Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"The Space We Inhabit Together" Exploring the Impact of Legal Marriage on the Lives of Gay Men in Same-Sex Marriages
by Becker, Joshua M., Psy.D., Union Institute and University, 2016, 108; 10110916
Abstract (Summary)

In this study, I explored the impact legal marriage has had on gay men in legally sanctioned same-sex marriages. Participants included five gay men who were legally married in Massachusetts. Each participant was interviewed three times; twice using a semi-structured interview guide developed for this study plus a feedback session for clarification and validity check. Narrative information was coded for emergent categories and themes using a constructivist-interpretivist phenomenological approach. I sought to explore how gay men perceive their relationships after being able to marry, the extent to which being married has impacted how they view themselves and their relationships, as well as how the availability of legal marriage has affected social acceptance and community support. Three categories emerged from coded narrative data: (a) Entering Marriage, which included themes of how participants defined marriage, as well as processes that led them to marry; (b) Mechanics and Meaning-Making in Marriage, which included themes relating to changes participants noticed in themselves since being married, as well as differences in how aspects of marriage such as division of labor, finance, intimacy, and family expansion were navigated; and (c) Marriage in Context, which included themes relating to community, social, and political influences on participants’ marriages. The findings revealed that legal marriage has had a positive impact for these five men across intrapsychic, interpersonal, and social domains, though each participant experienced these impacts differently. I hope the information gathered will help contextualize the issue of gay male marriage equality reflected in real life experience as the field of psychology continues to expand the notions of healthy family relationships and their constellations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCloskey, Kathy
Commitee: Armesto, Jorge, Becker-Klein, Rachel
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, GLBT Studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Gay identity development, Gay marriage, Gay men, Husbands, Marriage equality
Publication Number: 10110916
ISBN: 9781339741475
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