A survey conducted by the University of Minnesota reveals that young people continue to hold “traditional” values regarding love, monogamy, and commitment – regardless of their sexual orientation.
“Given increases in cohabitation, divorce and debates about same sex marriage, it is easy to think that traditional relationship values have gone out the window,” said Ann Meier, U of M sociology professor and one of the study’s lead investigators. “In fact, young people still place a very high premium on love, faithfulness and commitment.” The study found modest but significant differences by gender and sexual orientation in relationship values. Some of the findings included: Straight women valued faithfulness and lifelong commitment more than straight men.
Sexual minorities (gay men, lesbians and bisexuals) valued both slightly less than heterosexual women, but about the same as heterosexual men, and there were no significant differences among the different genders of sexual minorities when it came to faithfulness and lifelong commitment. “The lack of differences in the responses of gays and lesbians may be due to the fact that both groups share the legal obstacle to marriage – marriage tends to reinforce different gender norms, but if marriage is off the table, these gender differences may not exist,” said Meier. When all groups were compared, in most cases sexual minorities shared the same relationship values as straight men. It is straight women who appear to have values somewhat different from all other groups – they are particularly enthusiastic supporters of traditional relationship values.
(Tipped by JMG reader Andrew)