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Equality in Theory: From a Heteronormative to an Inclusive Psychology of Romantic Love

Thorne, Sapphira, Hegarty, Peter and Hepper, Erica (2019) Equality in Theory: From a Heteronormative to an Inclusive Psychology of Romantic Love THEORY & PSYCHOLOGY, 29 (1). pp. 240-257.

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Since 1970, research on romantic relationships has burgeoned, but its theories and methods were shaped by a heteronormative cultural context. Heteronormativity is an ideology that implicitly holds that heterosexuality is, and should be, the only, dominant, or taken-for-granted sexuality for all. The movement towards sexual equality, particularly legal recognition of equal marriage, now allows psychologists to investigate romantic love in a more equal manner than ever before. To orient psychology towards less heteronormative theories of love, we make explicit how researchers in the past have (1) defined love and relationships as heterosexual; (2) presumed heterosexual patterns of love to generalize to all; (3) used methodologies that introduce heterosexual bias; and (4) located differences in same-sex couples rather than between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. We conclude with recommendations of how critical thinking at all stages of research can make the difference between heteronormative and inclusive research on romantic love and relationships.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Thorne, Sapphira
Date : 1 April 2019
DOI : 10.1177/0959354319826725
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright The Authors 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords : Romantic love; Relationships; Sexual minorities; Social norms; Social psychology
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 07 Mar 2019 14:54
Last Modified : 08 Apr 2019 10:12

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