An exploratory study of religiosity and same-sex couple relationships

Sharon S. Rostosky, Melanie D. Otis, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Sondra Kelly, Carolyn Brodnicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

An apparent lack of empirical research on religiosity and same-sex couple relationships led to an exploratory examination of the role of religiosity in the relationships of 90 same-sex couples. For most couple participants, religious expression took an internal or private form rather than a public form. Couples tended to be homogamous in their religiosity. Couple homogamy of intrinsic religiosity (but not of affiliation or public/private religious activities) was associated with higher relationship satisfaction. Couples used various strategies to address conflicts between sexual identity and religiosity including abandoning public religiosity in favor of private religious expression or retaining a public expression by integrating or compartmentalizing sexual minority identities. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-36
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sharon S. Rostosky, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Melanie D. Otis, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Ellen D. B. Riggle, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Sondra Kelly, MA, works in the private sector. Carolyn Brodnicki, MS, is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Address correspondence to: Sharon S. Rostosky, PhD, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, 245 Dickey Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0017 (E-mail: rostosk@uky.edu). Portions of this research study were funded by the American Psychological Foundation’s Wayne F. Placek Award (2000). The authors express appreciation to Todd Savage, Ashley Reed, Cydney Jackson, Gina Owens, Robert A. Prather, and Marc Frisiello. They also thank the couples who generously shared their lives with the authors.

Keywords

  • Couple homogamy
  • Gay couples
  • Lesbian couples
  • Religiosity
  • Same-sex couples
  • Sexual identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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