New York: Socially conservative people tend to oppose same sex marriage because they believe that gay men and women are more sexually promiscuous, and a threat to their own way of life, suggests a new research.
“Many people who oppose same-sex marriage are uncomfortable with casual sex and feel threatened by sexual promiscuity,” said lead author of the study David Pinsof from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA).
Such people often marry at a younger age, have more children and believe in traditional gender roles in which men are the breadwinners and women are housewives, the study said.
“Sexual promiscuity may be threatening to these people because it provides more temptations for spouses to cheat on one another,” Pinsof said.
People who feel their way of life is most threatened by sexual promiscuity tend to be socially conservative and strongly believe in traditional gender roles.
Among them are women who prioritise family over career and who view their marital vows as sacred, the study’s senior author Martie Haselton, professor at UCLA said.
For the study, the researchers surveyed 523 men and 562 women, 27 percent of whom oppose same-sex marriage.
In one part of the study, participants took a test designed to reveal whether and to what extent they associate images of gay couples with words and phrases like “promiscuous” or “one-night stand.”
The test showed that many people tend to strongly associate the concepts ‘gay’ and ‘promiscuous’.
The researchers then determined the participants level of “sexual conservatism” based on how much they agreed or disagreed with statements like “sex without love is okay” and “I can easily imagine myself being comfortable and enjoying casual sex with different partners.”
Those who agreed more strongly with those statements were likely to support same-sex marriage and vice versa.
“Opposition to same-sex marriage may be strategic by people who are seeking to protect their marriages and the marriages in their communities, and are fearful that changing the definition of marriage is threatening to their way of life,” Pinsof said.
“Because they view gay people as promiscuous, they view the idea of same-sex marriage as undermining the institution of marriage,” Pinsof noted.
First Published | 28 February 2016 12:33 PM