FAIRFAX, Va. — A new study finds that same-sex couples experience feelings of love in ways similar to straight couples with 92.6 percent of men whose most recent sexual encounter was with a relationship partner reporting they were in love with the person, Medical Xpress reports.
The study, conducted by researchers at George Mason University and Indiana University Bloomington and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that the capacity to love and want to be loved is not limited by gender or sexual orientation, researchers said.
Researchers collected data from an Internet-based survey of almost 25,000 gay and bi men in the U.S. who were members of online websites facilitating social or sexual interactions with other men, Medical Xpress said.
Additional key findings include:
• Nearly all men in the study, 91.2 percent, were “matched” when it came to their feelings of love and their perceptions of their partner’s feelings of love.
• With regard to age, having been in love with their sexual partner during their sexual event was experienced most commonly by men age 30 to 39 years. Uncertainty of love for a sexual partner was less frequent in older cohorts, with a greater proportion of young men reporting that they were unsure if they loved their sexual partner or if their sexual partner loved them.
• Men in love with their partner were significantly more likely to endorse the experience as being extremely or quite a bit pleasurable compared to sexual events in which the participant was not in love.