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Discuss research into any two types of understudied relationships (e.g. gay and lesbian, "electronic friendships")

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´╗┐Discuss research into any two types of understudied relationships (e.g. gay and lesbian, ?electronic friendships?) Although widely understudied, there are still some studies into gay and lesbian relationships. Davidson (1991) found that gay men appear to desire physical characteristics and status symbols, which are associated with the male role in Western cultures. He found this from studying lonely hearts adverts. However, this is a biased sample as not all gay men and lesbians would advertise with a lonely hearts and maybe only one group do. Therefore, these results cannot be generalised, lacking population validity. Yip (1991) found that many gay men and lesbians feel that sex outside the relationship is not a bad thing as sexual exclusivity is based on a heterosexual blueprint. Therefore, gay and lesbian relationships have a different set of ?rules? to heterosexual relationships. ...read more.


However, there are several criticisms into gay and lesbian relationships research. Although this is changing, there is not enough research to draw conclusions. This limited research also quickly becomes out of date. This is due to the rapid change in society?s attitude towards gay and lesbian relationships. For example, they are now able to enter into civil partnerships. The research has also got biased samples: the people involved are the ones happy to come forward and talk openly about their relationship. Therefore, there are many people who may not feel comfortable coming forward and this group remain unspoken for. Research also has a heterosexual bias as people may assume that what is important in a heterosexual relationship is also important in homosexual ones. Generalisations presume homogeneity, assuming everyone is the same and not allowing for individual differences within the gay and lesbian community. ...read more.


Furthermore, it is very easy to deceive people in electronic relationships. In the case of JennyMUSH (Reid, 1998), a Psychology student set up a forum for victims of sexual abuse or assault. However, a user began to virtually taunt the others in violent terms and obscene messages. McKinney (1987) discovered that women in particular presented themselves as more confident and assertive. However, the study of electronic relationships is still relatively new and so there is not enough research to draw any firm conclusions. A lot of the studies also have research bias as they are mostly conducted by surveys, meaning the results may not be reliable due to factors such as social desirability bias. The sames are also biased as it relies on a specific group of people and so may not be typical of the whole population. Lots of internet relationships turn into face-to-face relationships. Therefore, some of the research may only be telling us about the formation of relationships as very few people conduct a relationship wholly electronically. ...read more.

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