Good and Healthy Parents. Non-Heterosexual Parenting and Tricky Alliances

Chiara Bertone


Does a challenge to heteronormative assumptions on parenting also involve a challenge to an imperative of good parenting bearing the responsibility of raising healthy, well-developed children, endowed with the resources to achieve happiness, and to avoid social and personal pathologies? Or is this notion, and the medicalised frame upon which it is grounded, rather mobilised for the social and legal recognition of diversity in the forms good parenting can take?

Seeing non-heteronormative parenting as an intergenerational issue, involving parents dealing with LGBT children as well as LGBT adults as parents, the article explores the appeal of medical frames in collective self-representations of their advocates, drawing on international literature to read the Italian context. Some problematic implications of this appeal concern who gets voice as legitimate expert, which models of good parenting are sustained, and how they contribute to upholding social hierarchies.


same-sex parenting, medicalization, families of origin, Italy, therapeutic culture

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ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola