Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2019; 8(3):(266-318)


Public displays of affection in same-sex versus opposite-sex couples and the influence of loved ones’ approval

Devin Simpkins, Sara Martino

Abstract

Though progress has been made over the past few decades regarding acceptance of same-sex relationships and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community as a whole, the negative stigma associated with being a member of the community is still prevalent in our society today [1]. Frost [1] explains that negative stereotypes surrounding intimacy as it is expressed in same-sex relationships generate and encourage opportunities for heterosexual relationships to continue conveying affection, while obstructing those same principles from same-sex couples. Individuals involved in same-sex relationships may abstain from engaging in public displays of affection (PDA) out of fear of social disapproval or judgment [2]. Beyond this, limited literature is available addressing PDA in same-sex couples. There is equally little research available regarding parental approval of same-sex couples, particularly regarding college-aged same-sex relationships. This study found significant differences between PDA and sexual orientation. This study also looked at the impact of social approval.

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