Notion of love Leads to Greater Acceptance of Couples Rights

Author: Indiana University
Published: Monday 27th October 2014
Summary: Study finds how in love a romantic couple appears to be is interpreted differently based on the couples sexual orientation.


Long Doan, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences, said the study was created to understand how people's attitudes differ based on sexual orientation.

"If you ask what someone thinks of a same-sex couple or what they think of a straight couple, they usually have different images in mind for the same-sex and straight couples," Doan said. "By taking away those preconceived differences in relationships, we can pinpoint that the differences in perception are due to sexual orientation alone, instead of other factors that complicate the picture like presumed marital status of same-sex and straight couples."

To achieve this, Doan and his colleagues Annalise Loehr and Lisa R. Miller, doctoral students in the Department of Sociology, developed a study that asked participants to read the exact same story about a romantic couple, while randomly changing the names of the two main characters to denote whether the couple was heterosexual, lesbian or gay.

The findings suggest that people seem to think of loving relationships in a hierarchy, with heterosexual couples being the most "in love," followed by lesbian couples and then gay couples.

Additionally, how "in love" a participant understood the couple to be led them to decide how many informal or formal rights they may deserve as a couple, from holding hands in public to having the right to marry. Doan said these findings can have some implications for the gay rights movement.

"There's a lot of focus on portraying gay couples as just as loving as straight couples," Doan said. "This should be an effective approach because it seems that people are swayed by the notion of love. If you can somehow convince people that gay couples are just as loving, then it seems more likely that the movement will gain more support."

Doan, Loehr and Miller presented their study, "(Double) Standards for Granting Formal and Informal Privileges," on Aug. 16. The paper received the ASA Emotions Section's graduate student paper award.


Similar Topics


From our Same Sex Couples section - Full List (26 Items)

Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


More Than One Million LGBTQ Adults in the US Identify as Nonbinary


Same-Sex Parents are More Likely than Different-Sex Parents to Raise Adopted and Foster Children


Sexuality is Often Fluid


A Significant Number of Transgender Adults in the US have no IDs with the Correct Gender Marker


Latest Issue of the 'Positive Approaches Journal' Focuses on Sexuality and Connectedness


A Hand Holding Me: Love is Love


UK to Host its First Global LGBT Conference


The Power of Conversations - LGBTQ+ Stories




LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.


Transgender Reporting Guide - English
Guide for those writing on transgender and LGBT community - Spanish Version.
Sexuality Definitions
List of definitions and glossary of sexual terms, abbreviations and their meanings.

SexualDiversity.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com