Fertility Intentions and Sexual Orientation: Evidence from the 2020 Youth Survey in Estonia

Hanna Vseviov , Tallinn University
Mark Gortfelder, Tallinn University
Allan Puur, Tallinn University

Attitudes to sexual minorities have undergone a transformation in many Western countries in recent decades. This has led to an increase of research into experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual-identified (LGB) people in a variety of domains such as education, the labour market, physical and mental health, health behaviour, and same-sex partnerships. Although parenthood is a highly valued life goal, there are only a few small-scale studies in European countries that have looked into the parenthood goals of young people in relation to their sexual orientation. We contribute to filling this gap by analysing data from a youth survey conducted in Estonia in 2020. A probability sample was drawn from the population register, 1,632 men and women aged 16–19 answered an online questionnaire. Sexual orientation was assessed with a categorical measure that asked participants about their attraction towards the opposite or the same sex. In this study, we pose three research questions: i) what is the sexual orientation of young adults aged 16–19; ii) what are the background factors associated with the LGB orientation, and iii) what is the relationship between fertility intentions and sexual orientation. We find that overall, 12% of young men and 27% of young women report the LGB-orientation. Results obtained from regression models show that the LGB-orientation is related to variables that characterised disadvantaged family background, however, it is also associated with high educational attainment of parents. There is a statistically significant negative relationship between the intended number of children and the LGB-orientation.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 13. Novel Perspectives in Fertility Research