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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Sexual orientation and culturally assigned gender roles influence the ways people are looked upon by those around them. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of sexual orientation and gender roles on perceptions of relationship quality. An experiment was conducted in which participants read one of four scenarios portraying either a heterosexual or homosexual couple as gender conforming or nonconforming. Ninety Framingham State University students read one of four scenarios and rated the perceived quality of relationship. It was predicted that the participants' perceptions of the heterosexual couple and the gender conforming couple would be more positive than their perceptions of the homosexual and the gender-nonconforming couples. A two-way analysis of variance was performed and revealed that the homosexual couple was perceived as having the highest quality of relationship, contrary to the hypothesis. No significant difference was found between the gender conforming and gender non-conforming couples. Overall, the study population seemed to be accepting of homosexuality and gender non-conformity.

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