Gay dads are more active in child-rearing than heterosexual men, according to a new study.
Conducted by Éric Feugé from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), the study is the ‘first of its kind’.
It observed 46 families (including 92 gay fathers and 46 children – ages one to nine) over seven years.
The study analyzed the roles gay dads take in raising their kids and found the way they parent is ‘very equitable’.
‘We learned that gay fathers’ sharing of tasks is very equitable,’ Feugé told the Montreal Gazette. ‘There was a high degree of engagement in all types of parental roles.’
He then added: ‘[Gay dads] have a larger palette than (men in) traditional heterosexual families.
‘What’s really interesting is that they don’t conform to roles of conventional fathers. They were able to redefine and propose new models of cultural notions of paternity and masculinity.
‘They could be playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,’ he said.
The study found men with higher revenue were less invested in family life. It also found men with ‘culturally defined feminine traits’ were more involved in childcare.
Gay dads and stigma
Another recent study reported two thirds of gay dads have experienced stigma.
63.5% of 732 gay fathers from 47 US states reported facing stigma for being a gay dad. Furthermore, half of respondents (51.2%) reported avoiding situations for fear of stigma, in the last year.
Most of this stigma comes from religious environments.
Stigma is defined as gay fathers ‘made to feel uncomfortable, excluded, shamed, hurt, or unwelcome.’
Around a quarter of respondents also reported experiencing stigma in the past year from family members, neighbors, gay friends and/or service providers such as waiters, service providers, and salespeople.
According to the authors of the study: ‘Ongoing health supervision should include discussions about stigma and help families learn strategies to counteract its corrosive effects.’
Another recent study found gay dads make better parents than straight dads.