This pairs with the fact that, in middle childhood, children develop their social perspective-taking abilities and acquire new coping strategies, making them more capable of processing potentially stressful experiences Compas et al. At the beginning of middle childhood, in fact, children transition to primary school. For children of gay fathers, this transition may increase the likelihood that they will be confronted with family types that largely differ from theirs e.
They may also be questioned by peers on the uniqueness of their family composition, in terms of both the absence of a mother and their conception through surrogacy.
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In this context, gay two-father families face a double task: fathers must create an emotional atmosphere for their children to safely explore what surrogacy means to them and the implications of such conception; and children must have a family environment in which they are able to safely ask questions about their surrogacy conception whilst continuing to feel emotionally supported by their fathers. In this regard, research with adoptive families Wrobel et al. Often, this communication is not a one-time event, but a dynamic process between parents and children that varies in intensity as children mature Brodzinsky, , ; MacDougall et al.
Specifically, consistent with Leibowitz et al. Translating both the findings of prior research Wrobel et al. In this vein, one could expect that, when fathers facilitate open emotional discussions with their children and adapt to their changing needs for communication about surrogacy, the children are more likely to have positive feelings about their conception and feel free to explore their surrogacy origins. This prediction is supported by the literature on adoption Grotevant, ; Kohler et al.
In addition to parental scaffolding during discussions about conception, from the perspective of attachment theory Bowlby, the extent to which children feel free to explore their origins is also likely intertwined with their perceived attachment security to their fathers. In a similar vein, Grossmann et al. In middle childhood—a period in which children begin to balance separateness from and connectedness to their parents Bosmans and Kerns, —children may perceive any exploration of their surrogacy origins e.
The findings of these studies showed that, across these developmental periods, donor-conceived children who reported secure-autonomous attachment to their mothers were more curious about their conception and felt more positive regarding their donor. Furthermore, loyalty toward parents especially the non-biological parent may inhibit children from seeking information and expressing curiosity about their donor Vanfraussen et al.
Furthermore, these factors should be considered in conjunction, rather than separately. The sample comprised 30 children born through gestational surrogacy abroad and their 66 gay fathers. At time 1 t1 , children were mean aged 8. In families with more than one child in the relevant age range, the oldest child was studied. At t1, families were recruited in the context of a larger, in-depth study of child adjustment and parenting in gay father surrogacy families Carone et al.
Table 1 presents socio-demographic details on the sample. Three researchers at t1 and one researcher at t2 visited families at home and administered the study measures i. Written informed consent was obtained from all fathers, who also gave consent for their children to participate. Children gave verbal assent. All participants were reminded that their responses would be confidential and that participation in all or part of the study could be terminated at any time; such information was conveyed to the children in an age appropriate manner, both prior to and during the data collection.
Of relevance, data for three children who took part in phase 1 of the study on their exploration of their surrogacy origins was not collected at t2 because their parents did not consent. Children were administered the item version of the Security Scale Questionnaire Kerns et al. In order to ensure that the youngest children aged 6—7 years understood the questions, each item was read aloud to them.
For each question, children indicated which statement was more characteristic of them and indicated whether the statement was really true 1 or sort of true 4 for them. In addition to generating two item scores i. In the present study, only the total attachment security score for each father was used. The father—child dyads were not given any guidelines regarding a specific aspect of the surrogacy to discuss or how they should choose this aspect, because the manner in which they decided on an aspect was considered indicative of their emotional openness e.
All 5-minute conversations were videotaped and later coded on both individual i. Only the individual coding of parental scaffolding i. Scoring used the criteria indicated by Gentzler et al. To overcome the possible limitations of the small sample size while maintaining predictive accuracy, LMMs were compared using the total coefficient of determination TCD and Bayesian information criterion BIC Schwarz, methods. The TCD method shows the combined effect of model variables on the dependent variable; the BIC method measures the efficiency of the parameterized model in predicting data and penalizes according to model complexity i.
The higher the TCD range 0—1 , the more variance is explained by the model; the lower the BIC, the better the model fit. To evaluate interactive effects, the Johnson—Neyman technique Johnson and Neyman, ; Preacher et al. This technique was selected over simple slopes analysis because the latter probes significant interactions at two arbitrarily specified moderator levels i.
All analyses were performed using the statistical software R R Development Core Team, , with the lme4 package being used for mixed-effects model, the lmerTest being used for computing the p -values of main and interaction effects of the best model selected, and the effects package being used for exploring interaction effects. Table 3 displays fit indices and model comparisons. Only models with better fit than the null model intercept only were reported i.
The follow-up Johnson-Neyman technique identified the region of significance on the centered moderator i.
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Two considerations—one methodological and one theoretical—may be relevant for interpreting this finding. First, on a methodological level, it should be noted that most fathers were rated as quite open and sensitive in encouraging children to express their thoughts and feelings about surrogacy; furthermore, the number of children who scored at the low to medium end of the attachment security scale was very small Table 2.
Second, on a theoretical level, attachment theory Bowlby, ; Grossmann et al. Children might wonder how their fathers will react to their interest in knowing more about their egg donor or having more frequent contact with their surrogate Lingiardi and Carone, In addition, vital to attachment theory Bowlby, is the conviction that individuals are guided by prototypes of their earliest relationships i.
Salient to the present study, in middle childhood, children who are securely attached to their parents rely on a representation of both fathers as secure bases who consistently support their exploration and safe havens who protect them when their attachment system is activated e. In this perspective, it is perhaps unsurprising that fathers who supported and acknowledged their children in expressing their thoughts and feelings related to their conception had children who were more likely to be engaged in the challenging task of exploring their surrogacy origins when they also perceived greater attachment security.
When interpreting these findings, caution should be exercised for several reasons. First, the small sample size, the convenience nature of the sampling, and the rarefied high socio-economic status of the families restricted the representative nature of the sample.
Second, a further aspect of selectivity relates to the ways in which the fathers, themselves, came to terms with their surrogacy conception and the information they disclosed to their children, as they were likely to have relatively high levels of emotional support and an overall positive experience of the surrogacy conception. In addition, the results of adoption studies Neil, suggest that girls may be more advanced in expressing their feelings toward conception than boys, possibly due to gender-typic emotional socialization by parents Morris et al.
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Whether this finding also applies to gay two-father families, in which extra efforts might be required for fathers to engage in conversation with their son about his feelings related to his surrogacy conception, is worthy of exploration within a larger sample. Fourth, as the Security Scale does not detect different types of attachment insecurity, the present study was not able to verify for the present sample prior findings with donor-conceived children that preoccupied and dismissing children differ in their experiences of their conception Slutsky et al. In the same vein, as noted by Van Parys et al.
Finally, it may be meaningful to consider that the children were being asked about a topic i. Notwithstanding these limitations, the study presented a number of strengths.
The longitudinal design and the attachment framework Bowlby, ; Grossmann et al. In addition, use of the extended version of the Security Scale Kerns et al. Through the lens of attachment theory Bowlby, ; Grossmann et al. By the same token, insofar as mental health professionals and relevant scientific societies e. Consistent with prior studies in the fields of adoption Grotevant, and donor insemination Slutsky et al. NC conceived and designed the study, collected data at time 1 and time 2, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript.
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LB and KK contributed in the interpretation of the results. DM collected data at time 1, organized the database, coded data, and assisted in data analysis. RB and VL supervised the first phase of the project. All authors contributed to manuscript revision, read and approved the submitted version. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. We are grateful to the fathers and children who generously participated in the research.
In the United States, the s were marked by strong tensions between the police and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community. Police intolerance towards the gay community was exacerbated and facilitated by laws that openly discriminated against LGBTI people. In New York, for example, state law punished bar owners who served gay people for "abetting" homosexuality, which was seen as a "crime against nature. As homosexuality was still illegal in most American states at that time, raids occurred frequently.
On that evening, however, many people stood up to unfair imprisonment, escalating into a movement that mobilized thousands of people. Screams would soon turn into physical confrontations; among many other participants, Sylvia Rivera, a transgender woman who supposedly threw a red high-heeled shoe at the police, became the symbol of the Stonewall Inn revolts.
This encouraged many people to speak up about the injustice faced by the LGBTI community, marking the beginning of a new consciousness. According to Richard Joseph Leitsch, president of the first organization for gay rights in the US, the Mattachine Society, this was the first time thousands of LGBT people marched together to voice their rights. The meaning and value of the Stonewall Inn event to the LGBTI community lies in the long-lasting political invisibility and lack of social and governmental protections generated by a vacuum in the legal system.
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