Attitudes Toward Motherhood Among Sexual Minority Women in the United States

Emily Kazyak, Nicholas Park, Julia McQuillan, Arthur L. Greil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this article, we use data from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers—a national, population-based telephone survey—to examine how sexual minority women construct and value motherhood. We analyze the small (N = 43) random sample of self-identified sexual minority women using “survey-driven narrative construction,” which entails converting the structured answers and open-ended responses for each respondent into narratives and identifying themes. We focused on both sexual minority women’s desires and intentions to parent and on the importance they place on motherhood. We found that there is considerable variation in this population. Many sexual minority women distinguish between having and raising children, suggesting a broad notion of motherhood. We also found that sexual minority women without children are not all voluntarily childfree. Our results suggest that survey research on fertility would improve by explicitly addressing sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1771-1796
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • LGBTQ issues
  • fertility
  • motherhood
  • pregnancy
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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