Paul Simpson (2012) Key Study

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  • In the last 30 years there has been a significant shift towards tolerance and acceptance of a diverse set of sexualities.
  • Simpson sought to discover the norms and values for middle aged gay men in Manchester and how their gay identity was portrayed in different circumstances.
  • He wanted to find out how getting older affected their norms, and whether social class or ethnicity had an impact on gay identity. 


  • Simpson found that his sample shared the common value of believing homosexual relationships to be of equal worth to heterosexual relationships. 
  • Homophobia and a fear of homophobic attack meant that they had two sets of norms: 
    • The first set of norms was used in public 'heterospaces…


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