Entries in same-sex relationships (9)


It’s Not Just About You and Me: How Social Networks Impact Relationships

In this symposium at the 2015 SPSP meeting, four researchers (including Tim Loving and Fred Clavel, who are SofR regulars) presented their work on how romantic relationships are affected by the social networks around them.

Lisa Diamond led things off with a discussion of how same-sex couples feel more stress compared to heterosexual couples, because homosexuality is more stigmatized. In her study, 120 couples (some male-female, some male-male, some female-male) came into the lab and engaged in a task where they discussed a recent conflict they were having. Interestingly, whether same-sex couples felt marginalized by the broader community (i.e. whether they felt accepted by society or not) didn’t seem to predict negativity during this conflict discussion. But if they felt marginalized or having lower status within their spouse’s family (the in-laws) that caused problems within the couple. Not feeling equally accepted within a spouse’s family was associated with more negativity/hostile behavior, greater escalation of conflict (it became intense quickly), and a higher ratio of negative to positive interactions. Dr. Diamond suggested that same-sex couples may feel more distress in their relationship if their close circle of friends/family disapprove of them, rather than if the society at large disapproves of them.

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"I Wanna Hold Your Hand"...But I Can’t

To hold or not to hold…hands, that is. When you’re in a relationship, are you a hand-holder, or do you prefer to keep your hands to yourself? Perhaps you find your hand gets too sweaty when in the embrace of another, or maybe you only hold hands seasonally when doing so will provide you with an extra bit of needed warmth in the deep freeze of January. Wherever you fall on this spectrum of loving to hold hands or avoiding it like the plague, imagine for a moment that it wasn’t up to you whether or not you could hold hands with your partner. Perhaps, if you hate to hold hands anyway, your response to such a scenario would be a sense of relief. But if you fall on the other side of the spectrum, where you love to walk hand in hand with your partner, you’re probably a bit confused and baffled as to why this simple and personal decision could be taken away from you. Such may be the case for marginalized couples, for whom PDAs may bring unwanted attention, stigma or even violence. Could avoiding PDAs have potential health implications?

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Beyond Boyfriend/Girlfriend: The Search for Another Label of Love

I have been dating The Consultant for over a year now, and we have been discussing moving in together. Although over half of Americans cohabit before marriage for financial and convenience reasons,1 our consideration of “shacking up” without getting married is driven by our mutual negative past experiences with marriage. Because we never anticipate our living together to result in marriage, “husband and wife” labels will never accurately describe our relationship roles. As a result, we have been struggling with what to call each other. When we introduce each other to friends and colleagues, we use the “boyfriend/girlfriend” label, but these do not seem quite sufficient. In the past, “boyfriend” always ended up meaning someone who was transient, temporary, or not serious for me, and that is not how The Consultant and I are to each other at all.

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They Said Our Wedding Was Unnatural

from: amyking.wordpress.com


How Do Same-Sex Couples View Valentine’s Day?

As far as mainstream holidays go, Valentine’s Day is perhaps the most heteronormative of all. From greeting cards and gifts, to television shows and movies, society inundates us with messages that Valentine’s Day is an occasion to celebrate monogamous, heterosexual relationships. It’s a day when men buy flowers, chocolates, and (for the more adventuresome) frilly panties for their ladies before having a candlelight dinner punctuated by kisses and declarations of love and fidelity. So on a day when almost everything seems to be about “devoted husbands” and their “beloved wives,” what are gays and lesbians supposed to do?

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Marriage Equality: Let’s Ask the Kids

image source: blogs.prideangel.com

Marriage laws may affect the children of same-sex partners, but until recently the impact of such laws on kids has not been studied. When researchers examined the views of adolescent and young adult children of gay and lesbian couples, the children typically desired marriage for their parents. Although opponents of same-sex marriage express concern about the welfare of same-sex couples’ kids, this research suggests that families of same-sex couples think that marriage would benefit them.

Goldberg, A. E., & Kuvalanka, K. A. (2012). The perspectives of adolescents and emerging adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74, 34-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00876.x


Relationship Research Misrepresented in Defense of DOMA

One of our fields' more prolific researchers, Dr. Lisa Diamond, recently made the news when she found herself forced to submit an affadavit stating that John Boehner's legal team inaccurately used her research (and writing) to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Briefly, Boehner implied that individuals are capable of changing their sexual orientation (see SofR's related post on the idea of reparative therapy by Dr. Lehmiller here), and used Dr. Diamond's research on sexual identity labels (not sexual orientation) to supposedly support the claim that sexual orientation is malleable. Read the full story over at the NY Times.


Will Same-Sex Marriage Reduce Equality in Gay Relationships?

The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York got me thinking about how the institution of marriage itself could impact same-sex couples. One provocative question that researchers will undoubtedly explore in the coming years is whether the opportunity to marry could potentially undermine what has historically been one of the greatest strengths of gay and lesbian relationships: equality.

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Interracial Homosexual Couples: A Double Whammy?

Image source: ZazzleGrace, from Amsterdam, the Netherlands asked:

My question concerns interracial (or intercultural) couples. Research has already shown that there is no significant difference between interracial and intraracial couples when it comes down to 'what makes them click'. However, from my own experience I know that these couples face a lot more resistance from their social environment than intraracial couples do. I was wondering, is this the same for interracial homosexual couples? Since they already belong to a minority, do they  suffer more than interracial heterosexual couples do?

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