Search for the “Right Wing Authoritarianism Scale”. Given what you have learned about terroristic behavior from the assigned weekly readings, is information gathered using this type of tool useful in determining motivations of terrorists. Why or why not.
As indicated in this review of the existing research, much of the research to date has primarily focused on comparisons between children of gay and lesbian parents and children of heterosexual parents for the purposes of evaluating predic- tions of negative consequences for the children growing up in gay and lesbian families. Although this body of research has yielded some important results, the existing studies are not without limitations. Small homogeneous samples and a heavy reliance on self-report measures are most noteworthy, although additional concerns have been raised (see Patterson, 1995; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001). Additional studies using observational methods with diverse populations undergoing longitudinal designs are definitely desirable (Patterson, 2000). Promisingly, longitudinal designs are beginning to appear (e.g., Gartrell et al., 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1995).
Regardless of these challenges, the research clearly indi- cates that the family environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to foster and promote children’s psychological well- being. With these conclusions well established, researchers
are now beginning to study the conditions under which les- bian and gay families thrive. Patterson (1995) observed that “Having addressed negative assumptions represented in psy- chological theory, judicial opinion, and popular prejudice, researchers are now in a position to explore a broader range of issues” (p. 284).
It has been suggested that further comparisons of gay and lesbian families to heterosexual families does not serve a pur- pose in future research and, in fact, perpetuates heterocen- trism and homophobia in our culture (Savin-Williams & Esterberg, 2000; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001). Researchers need to instead consider the strengths that children of gay and les- bian households may develop, “including a greater apprecia- tion of diversity; a willingness to challenge traditional sex- role stereotypes; and an ability to fashion creative, healthy, nurturing family relationships despite legal constraints” (Savin-Willams & Esterberg, 2000, p. 209).
The implications for future research focused on under- standing the implications of differences in race, ethnicity, cul- tural environments, and socioeconomic status among gay and lesbian families is quite clear. Future studies addressing the issues that gay men and lesbians face as they transition into parenthood, stated earlier in this article, are also needed. In addition, the processes that established gay and lesbian par- ents and children go through as they encounter and cope with various institutional settings embedded within a heterocen- tric society need further investigation. These studies may vary in scope from studying interactions with schools, parent- teacher meetings and associations, and financial institutions to vacation planning and holiday gatherings with extended family. The possibilities for further investigation appear to be endless.
Additional studies focusing on the processes of family relationships within gay and lesbian families can signifi- cantly contribute to our understanding of family climates that are beneficial to the development of all children. It has been indicated that variables related to the quality of relationships may be better predictors of child adjustment than those re- lated to family structure (Patterson, 1997). These findings indicate that some traditional theories of development that emphasize the contributions of a heterosexual male parent to socialization may need to be reevaluated.
Patterson (1995) suggested that the conceptualization of gay and lesbian parents’ sexual identities is an issue requiring research attention. Little attention has been given to the fluid- ity of sexual orientation among gay, lesbian, and bisexual par- ents over time or to the implications of this fluidity on chil- dren (Patterson, 1995).