Satisfaction and Health Within Four Sexual Identity Relationship Options
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy
Using a sample of 1,782 same-sex attracted (SSA) and lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) identified participants, this study examined similarities and differences among those who are (a) single and celibate (SC); (b) single and not celibate (SNC); (c) in a heterosexual, mixed-orientation relationship (MOR); and (d) in a same-sex relationship (SSR). To reduce bias and increase generalizability, an ideologically diverse research team was formed. Participants in SSRs reported higher levels of some amount of satisfaction with their status (95%) compared to those in MORs (80%), those who are SC (42%) and those who are SNC (40%). The SSR group had the least depression and anxiety and the most life satisfaction and physical health, followed by the MOR group, followed by the two single groups. Results from a stepwise regression predicting satisfaction from important aspects of life and relationships identified that meeting needs for connection, intimacy, and mutual understanding was the strongest predictor of satisfaction across all options. Other significant variables included participant-defined authentic sexual expression, resolving conflicts with religion, and reducing depression and anxiety. Results may inform SSA/LGB individuals who are questioning which option fits best for them and help guide therapists who work with these individuals.
G. Tyler Lefevor, A. Lee Beckstead, Ronald L. Schow, Marybeth Raynes, Ty R. Mansfield & Christopher H. Rosik (2019) Satisfaction and Health Within Four Sexual Identity Relationship Options, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 45:5, 355-369, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2018.1531333