Gay Parents | Science

Gay Parents Have Less Sex

Cfp-150_tcm7-109424A new study performed by social scientists at San Francisco State University has confirmed something that, had you thought about it for a second, you'd probably have assumed anyway. Turns out, gay dads get just as exhausted as heterosexual parents, and like heterosexual ones, often don't have time or energy for intimacy. From the US News and World Report:

"When gay couples become parents, they become very focused on the kids, they are tired, there is less time for communication and less desire for sex," Colleen Hoff, a professor of sexuality studies at San Francisco State University, said in a university news release. "They go through a lot of the same changes as heterosexual couples who have kids."

... "We found that gay fathers have less time for sex and less emphasis on sexuality, which could mean they are at less risk for HIV," Hoff said. "Many fathers said they feel a sense of responsibility toward their children which motivates them to avoid risky sexual behavior."

The 48 fathers surveyed for the study have reportedly accepted the changes in their sex lives with equanimity.

The study does contain some data that's likely to delight the anti-gay blogosphere. Turns out, gay men with children tend to adhere to the same relational rules'n'regs they followed before having children. That is, if they were monogomous, they tend to remain monogamous, and if they weren't monogamous, they still aren't. From the study's abstract, at the Journal of Couples and Family Psychology:

... couples reported negotiating agreements regarding sex with outside partners that closely resemble those documented in studies of gay couples who are not parents. Men reported that parenthood typically decreased their opportunities to engage in sex with outside partners, but also posed barriers to talking about these behaviors with their partners and health-care providers ...

In the US News and World Report, Dr. Hoff explains that the most significant such "barrier" is the stigma associated with being non-monagamous while raising children. 


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  1. Wait, what color is the sky? We need a study to determine the obvious!

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 30, 2012 9:26:29 AM

  2. Well, it's all that time they spend on Towleroad. Eventually they learn they don't have time for both Towleroad AND great sex. So what can they do? The sex just has to sacrificed..........

    Posted by: Mary | Jun 30, 2012 9:39:34 AM

  3. I'm so tired of couples blaming their children for the fact that, over time, they have less sex with each other. As any of us in a relationship without children can tell you, the frequency of sex, unfortunately, diminishes within a couple over time. Oh, well. I guess if you have kids to blame at least you aren't blaming each other. That's probably good for maintaining the relationship.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 30, 2012 10:06:31 AM

  4. What is this assumption that there are no heterosexual couples who have agreements regarding sex with outside partners?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Jun 30, 2012 10:23:53 AM

  5. Hey-OS2GUY just wrote two days ago that even with one child he and his man have sex twice a day every day and three times a day on weekends. So forget the studies, make your own life. The catch is that he's quite young and very very in love, happy and apparently secure. They all factor in.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 30, 2012 10:38:59 AM

  6. Men are not naturally monogamous. Much of the misery in heterosexual marriages (and heterosexual relationships in general) in the West is due to men trying to alter their natural behavior to fit what women want (i.e. absolute monogamy). Ditto for "romantic love", which is largely a female idea and priority.

    In non-Western cultures where monogamy is not expected and romantic love is not taken seriously, marriages last longer and are healthier.

    We need a "masculist" revolution that will free all men (regardless of sexual orientation) from emotional, sexual, and social dependence on women....and free us all thereby from living by women's rules.

    It is time that, as a society, we started asking "What do men want?" instead of "What do women want?"--which has been the focus of the last 4 decades.

    Gay men can lead this revolution by creating new forms of committed marital relationships that do not involve absolute monogamy and demonstrating that they not only work, but are better than those that do require monogamy.....and I hope that is what we are seeing.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 30, 2012 10:49:13 AM

  7. Anyone who needed this bit of research to figure this out probably needs directions on the heel of a boot in order to pour pee out of it.

    Posted by: Simon | Jun 30, 2012 11:03:05 AM

  8. After the age of 40, men and women have less sex regardless.

    This is just what happens in life and why business is booming in the hobby industry.

    Next up: Fish live longer in water.

    Posted by: johnny | Jun 30, 2012 11:04:46 AM

  9. Lol RICK, "down with the matriarchy!"


    Posted by: Lance | Jun 30, 2012 11:30:38 AM

  10. So we have some non-monogamous male couples who agree to sex outside of their relationships and they have these liaisons whether they had children or not? As though some straight couples do not have sex with people other than their partners? This little tidbit of information might give heart to antigay bigots, but only because they will conveniently omit the part about straight couples also having outside sex. Bigots typically omit bits of information they don't like.

    Posted by: john patrick | Jun 30, 2012 11:35:42 AM

  11. @RICK so how's that misogyny thing workin' out for ya? So far, it looks like not very well.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jun 30, 2012 12:18:13 PM

  12. Raising a child takes work? Who knew!

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 30, 2012 1:06:56 PM

  13. RICK's posts would make for amazing dialogue on a sitcom that I would enjoy watching. Setting would be the Mars One colony:

    His fellow colonists would have to navigate how to deal with RICK on a daily basis. Will they:

    (A) Imprison RICK.
    (B) Give RICK his own pod 5 miles away from the colony.

    -- OR --

    (C) Out RICK.

    It would be damn good TV.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jun 30, 2012 1:09:39 PM

  14. "We found that gay fathers have less time for sex and less emphasis on sexuality, which could mean they are at less risk for HIV," Hoff said. "Many fathers said they feel a sense of responsibility toward their children which motivates them to avoid risky sexual behavior."

    This excerpt disgusts me.It seems to perpetuate the dangerous lie that HIV is a "gay thing". I don't understand why HIV was mentioned.Why would two HIV-negative gay men in an honest monogamous relationship be concerned about contracting HIV through sexual intercourse?

    "Risky sexual behavior"? Yeah,because gay sex is soooo dangerous and straight sex is completely safe.If that's the case then Why is heterosexual sex the primary transmission for HIV/AIDS?Anyways,this study was just pointless.ANY couple's sexual activity will slow down over time,regardless if they have children or not.

    Posted by: Miguel | Jun 30, 2012 3:35:11 PM

  15. @Rick,thanks for demonstrating quite clearly that not only do you hate effeminate gay men, you also hate women. Imagine our surprise.

    BTW, I seriously doubt you are nearly as macho masculine as you like to pretend you are.

    Posted by: RedOnTheGreg | Jun 30, 2012 4:55:51 PM

  16. They have sex alright, just not with each other! LOL

    Posted by: Peng | Jun 30, 2012 8:17:02 PM

  17. Lawd, I can't tell the real Rick posts from the fake ones. That's a whole lotta cray-cray.

    Posted by: endo | Jun 30, 2012 8:48:20 PM

  18. If ENDO weren't so stupid she would notice that there is only one RICK post. And what in the world is "cray-cray"? Get a life weenie.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 30, 2012 11:40:23 PM

  19. I love Rick

    Posted by: Sqqueak | Jul 1, 2012 3:04:01 AM

  20. @ Miguel: The title of the study is: "The impact of parenting on gay male couples' relationships, sexuality, and HIV risk". Examining HIV risk was part of the inquiry.

    Sadly, most people either do not read researh abstracts, are unable to comprehend them, or are simply too lazy to do so.

    Posted by: Kage | Jul 1, 2012 5:02:55 AM

  21. Less sex. Isn't that why we spent our entire lives desiring males? All those years of high school, being denied? Now comes along this twisted idea of having children. In our demented desire to be like heteros, we give up what we came out for in the first place. Certainly one of the couple will still have sexual desire, and thus jeopardize the "Happy" home Bringing forth another American married tradition -- the affair. And Rick. If they are harping about marriage that's what they get. Not this F-around arrangement.

    Posted by: Todd | Jul 1, 2012 7:00:32 PM

  22. Your tit for tat comparisons don't add up John Patrick. Not all straight couples are non-monogamous. You have so much wisdom on the subject, that isn't even federally legal. Where do your miserable assumptions come from? If gay guys still want to f--k around they shouldn't have children or get married. These" want it all" assholes have no souls. And you can "bigot" yourself to death you programed idiot of today's "culture" and "equality" I hope you all regret equally, and your screwed up kids drive you crazy to your graves.

    Posted by: Keith | Jul 1, 2012 10:14:13 PM

  23. Sex is important to maintain the flame in a marriage, be it with a man and woman or of the same sex. Therefore, if a man can get it up, he should seek for professional help and use Erectile Dysfunction Cure to help him. This way, they will be able to sustain their love and affection to each other.

    Posted by: Courtney Sanders | Jul 2, 2012 11:24:50 PM

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