Identity and Relationships
Theories and terminology
*sexual identity is generally categorized through determining if the self (or others) are
heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, based on attraction to people of a given
*sexual scripts: a set of socialized guidelines for shaping and attaining sexual
pleasure. Among heterosexual couples the sexual script is highly reliant on gender.
Sexual scripts vary with age, ethnicity, class, ability, etc, but heterosexuality tends
to be organized to favour patriarchal privilege.
*(Hetero)sexual scripts can often be exaggerated in performances in the sex trade
industry, for example in exotic dancing.
*Heteronormativity (aka compulsory heterosexuality) the way that heterosexuality is
constructed as the normal, natural and most desirable sexual identity, and the
ways that this idea is supported by institutions such as schools, the media, the
state, holidays and even public displays of affection.
*heterosexism: a system of beliefs that asserts the superiority of heterosexuality
*romantic love has increasingly been tied to consumer behaviours like dating.
*4 stages of falling in love (according to popular Adam’s model)
*1. original attraction: physical and common interests.
*2. responding to others’ reactions to their partner, self-disclosing
*3. asses compatible marital “scripts”
*4. private and/or public commitment
*research focuses on gender differences in love, as opposed to similarities. Generally
men in developed societies are FILO (first in, last out of love) while women are
LIFO (last in, first out of love)
*the feminization of love: women are understood to be better at love and intimate
relationships than men. This leads to the deficit model of manhood. (although
men do not lose power from this deficit)
*love myth, the idea that there is a script for recognizing love. This script is based on
assumptions that love is: 1) natural and cannot be stopped, 2) completely different
from other kinds of love, and 3) that falling out of love is sudden, natural and can’t
*cohabitation: In Canada, cohabiting has recently become more common than marriage. Originally, cohabitation was common and was seen to promote equality
in relationships, better informed marital relationships, less divorce, etc.
*In choosing marriage partners, homogamy dominates: which is the written and
unwritten rules which encourage a person to marry within their own identity group.
*Statistically, North American marriages marriage gradient dominates (aka the dating
differential!), whereby men marry “down” (hypogamy) and women marry “up”