Understudied Relationships (WJEC)

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  • Understudied Relationships
    • Gay & Lesbian Relationships
      • Formation: difficult to recognize another and form a relationship. Women tend to be reactive and wait for the other to ask them out
        • Davidson: Gay men seek physically attractive features and a status symbol such as a well paid career
        • Huston & Swartz: Lesbians are attracted to personality
      • Maintenance:
        • Lesbians maintain a balance of power and use conversational techniques to create inatmacy
        • Gay men minimise conflict and show high levels of affection for one another and challenge their partner
      • Difficulties:
        • Homosexuals don't differ in appearance so people assume they're straight and allows them to conceal their identity
        • Greene: Gay people with previous heterosexual partners with custody of a child may get their visitational rights taken away if their new sexuality is revealed
      • Difficulties forming and maintaining relationships
        • Growing up in a society where homosexuality is seen as wrong makes it difficult to 'come out' and form relationships
        • The media presents homosexual relationships as superficial, unstable and problematic with very few portrayed as successful
        • Markowitz & Peplan; Highlights that many therapists use heterosexual models on homosexuals during counseling sessions
    • Computer Relationships
      • Computer Mediated Communications (CMC): genuinely seen as inferior form of communication as it offers fewer cues to work with when developing a relationship
        • Reduced Cues Theory: Culman & Markus (1987):
          • CMC filters out important aspects of communication such as body language
          • Reduces cues in individualization and undermines social and normative influences
          • May feel less connected to an interaction and less concerned about their detachment from it
      • Social Identity Model of Deindividation Effects (SIDE)
        • Alternative ideas to CMC  and Reduced Cues Theory
          • Allows individuals to be freed from social restraints leading to anti-normative behaviour
        • Argues that CMC reinforces existing social boundaries
        • Proposes that a social identity is created when people belong to a group that are anonymous


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