Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Topics: Gay Marriage, Same-sex marriage, Gay, Lesbian, homosexual, heterosexual, couples, romantic partners, Marriage, Love and Sex, Sex, study, Research, Love, Bigotry, anti-gay bias, Marriage equality, equality, Gender, men, women, Life News, News, Politics News
Researchers have found one more incomplete and unsatisfying explanation for why LGBT people don’t have equal rights: Non-LGBT people just don’t think same-sex couples are “as in love” as heterosexual ones. A study out of Indiana University found that sexual orientation weighs heavily on how loving couples are perceived to be by other people, who tend to place opposite-sex partnerships on a pedestal. This perception, in turn, affects how many formal and informal rights LGBT couples “deserve” as far as the general public is concerned, according to study author Long Doan.
“If you ask what someone thinks of a same-sex couple or what they think of a straight couple, they usually have different images in mind for the same-sex and straight couples,” Doan said. “By taking away those preconceived differences in relationships, we can pinpoint that the differences in perception are due to sexual orientation alone, instead of other factors that complicate the picture like presumed marital status of same-sex and straight couples.”
Doan and his colleagues, Annalise Loehr and Lisa R. Miller, tested their hypothesis by providing participants with the exact same story — a romance — that featured one couple. For each participant, the couples’ names were randomly changed and clearly gendered, to imply that some couples were heterosexual and others homosexual. The researchers found that respondents reacted quite differently to each type of couple: Participants essentially ranked the amount of love partners had for one another hierarchically by sexual orientation, with opposite-sex couples being perceived as “most in love,” followed by same-sex female couples and then same-sex male couples.
Interestingly — and perhaps most upsettingly — participants noted that couples who were believed to be most in love deserved more rights than others, from the right to hold hands in public to the right to marry. The researchers suggest that this could have huge implications for the same-sex marriage movement; the findings basically provide a road map to slowly convincing the public that LGBT couples deserve to be treated equally. It’s just too bad (to say the absolute least) that sociologists even need to provide a “best practices” guide to convincing one group of people of another group’s humanity, or their ability to love. Apparently, though, it’s incredibly helpful to remind everyone that we all love the same (and that loving the same means loving the way straight people do, because that’s the best, holiest kind of love!).
“There’s a lot of focus on portraying gay couples as just as loving as straight couples,” Doan said. “This should be an effective approach because it seems that people are swayed by the notion of love. If you can somehow convince people that gay couples are just as loving, then it seems more likely that the movement will gain more support.”
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.