Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Ana Kogl, Honors Thesis Advisor


Lesbian couples; Sex role; Lesbian partner abuse;


The purpose of this project was to explore the power dynamics between monogamous female same-sex couples, where traditional gender roles in relationships were not in play. In this study, I conducted a focus group of women who had been in lesbian relationships in the past or at the time of the study, and gathered insight into the dynamics of their relationships. I determined that same-sex couples do experience intimate partner violence, or IPV, but that their levels of masculinity and femininity were unrelated to the extent of power that they had. With this project, I hope to fill in some of the gaps in the literature on this subject through exploration of whether or not these females have more balanced power dynamics than their heterosexual counterparts. Because gender roles are so pervasive, this research may help to dispel misconceptions about how dominance and subordinance are seen as traditionally male and female traits, and assist women’s shelters in dealing with issues of abuse in same-sex couples.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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