For or against same-sex marriage and meanings ascribed to “family” among heterosexual adults
Methods: We used data from 200 in-depth interviews with a diverse sample of women and men in NYC and NJ. Interviews explored factors influencing family formation focusing on intimate relationships (dating, cohabitation, marriage) and childbearing. We asked: If you were voting today on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, would you vote in support of or against it? Additionally, we had individuals define family. The analysis centers on definitions of family vis-à-vis positions on same-sex marriage, including stratification by gender, race/ethnicity, income, and relationship status.
Results: The majority (78%) were in support of same-sex marriage. Sub-group analysis indicated those more likely to be opposed included men, African-American/Black, and married respondents; a larger proportion of Hispanics were unsure of their position. Respondents' definition of family suggests three themes: general notions of family values, or what one gets from or does for family; goals or importance of family formation based on ideals or reality; and, composition of family (ie, who counts). We further explore the extent to which these themes align with language used to describe same-sex marriage viewpoints.
Conclusions: Greater knowledge of contemporary definitions of family and political stances on marriage across sexual orientations and identities will inform a deeper understanding of family formation in this country.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe positions on same-sex marriage via-à-vis definitions of "family," among a diverse sample of young adult heterosexual men and women in NYC and NJ. Compare how young women and men of differing sociodemographic and racial/ethnic backgrounds define “family.” Assess the relative importance of gender, race/ethnicity, income, and relationship status on influencing attitudes about “family” and same-sex marriage.
Keyword(s): Partnerships, Policy/Policy Development
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am the Principal Investigator of this research project. My research interests and expertise are on issues around domestic reproductive-health and poverty policy; factors influencing fertility and family-formation decision-making; and, Latino health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.