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Including same-sex families in early childhood settings in Australia: perspectives of parents of Chinese ancestry

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posted on 2022-10-26, 02:17 authored by Xinyun (Meg) Liang

Early childhood (EC) practitioners may continue to feel uncomfortable about explicitly including same-sex families in their program as little is known about the preparedness of parents of young children to support them in EC settings. A comprehensive review of relevant literature further indicates that empirical research on perspectives of ethnically and linguistically diverse families attending EC centres in Australia is absent. This study sets a precedent in exploring the input from parents of Chinese ancestry about inclusive EC education. A total of 54 Chinese parents (43 mothers and 11 fathers) of children aged eight years and under with experiences in EC settings participated in an online survey, and five of these (four mothers and one father) engaged in follow-up interviews to probe issues in-depth. Analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data revealed three key results about ethnic Chinese parents' beliefs and attitudes: 1) overall acceptance of lesbian and gay parents primarily varied by personal contact and public exposure to sexual minorities, 2) there was predominant resistance and reluctance toward supporting explicit inclusive practices for same-sex families in EC settings, and 3) prevalent beliefs of same-sex families related to discussion being inappropriate and irrelevant to children in early childhood. As the various cultural backgrounds of the Australian population may contribute to the diverse perspectives about sexual minorities, findings from this study assist EC practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to hear the voices of ethnic Chinese parents and in turn support the better preparation and implementation of inclusive practices for same-sex families in EC settings in this country. 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: introduction -- Chapter 2: literature review -- Chapter 3: methodology -- Chapter 4: findings -- Chapter 5: discussion -- Chapter 6: conclusion -- References -- Appendix A: letter of ethics approval -- Appendix B: online survey -- Appendix C: consent form for interviews -- Appendix D: list of organisations and communities contacted by email -- Appendix E: advertisement self-posted on social media -- Appendix F: list of social media platforms -- Appendix G: interview guide for participants -- Appendix H: summary of quantitative analysis -- Appendix I: T-tests and one-way ANOVAs -- Appendix J: summary of coding process for interview data


A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie School of Education, 2021

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Fay Hadley

Additional Supervisor 1

Manjula Waniganayake


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




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