Differences in relationship investments between gay and heterosexual men


Justin J. Lehmiller, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, 1876 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876, e-mail: Justin.Lehmiller@colostate.edu.


Previous Investment Model research found that investments are a weaker predictor of relationship commitment for gay men compared with heterosexual men. The present study examined whether this effect is characteristic of investments in general or whether it is specific to certain types of investments. Results indicated that tangible investments significantly predicted commitment among heterosexual men, but not among gay men. In contrast, intangible investments predicted commitment regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore, adding measures of tangible and intangible investments to the traditional Investment Model variables significantly increased explained variance in commitment for both gay and heterosexual men. These findings highlight the importance of reevaluating how relationship investments are conceptualized and suggests that not all investments are equally consequential across different romantic involvements.