Despite evidence of growing international acceptance of and support for same-sex couples, nations continue to vary widely in their attitudes about homosexuality and the rights extended to same-sex couples. Further, very little is known about the extent to which respondents embrace same-sex parents as equivalent to heterosexual parents, how this varies comparatively, what shapes differential support between individuals, and how a country’s political, cultural, and economic characteristics explain variation in comparative support and the effect of individual characteristics. Finally, changes in attitudes toward same-sex parents have paralleled a general movement away from nuclear, heterosexual families, making it unclear how support for same-sex parents is tied to ideological and structural approaches to family. This talk will address these issues with cross-sectional data from the 2012 International Social Survey Program module on Family and Changing Gender Roles. This unique data set allows the researchers to compare individuals’ support for same-sex and single parent families with that of male-female parents across 36 nations. The results of hierarchical ordered logit and linear models show that respondents who are female, younger, more educated, and less religious have greater support for same-sex and single parents. However, some socio-demographic characteristics shape support differentially. For example, being female is tied to general support for non-traditional families, but being married is linked to an emphasis on traditional families, with a preference for two parents, regardless of sexuality. Among nations, those with stronger marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples have higher levels of same-sex family support, regardless of controls for democracy and economic development. 

 

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