In defense of love and same-sex parenting: rhetorical analysis of the apologia from children of same-sex couples

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Advisor: Joseph M. Valenzano III


With the acceptance of same-sex marriage on the rise in American society and an increasing number of homosexual couples raising children, concerns regarding the effect these couples have on their children are also escalating. This study looks at a unique defense of same-sex couples as parents, from the children currently being raised by them. Including three prominent texts and seventeen different voices, an analysis was completed to understand what defense strategies children use as advocates for their parents' right to marriage and to be a family. The method of study included completing a genre criticism through close textual analysis of the texts. In particular, the genre of apologia was studied. The analysis was framed by queer theory in effort to detect how, if at all, the defenses of children from same-sex parented homes rejected heteronormativity and the binary of sexuality. The findings of this study included the use of three different strategies of apologia, which allowed the children to defend their parents in three ways: by normalizing their family life and showing their parents do positive things; by depicting their lives as different, but not abnormal; and by redefining family to be constructed by love, instead of the biological components of the people within.


Children of same-sex parents Attitudes, Children of gay parents Attitudes, Same-sex parents, Gay parents, Communication, Gender Studies, homosexuality, same-sex parents, same-sex marriage, children in defense, families, apologia, genre criticism, queer theory, LGBT rights

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