Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Survey on Romantic Attraction - Part 1

The current carnival of aces topic is "kissing, hand-holding, bed-sharing, etc!", and this has given me a kick in the pants to get finished analyzing the results from a survey I posted awhile back, which has data on this very topic. Part 2 of this survey has now been published here.

Introduction and Demographics

The survey was posted to the AVEN and Arocalypse forums, and focuses on the respondents' romantic orientations and related factors. I received 86 responses in total. Ethnicity was mostly white (86.2%), with 5.8% identifying as mixed race, and other ethnicities representing only 1-2% of the sample. Gender identity was female for 48.8%, male for 17.4%, non-binary or other for 23.3%, and 10.5% declined to answer. Sex assigned at birth was female for 77.9% of the sample, male for 19.8%, and two participants declined to answer. Among the participants with binary genders, 4.8% of the women and 13.3% of the men reported having been assigned the opposite gender at birth. (An additional participant, assigned female at birth, was questioning but leaned towards male. This participant was counted under 'other'.)

I also asked about neurodevelopmental disabilities or differences, and found that 43% of the sample were neurotypical, 14% were uncertain or suspected a condition, 29.1% were neurodivergent, and 14% left the question blank. The most common neurodivergence was autism spectrum conditions, with 17.4% of the sample being autistic and an additional 9.3% being uncertain. The next most common condition was ADHD, with definite ADHD reported by 3.5% of the sample and possible ADHD by 2.3%. The remaining conditions reported represented only 1-3 participants each (maybe or definite), and included anxiety, auditory processing disorder, giftedness, depression, OCD, dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

Sexual orientation was reported as asexual by 75.6% of the sample, with 5.8% identifying as heterosexual, 4.7% as bi or pansexual, 3.5% as homosexual, and 10.5% as other (most didn't specify, but one identified as possibly demisexual and one as grey-bisexual with a preference for the same gender). Romantic orientation was aromantic for 50% of the sample, with 14% identifying as heteroromantic, 14% as bi or panromantic, 3.5% as homoromantic, and 18.6% as other (7 didn't specify, 3 were demiromantic, 2 didn't understand romantic orientation, 1 was hyporomantic, 1 was possibly recipromantic, 1 was aroflux, and 1 identified as bi/panromantic with a preference for feminine people - also, 4 greyromantic participants identified gender orientation as well, with 2 bi/panromantic, 1 possibly heteroromantic and 1 possibly homoromantic).

In this sample, 46.5% had matching sexual and romantic orientations, of which 85% were aroaces, 3 were allo/allo (1 bi/pan, 1 hetero and 1 homo) and 3 were other/other. Of the variooriented participants, 41.3% were alloromantic asexuals (47.3% heteroromantic, 42.1% bi/pan and 10.6% homoromantic), 26.1% were greyromantic asexuals, 17.4% were aromantic allosexuals (44.6% heterosexual, 33.3% bi/pansexual, and 11% homosexual), 10.9% were alloromantic with a sexuality of other, and 1 was homosexual with a romantic orientation of other.

Activities in Close Relationships

Three questions in the survey focused on which activities the participants had done, would like to do or would feel uncomfortable doing in a close relationship with a non-relative. The same lists were used for all three questions.

For the question of what the participants had done, I received useable responses from 90.7% of my sample. Of those individuals, in close relationships:
  • 43.6% had given kisses on the forehead or cheek
  • 52.6% had received kisses on the forehead or cheek
  • 50% had kissed or been kissed on the mouth
  • 66.7% had held hands
  • 57.7% had cuddled
  • 88.5% had hugged
  • 80.8% had hugged in public
  • 30.8% had cuddled in public
  • 37.2% had kissed or been kissed on the forehead or cheek in public
  • 29.9% had kissed or been kissed on the mouth in public
  • 52.6% had held hands in public
  • 37.2% had experienced or engaged in other affectionate touch in public
  • 37.2% had gazed deeply into each other's eyes
  • 29.5% had cried on the other person's shoulder
  • 35.9% had been cried on by the other person
  • 26.9% had given a massage
  • 21.8% had received a massage
  • 14.1% had brushed the other person's hair
  • 14.1% had had their own hair brushed by the other person
  • 5.1% had painted the other person's nails
  • 10.3% had had their own nails painted by the other person
  • 2.6% had shaved the other person
  • 5.1% had been shaved by the other person
  • 5.1% had bathed together wearing bathing suits
  • 14.1% had bathed together naked
  • 21.8% had seen the other person naked
  • 21.8% had been seen naked by the other person
  • 10.3% had fed the other person
  • 7.7% had been fed by the other person
  • 32.1% had been tickled by the other person
  • 30.8% had tickled the other person
  • 28.2% had been called or called them by terms of endearment
  • 53.8% had been called or called them "best friend"
  • 15.4% had been called or called them "partner"
  • 39.7% had been called or called them by romantically coded words such as boyfriend or girlfriend
  • 16.7% had had other platonic relationships at the same time
  • 15.4% had the other person having other platonic relationships
  • 5.1% had had other romantic relationships at the same time
  • 6.4% had the other person having other romantic relationships
  • 10.3% had the other person doing romantically-coded activities with someone else
  • 6.4% had done romantically-coded activities with someone else
  • 7.7% had the other person having sex with other people
  • 2.6% had had sex with other people
  • 23.1% had given romantically-coded gifts (eg flowers, chocolates)
  • 29.5% had received romantically-coded gifts
  • 26.9% had danced with the other person
  • 38.5% had shared a bed with the other person without cuddling
  • 32.1% had cuddled while sharing a bed with the other person
  • 6.4% had tucked the other person in
  • 6.4% had been tucked in by the other person
  • 11.5% had lived together
  • 3.8% had been married to the other person
  • none had had children with the other person
  • 5.1% had had pets with the other person
To get a sense of which of those activities were most likely to happen in romantic relationships, I used another question, which asked if the person had ever been in a romantic relationship. In my sample, 30.6% had been in a romantic relationship, 62.4% had not, and 7.1% had a relationship that was unclear (5 were aromantic people who were involved with alloromantic partners and 1 reported that he thought the relationship was more significant than his partner did). In addition, one person who reported a failed queerplatonic relationship was classified as not having been in a romantic relationship, and one person failed to answer this question.

I compared the group that had been in a romantic relationship and the group that hadn't been using a t-test, and found the following 26 activities showed significant differences between the two groups (all more common in the group that had had a romantic relationship):
  • giving kisses on forehead or cheek (p = .001) - 68% vs 28.3%
  • receiving kisses on forehead or cheek (p < .001) - 80% vs 34%
  • kissing each other on the mouth (p < .001) - 92% vs 23.9%
  • hand holding (p < .001) - 96% vs 47.8%
  • cuddling (p < .001) - 92% vs 32%
  • cuddling in public (p = .044) - 44% vs 19.6%
  • kissing on forehead or cheek in public (p = .027) - 56% vs 28.3%
  • kissing on the mouth in public (p = .001) - 54.2% vs 13%
  • holding hands in public (p = .001) - 76% vs 37%
  • other affectionate touch in public (p = .036) - 56% vs 30.4%
  • eye gazing (p = .001) - 64% vs 23.9%
  • being cried on (p = .038) - 52% vs 26.1%
  • giving a massage (p = .003) - 52% vs 15.2%
  • receiving a massage (p = .044) - 36% vs 13%
  • bathing together naked (p = .010) - 32% vs 4.3%
  • seeing the other person naked (p < .001) - 52% vs 6.5%
  • being seen naked by the other person (p < .001) - 52% vs 6.5%
  • feeding the other person (p = .022) - 24% vs 2.2%
  • being tickled (p < .001) - 64% vs 15.2%
  • tickling the other person (p < .001) - 60% vs 15.2%
  • exchanging terms of endearment (p = .007) - 48% vs 15.2%
  • describing each other by romantically-coded words (p < .001) - 80% vs 13%
  • giving romantically-coded gifts (p = .035) - 40% vs 15.2%
  • receiving romantically-coded gifts (p = .012) - 48% vs 17.4%
  • cuddling together in bed (p < .001) - 72% vs 13%
  • having pets together (p = .043) - 16% vs 0%
On average, the participants who had been in romantic relationships had done 14.96 of these activities, with a standard deviation of 5.09. In contrast, the participants who hadn't been in a romantic relationship had done only an average of 5.02 of these activities, with a standard deviation of 5.21. (The 'other' group was in between with an average of 10.83+/-7.17 activities.)

It's important to note that several other activities might have shown a significant difference if I'd had a larger sample. For example, of the 3 participants who reported being married, all reported having had a romantic relationship. In addition, it's important to consider that all but one of the activities that were linked to romantic relationships were also found outside of romantic relationships, at a lower frequency.

Further analysis should be coming soon.


Blogger Erin said...

Thanks for this! I'm definitely going to go back through this post to do some thinking. The list of romantic activities will be super helpful to explore while I'm figure out my romantic orientation. I've been having the hardest time even defining what "romantic" means, and this list helps define it with behaviors.

I noticed something. Many of these behaviors are things I did and enjoyed with friends before puberty (giving and receiving massages, brushing hair, hugging, etc.), but I don't enjoy them at all now (I don't think. There's been a single exception to this as an adult). It's so complicated!

7:58 AM  

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