Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology


Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Orr

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology | Sociology of Culture


Romantic love has long acted as a significantly influential social institution. This thesis examines how ideology and practices surrounding romantic love and partnership differ across gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. In order to carry out this investigation, a survey was administered to 141 participants between the ages of 18 to 84. Of these participants, approximately 62% were female, 36% were male, and 3% identified as Other. The majority of respondents were White, followed by Latino/Hispanic and Asian/Asian American. Overall, findings indicate that, when not accounting for race or income, men tend to demonstrate increased idealism in their romantic attitudes when compared to women. Further differences in romantic attitudes were observed at the intersection of income and gender in which low-income women displayed increased idealism when compared to high-income women and low-income men demonstrated lower degrees of idealism when compared to high-income men.