Researchers have found that most lesbian and gay youths want the same things their straight friends want: to spend their adult life in a long-term relationship raising children. And when it comes to straight couples, a man picks a wife just like Mom.

More than 90% of females and more than 80% of males expect to be partnered in a monogamous relationship after age 30. Two thirds of females and more than half of males expressed likelihood that they would raise children in the future. Researcher Robert-Jay Green says, “These findings?are a glimpse into the future of the [gay] community. If these young people realize their expectations, the [gay] community will be a vastly different place in 20 years, with many more families and children. The implications are staggering for how the lesbian/gay community will be different in the 21st century than in generations past, when it was mainly a secret society of singles.”

According to Green, “We seem to be witnessing the mainstreaming of lesbian/gay youth, with many of them wanting exactly what heterosexual youth have always wanted: the whole American dream complete with kids and the minivan. This should not be surprising when one considers that most lesbian/gay youth also have been raised in very mainstream heterosexual families with similar values and parental models.”

“Although some lesbian/gay adults may prefer less conventional lives, most agree that the primary issue is whether these youth will be given the equal legal rights to realize their couple and family aspirations just like their heterosexual peers.”

When it comes to heterosexual couples, many women end up marrying men just like their dads. It works that way for men too: whether a young man’s mother earned a college degree and whether she worked outside the home while he was growing up seems to have an effect years later when a man considers his ideal wife. Sociologist Christine Whelan says, “One man I interviewed put it like this: ‘If your mother is a success, you don’t have any ideas of success and family that exclude a woman from working.'”

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