Riglyne vir die ontwikkeling van die adolessent se sin vir self binne ? lesbiese ouerskap-verhouding
Van der Vlies, Belinda
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The purpose of this research was to investigate and describe the experience of lesbian parents and their adolescents regarding the adolescents’ development of a sense of self in the lesbian home, in order to compile guidelines that can provide help to these parents. The subject was investigated from both a pastoral base theory (normative perspective) and a Gestalt theoretical perspective (paradigmatic perspective). A qualitative approach was followed for the purpose of this study, with semi-structured interviewing with the adolescents and their parents respectively. Adolescents were also requested to make collages that served as an additional data gathering method. The sample group consisted of five adolescent boys and four adolescent girls, some of who were siblings, from six lesbian families respectively. Seven of the twelve parents were biological mothers from previous heterosexual marriages, and the remaining five women had no children of their own. From the literature review and the empirical results of this study, it appears that there are certain positive as well as negative aspects of a lesbian home that influence an adolescents sense of self. In lesbian homes where both parents are involved with the adolescents, share household duties equally and have a quality relationship with each other as well as with the adolescents, the adolescents are generally well-adapted, happy and able to handle challenges in order to develop a healthy sense of self. The positive influence that Christian religious certainty has on the overall development of the adolescents and on the sense of self, was confirmed through this study. On the other hand, adolescents experience the following aspects as challenging and impeding in their development of a healthy sense of self: Conflict and criticism from the companion parents are humiliating and destructive for the adolescents. Stigmatising, teasing and rejection from the hetero-normative society, as a result of their parents’ sexual orientation, appear to be the largest obstacle in their psychosocial development, which also influences their sense of self directly, because they react in a shy, negative and evasive way to the stigmatisation and withdraw themselves from situations that can be painful and humiliating. From the research findings, it appears that the absence of a father figure and financial tension in lesbian families are impeding to the adolescents’ healthy development of a sense of self. Due to the complexity of the aspects that can have a negative influence or impede on an adolescent’s healthy development of a sense of self within the lesbian parent relationship, the researcher realised that professional help, support and guidance might be necessary for some of the lesbian parents and adolescents in order to promote the adolescents’ development of a sense of self and the establishment of a unique identity. At the end of this study, the researcher was able to compile guidelines for lesbian parents as well as pastoral counsellors to help and guide them in their support to adolescents in order to enable them develop a healthy sense of self.
- Theology