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.
homosexuality, heterosexuality, displays of affection, social approval