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Good gay females and babies' daddies: Black lesbian community norms and the acceptability of pregnancy

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Communities have different norms and expectations regarding pregnancy and parenting and these norms affect individual reproductive behaviour. Using grounded theory, this paper examines sexual and gender norms that have implications for pregnancy, mothering and parenting within a community of young Black lesbians. In this community, pregnancy and parenting experiences affect participants' sexual and gender identities through the community discourse on appropriate motherhood. Identity is negotiated and contested vis-à-vis pregnancy and parenting. Using social categorisation theory as a lens into participants' pregnancy and parenting experiences, we show how normative discourse in this community ties appropriate reproductive behaviour to gendered bodies and, by extension, how pregnancy and parenting have implications for participants' developing gender identities.
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Keywords: Black; community; lesbian; motherhood; pregnancy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA 2: School of Social Work, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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