Goals, Behavior and Satisfaction: The Associations of Sexual Orientation and Gender with Identity, Intimacy, Status and Sex (pp. 71-94)
Authors: (Marguerite S. Kelly, Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck & Marie-Aude Boislard-P)
Abstract: Emerging literature on dating goals suggests that young people have different reasons to date and that their dating goals orient both their behaviors and are important to attainment of life satisfaction. Four dating goals have received previous empirical support among late adolescents and emerging adults: intimacy, identity, social status and sexuality, with identity being the most salient domain and having important implications for satisfaction. However, up to now, no research has examined how dating goals may differ according to sexual attractions and gender. In this study, differences in dating goals, goal-consistent behaviors and domain-relevant satisfaction were investigated among a diverse sample of same-sex and other-sex attracted youth (n = 208 Australian; 91% Caucasian; 66% females; 43% same-sex attracted; Mage= 23.5 years, SD=4.1). Contrary to predictions, males did not report higher levels of sex dating goals, behaviors or satisfaction than females. In fact, females in the current study reported greater satisfaction with their sex-life than males. As predicted, females also reported higher levels of identity dating goals, preference for affiliation behaviors and satisfaction with their independence as compared to males. When same- and other-sex attracted young people were compared on goals, behavior and satisfaction in each domain, few differences emerged. However, contrary to expectations, same-sex attracted youth reported less satisfaction with their sex-life than their other-sex attracted peers.
Furthermore, although none of the interaction effects between gender and attractions were significant for dating goals or domain-relevant satisfaction, an interesting interaction effect of gender and attraction was found for affiliative behavior. This interaction showed that same-sex attracted males and other-sex attracted females were significantly higher on preference for affiliation than other-sex attracted males and same-sex attracted females, respectively. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.