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Public Displays of Affection in Same-Sex vs. Opposite-Sex Couples and the Influence of Loved Ones’ Approval

Sara Marie Martino,Sara Martino.

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 (Frost, 2011). Frost (2011) 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 (Kent & El-Alayli, 2011). Beyond this, limited literature is available addressing public displays of affection 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 public displays of affection and sexual orientation. This study also looked at the impact of social approval.

Key words: homosexuality, heterosexuality, displays of affection, social approval

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American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health


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