Lesbian Family Life, Like the Fingers of a Hand : Under-Discussed and Controversial Topics book cover
1st Edition

Lesbian Family Life, Like the Fingers of a Hand
Under-Discussed and Controversial Topics

ISBN 9781560237716
Published September 14, 2009 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

In this book, an array of approaches - first person and theoretical accounts, clinical understandings, qualitative and quantitative research - are brought to bear on controversial or under-discussed topics in lesbian family life.

From conception all the way to care for elderly parents, this book takes a fresh look at lesbian family relationships. Topics include: butch/femme couples, infidelity, the psychological meaning of family for lesbians, age-discrepant couples, lesbian nuns as family, Listservs as family, intentional family for aging women, women raising sons, mothers who come out late in life, mothers and children in situations of domestic violence, lack of support for lesbian domestic violence survivors, death of a partner, psychological issues in the use of sperm donors or surrogates, and middle-aged lesbians caring for homophobic elderly parents. Some authors use self psychology and Jungian psychology to describe aspects of family life. The richness and diversity of topics makes it a text on "lesbian lives".

Therapists and academics from throughout the U.S. have contributed to this collection. Many lesbian women, as well as teachers (it can be a text) and mental health professionals who work with children, families, couples and elderly will find useful material here.

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies.

Table of Contents

Foreword  1. Lesbian Family Life, Like the Fingers of a Hand: Under-Discussed and Controversial Topics  Valory Mitchell  2. More than Surface Tension: Femmes in Families  Arlene Istar Lev  3. Infidelity: Outlaws and In-Laws and Lesbian Relationships  Beverly Burch  4. Just Molly and Me, and Donor Makes Three: Lesbian Motherhood in the Age of Assisted Reproductive Technology  Diane Ehrensaft  5. The Masculine Principle in Lesbian Families: A Jungian Understanding  Amy Weston  6. Lesbian Mothering in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence  Jennifer L. Hardesty, Ramona Faith Oswald, Lyndal Khaw, Carol Fonseca, and Grace H. Chung  7. “Family” Support for Family Violence: Exploring Community Support Systems for Lesbian and Bisexual Women Who Have Experienced Abuse  Susan C. Turell and Molly M. Herrmann  8. Lesbians Grieving the Death of a Partner: Recommendations for Practice  Debra J. Broderick, Jean M. Birbilis, and Michael F. Steger  9. Feeding the Hand that Bit You: Lesbian Daughters at Mid-Life Negotiating Parental Caretaking  Susan Cayleff  10. Adult Daughters whose Mothers Come Out Later in Life: What is the Psychosocial Impact?  Kristen Davies  11. May–December Lesbian Relationships: Power Storms or Blue Skies?  Cindy M. Bruns  12. Women Aging Together in Community  Jane Ariel  13. We Are Family: I Got All My Sisters with Me!  Mary Kay Hunyady  14. Choosing Family: Meaning and Membership in the Lesbian Family of Choice  Valory Mitchell

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Valory Mitchell received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. She is a full professor in the Psy.D. Program at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University, San Francisco Campus, where she has taught for over 20 years. She has been coordinator of the school's Gender Studies Emphasis Area, and director of its Institute for the Psychology of Women.