Edition: Available editions Global Perspectives. Become an author Sign up as a reader Sign in Get newsletter. Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper were aunt and niece as well as lovers who published under a male pseudonym. Most North American consumers generally prefer advertising with male-female couples rather than same-sex couples. But changes in how brands frame the messages of advertisements could change that. Marriage equality was a major step forward for Australia.
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Challenges and Opportunities for Research on Same-Sex Relationships
A same-sex relationship is a relationship between people of the same sex and can take many forms, from romantic and sexual , to non-romantic homosocially-close relationships. The term is primarily associated with gay and lesbian relationships. Same-sex marriage refers to the institutionalized recognition of such relationships in the form of a marriage ; civil unions may exist in countries where same-sex marriage does not. The term same-sex relationship is not strictly related to the sexual orientation of the participants. As people of any orientation may participate in same-sex relationships particularly depending on the legal, social and scientific definition of sex , some activists argue that referring to a same-sex relationship as a "gay relationship" or a "lesbian relationship" is a form of bisexual erasure. Terms such as gay or bisexual have often been applied to them; some, such as Michel Foucault , regard this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times,  though others challenge this. Some contemporary studies have found that same-sex relationships can be broadly grouped into at least three categories, though there is no consensus regarding the categories, nor empirical metric which has, or could potentially be applied to strongly validate their existence:   .
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Since the history of cultural understandings of same-sex attraction is relevant to the philosophical issues raised by those understandings, it is necessary to review briefly some of the social history of homosexuality. Arising out of this history, at least in the West, is the idea of natural law and some interpretations of that law as forbidding homosexual sex. References to natural law still play an important role in contemporary debates about homosexuality in religion, politics, and even courtrooms. Finally, perhaps the most significant recent social change involving homosexuality is the emergence of the gay liberation movement in the West. In philosophical circles this movement is, in part, represented through a rather diverse group of thinkers who are grouped under the label of queer theory.
Research on same-sex relationships has informed policy debates and legal decisions that greatly affect American families, yet the data and methods available to scholars studying same-sex relationships have been limited. In this article the authors review current approaches to studying same-sex relationships and significant challenges for this research. After exploring how researchers have dealt with these challenges in prior studies, the authors discuss promising strategies and methods to advance future research on same-sex relationships, with particular attention given to gendered contexts and dyadic research designs, quasi-experimental designs, and a relationship biography approach. Innovation and advances in the study of same-sex relationships will further theoretical and empirical knowledge in family studies more broadly and increase understanding of different-sex as well as same-sex relationships. One of the most high-stakes debates in the United States today concerns whether and how same-sex relationships influence the health and well-being of individuals, families, and even society.