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Record identifier : 565372
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Wisniewski, Timothy James
Title and statement of responsibility : An evolutionary psychological investigation of parental distress and reproductive coercion during the "coming out" of gay offspring [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2006
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Summary or Abstract : The failure of the coming-out models put forth in the last three decades was the impetus for a re-conceptualization of this situation using an evolutionary psychological perspective on human behavior. Evolutionary theory maintains that human behavioral responses are products of psychological adaptations and, therefore, have evolved and been maintained by natural selection because of their ability to enhance inclusive fitness. This study tests the adaptive function of parental psychological distress in coming-out situations involving a gay son. The hypothesis tested was that psychological distress would be experienced in each parent in proportion to the degree that each of their respective fitnesses was influenced negatively by having a gay son. Further, the degree of psychological distress experienced ought to influence directly the amount of reproductive coercion directed by each parent toward the disclosing gay offspring. From these ideas it was predicted that biological parents ought to experience more distress and apply more pressure to change than stepparents. In addition, the influences of both uncertain paternity assurance, and sex differences in the strategies required for increasing reproductive success, led to the prediction that biological mothers ought to experience more distress and apply more pressure to change than biological fathers, regardless of ethnicity. Parental reactions to their gay sons were examined over three decades and compared to changing societal reactions toward homosexuality over the same time period. The predictions were tested by using an anonymous, five-page questionnaire with 891 participants. As predicted, biological mothers were found to respond more negatively than biological fathers. Biological parents were also found to respond more negatively than stepparents. These patterns were found across ethnic differences and to vary predictably in intensity when considered in the context of a series of modifying evolutionary variables. Finally, parental responses were found to be getting more negative over the past three decades compared to the opposite pattern found occurring within society. The results were discussed in the context of a domain-specific, reproductive coercion module operating in the evolved psychologies of parents in the coming-out situation. Possible interventions to deal with this psychological adaptation in clinical settings to ameliorate distress were discussed..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Psychobiology, Psychotherapy, Gender
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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