$431,363 Stimulus Project Concludes 'Gay Fathers' Have Less Time for Sex
The study concluded that homosexual men likely reduce their chances of contracting HIV after becoming fathers because they have less time for sex.
The grant--entitled “Health and HIV Among Gay Fathers"--was awarded to San Francisco State University. At the time, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who represented the area, was speaker of the House.
The $431,363 was to be used to “to identify psychological and behavioral factors that help prevent gay fathers from HIV risk, substance abuse, and psychological distress as they navigate the myriad life-changing situations faced as parents.”
The results were published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology on June 25, 2012.
The study found that homosexual men are likely to reduce their chances of contracting HIV after becoming fathers, because there is less time for sex.
"When gay couples become parents, they become very focused on the kids, they are tired, there is less time for communication and less desire for sex," said Hoff. "They go through a lot of the same changes as heterosexual couples who have kids."
"We found that gay fathers have less time for sex and less emphasis on sexuality, which could mean they are at less risk for HIV," she said. "Many fathers said they feel a sense of responsibility toward their children which motivates them to avoid risky sexual behavior."
The study also found that many gay couples “increased their commitment to each other and “deepened their relationship” after adopting children.
The researchers said they were surprised to find that becoming parents did not affect gay couples’ “sexual agreements,” or the contracts “many gay male couples make about whether sex with outside partners is allowed.”
"There wasn't the shift that we thought we might find," Hoff said. "For the most part, those who were monogamous before becoming parents said they stayed with that arrangement. Those who had open relationships before having children reported that they kept to that agreement,” she said.
The study also warned doctors to not assume that because a gay man is a father he is not sexually promiscuous.
"Some men felt that there is this assumption that if you are a gay parent you are monogamous," Hoff said. "This kind of stigma around gay parents' sexuality could be a concern if gay fathers are reluctant to talk to their physician about their sexual agreement and get tested for HIV.”
The study warns physicians and counselors against making assumptions about gay fathers and stresses the importance of offering them opportunities to discuss their sexual agreements and access to testing services, San Francisco State University said.
The funding for the study was broken up into two grants: $220,776 issued in August 2009 and $210,587 issued in 2010, both distributed through the National Institute of Mental Health.
According to Recovery.gov, there were “No jobs created or retained” from the study.