in treatment. Additional clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Family therapy
  • Intergenerational issues
  • Lesbian couples
  • Parents


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