A new study by researchers at the Rockway Institute finds that gay fathers often opt for what in a heterosexual context would be called the "mommy track" once they have kids. The press release for the study reports:
The first study ever to examine the experiences of gay male partners who became fathers via surrogacy shows that they are more likely than heterosexual fathers to scale back their careers in order to care for their children. Also, these fathers report that their self-esteem and their closeness with their extended families increases after becoming parents.
In most respects, life changes resulting from parenthood were very much like those experienced by heterosexual couples – closer relations with co-workers, a transition away from single friends toward other couples (straight and gay) with children, and less time for sleep, exercise, and hobbies….
"It is noteworthy," the researchers wrote, "that many of these gay fathers negotiated their career prospects downward and focused on their parenting responsibilities as being primary, at least for the time being while their children were so young… This is in sharp contrast to heterosexual fathers, who often augment their work hours and career commitments after having children."…
The new fathers encountered many changes in relations with family, friends and co-workers. The couples had been together an average of 12 years, and none had dissolved their relationship after becoming parents. They acknowledged a decrease in romance and personal intimacy with their partners, though they said their relationships remained romantic. Most fathers reported that relationships with their families of origin had become closer and that having a baby increased recognition of the couple as a family. Relations with co-workers often improved because of the shared parenting experience. The new dads reported changes to their social life, with fewer late-night and weekday engagements and a gradual trend toward socializing with other couples who have children, rather than single friends.
Damn. It was hard enough prying my heterosexual friends who became parents out of their suburban lairs!
Whole press release here.