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Romantic Relationships in Adulthood

Gender roles are pervasive in how adult heterosexual romantic relationships unfold and are enacted. Given that adult romantic relationships are more interdependent in that adults often share responsibilities such as income, a home, and children, issues of power and the implications of each person’s role are going to have a greater impact. The different scripts for each gender are evident from the initiation of the relationship through the continued sexual encounters that a couple share. This entry provides a brief overview of the traditional scripts assigned to heterosexual men and women, and the liberties and restrictions that they each entail. It then discusses the pros and cons of the negotiation and sharing of these roles in gay, lesbian, and other nonheteronormative relationships.

Traditional Establishment of ...
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