Who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with love?and is gay love real love?
According to historian Philip A. Florio, very little history is known of Valentine, who was most likely a bishop in third century Rome and was publicly beheaded for refusing to denounce the name of Christ. His feast day was set as February 14 by the Church to commemorate his heroic life.
However, Valentine’s name was not associated with romantic and courtly love until the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer incorporated St. Valentine’s Day into a love poem. The holiday was further made popular in the 19th century, when Valentine?s Day cards were first mass produced.
Florio says, “An explicitly spiritual and religious festival for a martyr turned into a feast day for valor and love, which then turned into a secular romantic opportunity for fine dining and diamond earrings?Something got lost.”
Two recent studies dispute the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as just as committed as their heterosexual counterparts. Researchers examined whether committed same-sex couples differ from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners. Results showed that same-sex relationships were similar to those of opposite-sex couples in many ways.
Researcher Glenn I. Roisman says that the idea that committed same-sex relationships are “atypical, psychologically immature, or malevolent contexts of development was not supported by our findings. Compared with married individuals, committed gay males and lesbians were not less satisfied with their relationships. Gay males and lesbians in this study were generally not different from their committed heterosexual counterparts on how well they interacted with one another, although some evidence emerged the lesbian couples were especially effective at resolving conflict.”
While some states are grappling with legislative issues related to gay parenting, the reality is that a growing number of lesbians and gay men are becoming parents and living as families every day. Approximately 65,000 adopted children are being raised by lesbian or gay parents, accounting for more than 4% of all adopted children in the United States. Same-sex couples of color adopt children of color at a higher rate than married heterosexual couples, and on average, same-sex couples raising adopted children are older more (formally) educated, and have more economic resources than other adoptive parents. Research has revealed that family stability, nurturing and love are far more important to the health of adoptive children than gender roles or family stereotypes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families recommends that social workers ask one key question in making placement decisions that will be in the child?s best interest: “Is this couple (or person) caring, nurturing, and sensitive to others?” There are even factors that can make gay/lesbian couples better parents than some straight couples?or can at least provide healthy examples in the area of child-rearing: Gay parents (1) often use softer communication of feelings in conflict situations, and (2) the parents use more equally nurturing behaviors toward one another and their children.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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