The disclosure practices of a South African-born adolescent raised in an American lesbian-parent family

11 Oct 2012

This qualitative case study explores the disclosure practices of a South African-born adolescent who is raised in a lesbian-parent family in the United States of America, in an attempt to understand how adolescents negotiate their unique family structure throughout their daily lives. The data in this study were analysed using thematic content analysis. The concept of moral cultures is adopted from the work of Hart and Carlo (2005) and identified in the following dominant discourses in the life of the adolescent participant, namely: religion, school, friends, acquaintances and society at large, and emotions. Furthermore, social control seems to be a very prominent factor in the decision of adolescents raised in same-gendered families to disclose or withhold information. Casual-calculated disclosure is identified as a method for social control, when disclosing information about the family structure becomes inevitable for an individual. Furthermore, the decision to disclose is generally based on (1) a perception of urgency, (2) the existence of an intimate relationship, and (3) the disclosure of information based on a shared experience.