chapter  14
22 Pages

Sexuality in the Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men

ByLetitia Anne Peplau, Adam Fingerhut, Kristin P. Beals

This chapter presents research on sexuality in the intimate relationships of lesbians and gay men. It begins with a brief historical perspective on gay and lesbian couples and a consideration of the climate of sexual prejudice faced by contemporary lesbians and gay men. Separate sections review scientific research on sexual frequency, sexual satisfaction, gender-based sexual roles, and sexual exclusivity, first for gay male couples and then for lesbian couples. Attention is also given to the impact of HIV on gay couples and to a controversy about reports of low sexual frequency in lesbian couples. As relevant, comparisons among gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples are provided. Directions for future research are noted throughout.A concluding section summarizes key findings, highlights limitations in existing research, and calls attention to topics about sexuality in gay and lesbian relationships that merit further investigation.