4 Options Survey Results

research Feb 03, 2019

Results of a recent study on four relationship options people who experience same sex attraction have.

I just finished reading a study titled: “Satisfaction and Health Within Four Sexual Identity Relationship Options”. It was a survey conducted with heavy peer review and collaboration from researchers across the ideological spectrum. It was the first of its kind to specifically attempt to ensure diverse representation from all ideologies, as previous studies had quite low participation from individuals from conservative religious backgrounds.

It specifically studied four options for people who experience SSA: same-sex relationship, mixed orientation relationship, single and not committed to celibacy, single and committed to celibacy.

Some takeaways:

There are people with high levels of life satisfaction in all groups

Though people in same sex relationships reported the highest levels of satisfaction (95%), individuals in mixed orientation relationships also reported high levels (80%), contrary to findings in previous research and in societal messages.

There are a number of factors that are correlated with satisfaction, all of which have potential to be changed through therapy/personal effort. Though the study cannot say whether they are causal in their relationship with life satisfaction, they are things therapists can explore with clients to help them improve their life satisfaction in their chosen relationship option.

These areas are:

“(a) connection, intimacy, and mutual understanding; (b) some form of relationship commitment; (c) physical or sexual intimacy; (d) authentic sexual expression; (e) resolution of conflicts with religion; and (f) reduction of depression and anxiety.”

From the conclusion:

This study’s results counter social assumptions that expect all SSA/LGB individuals to be dissatisfied and unhealthy either in an SSR or a heterosexual relationship or single status. We encourage more investigations that involve respectful collaboration between researchers who hold differing ideological viewpoints about same-sex attractions, especially in understanding the nuances and spectra of experiences of those who identify as LGB and those who do not.