Young adult relationship values at the intersection of gender and sexuality

Ann Meier, Kathleen E. Hull, Timothy A. Ortyl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Recent decades have brought significant social changes in the industrialized West that may influence young adults' attitudes about intimate relationships, including changes in gender expectations and behaviors and changes in sexual attitudes and practices. We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 14,121) to compare men to women and sexual minorities to heterosexuals on ratings of the importance of love, faithfulness, commitment, financial security, and racial homogamy for successful relationships. We found that nearly all young adults adhere to dominant relationship values inherent in the romantic love ideology; we found, however, modest but significant differences by gender and sexual identity in relationship values. Significant interactions demonstrated that gender and sexual identity intersect to uniquely influence relationship views.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-525
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Gender
  • Relationship values
  • Sexual identity
  • Young adults


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