Dissertation Abstracts

The same love? A study about specificities of gay love based on stories of young men living in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, 2017-2018

Author: Maximiliano Marentes, maximarentes@gmail.com
Department: Facultad de Ciencias Sociales
University: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Supervisor: Mario Pecheny
Year of completion: 2020
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: Love , Homosexuality , Argentina , Biographies
Areas of Research: Biography and Society , Communication, Knowledge and Culture , Family Research


The thesis describes and analyzes experiences and conditions of gay love, compared to heterosexual love. In a regime of compulsory heterosexuality, non-heterosexual sexual orientation defines the meanings that people assign to their love practices. Since the goal is to understand the meanings that gay men attribute to their love practices, this investigation is based on a qualitative research. Interviews conducted on 30 gay men (23-38 years old), residents in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, allowed for the reconstruction of their love stories, defined as the narratives that structure their love experiences. Interviews conducted in several meetings enable delving into those stories. The age range responds to the socialization of these men under the regime of gayness, characterized by a higher level of tolerance to sexual diversity in comparison with the secrecy experienced by previous generations of homosexual men and women. The conditions of possibility of love are framed in a sociopolitical context that allows for greater freedom when experiencing it. The thesis is structured in three parts that examine the specificities of gay love. These specificities result from a tacit comparison with heterosexual love, a comparison that can be complemented by future works. The first part describes the acceptance of gay sexuality by these men’s families. Love allows coming out of the closet, but it still needs to find tactics to overcome the barrier that limits it. The second part places the love stories in a hypersexualized sphere of gay sociability. There, love offers elements to distinguish plain intercourse from intercourse that takes place in the context of a deeper bond. In that same sphere, couples try answers to practices like sexual exclusivity, monogamy and fidelity. The third part analyzes the principles of equality and inequality in couples. Inasmuch as the asymmetry in love tends to be explained considering the differences among women and men, the question about what happens with gay couples arises. In these couples, other equating principles are updated and resignified, principles that are typical of modern societies (like homogamy), of the homoerotic tradition (the age disparity) and of affective relationships (than one is more attached than the other). In the conclusion section, I emphasize the insertion of this thesis in the sociological perspective about the free choice of the subject of love, but taking into account that the choice process implies renegotiations. I argue with the notion of self-referentiality in the love phenomenon, suggested by other authors, to understand the imbrication of love with other social practices.