chapter  12
24 Pages

Counseling Gay Fathers: Stepping Into the New Frontier

WithDaniel J. Alonzo

The nature and composition of families has undergone dramatic changes in the last half-century in the United States. For many years, in the most traditional cultural presentation, the word “family” conjured up mental pictures of two White heterosexual parents in a long-standing, culturally approved, religiously and civilly sanctioned relationship with their biological offspring, usually two, a boy and a girl for ideal balance (Okun, 1996). However, this idyllic picture of the American nuclear family has been forced to change. The rising divorce rate, the increase in two-income households, the growth of feminism, the larger number of single-parent households, and the changing ethnic landscape of American society have necessitated new ways of thinking about families (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2002). These changes have also necessitated new ways of seeing parenthood-the skills required, the approaches taken, even the players themselves.