Title
Families of choice? Exploring the supportive networks of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals Families of choice? Exploring the supportive networks of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Publication type
article
Publication
Washington, D.C. ,
Subject
Psychology
Sociology
Source (journal)
Journal of applied social psychology. - Washington, D.C.
Volume/pages
41(2011) :2 , p. 312-331
ISSN
0021-9029
ISI
000287588500005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Despite the judicial and cultural progress that has been made in Flanders (i.e., Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGBs) are still a stigmatized sexual minority. They are assumed to rely extensively on the support of friends to compensate for lack of familial support (i.e., family-of-choice hypothesis). In this article, we compare the support networks of 2,754 Flemish LGBs and 1,199 Flemish citizens and find convincing support for the family-of-choice hypothesis. LGBs seem to rely primarily on friends, while the average Fleming primarily relies on family for confidant support. We discuss the supportive potential captured in these friendship networks and raise the question Are friends all a person needs?
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