Chapter

Public Displays of Affection

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Public displays of affection (PDAs) are acts of physical intimacy that can be seen by others. Forms of intimacy vary from relatively mild displays (e.g., holding hands or hugging) to more intimate forms of affection (e.g., kissing or groping). PDAs include various forms of touch, eye contact, gestures, and exhibitionism. Acts that are considered acceptable PDAs vary over time and across cultures. Keywords: non-verbal communication; indigenous psychology; cultural values

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Furthermore, receiving emotional support was described as something that emerged from having open communication. In spite of emotional support/display not emerging as its own construct, both studies similarly described public displays of affection as non-traditional and historically disrespectful to elders, which has been previously documented (Miller, 2013). Participants described a tension between demonstrating togetherness (an indication of active relationship building), such as being seen together in public, but also doing so in a way that was respectful to elders. ...
Article
Full-text available
In South Africa, couple-based interventions (CBIs) have been used to increase HIV testing, reduce HIV transmission, and shift relationship dynamics. To understand local definitions of healthy relationships, this study sought to collect qualitative data on a model of healthy relationships in a semi-rural area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with HIV-positive women (n = 15) and men of mixed HIV status (n = 15) who were in heterosexual, monogamous relationships (not with each other). Thematic analyses guided coding. Three primary healthy relationship behaviour themes emerged, labelled open communication, couple-level problem-solving, and active relationship building, which were related to various relationship facets (trust, support, respect, commitment, and connection). We purposively explored contextual themes, namely the role of HIV, positive community involvement, and power dynamics, to better situate the healthy relationship behaviour themes. HIV was not central to relationship conceptualisations and three different power structures (shared power/flexible gender norms, shared power/traditional gender norms, male-dominated power/traditional gender norms) were described as being healthy. This model of healthy relationships is similar to observed definitions in other African countries and in high-income settings. Findings can inform HIV programming content for couples in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly the active relationship building component.
Article
Full-text available
An earlier model of personal space expectations and their violations is expanded through specification of primitive terms, constitutive definitions, and the prepositional logic underlying the model. Five sample hypotheses are deduced and experimentally tested. Results generally support the model: violations by rewarding communicators produced more positive outcomes than violations by punishing communicators, and the relationships between distance and communication outcomes for each type of communicator were curvilinear.
Article
An awareness of how touch is employed in communicative interactions among peoples of different nations can be a critical requisite to effective inter-cultural communication. This study examined cross-sex, interpersonal, public touch to determine whether (1) the number of body areas touched varied between members of different societies; (2) the type of relationship between dyadic partners influenced tactile behavior; and (3) the amount of total body areas touched for each society correlated with latitude of origin. Variation in interpersonal touch as a function of nationality was confirmed. Results also confirmed that touch between dyads from an international sample was affected by type of relationship. Correspondence in the occurrence of tactile behavior among dyads from similar latitudes of origin was not confirmed. Findings call into question the designation of Northern European and U.S. cultures as non-contact.
Article
Abstract:Adolescent friendships containing the emotional intensity of romantic relationships, yet lacking sexual activity, have been documented in numerous cultures and historical periods. This research explores these relationships among contemporary young sexual-minority women. Phone interviews with 80 lesbian, bisexual, and unlabeled women between 18 and 25 years of age (M = 21.8, SD = 2.1) assessed characteristics of their closest adolescent friendships. Cluster analysis differentiated conventional from passionate friendships, the latter containing more characteristics of romantic relationships. Same-sex friendships were not more likely than cross-sex friendships to be classified as passionate, and passionate friendships were not disproportionately likely to involve sexual attraction. Same-sex passionate friendships were initiated at earlier ages than same-sex conventional friendships, and those that developed prior to a young woman's first same-sex sexual contact were less likely t journal article
Article
Objective. This article examines variation in displays of affection between interracial and intra-racial adolescent couples. Method. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative sample of adolescents in the United States, we estimate hierarchical linear models to compare characteristics of interracial and intra-racial relationships among white, African-American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American adolescents. In our comparisons we highlight three dimensions of relationship attributes: public display, private display, and intimate physical contact. Results. Our findings suggest that interracial couples are less likely than intra-racial couples to exhibit public and private displays of affection, but are not different from intra-racial couples in intimate displays of affection. Conclusions. Social barriers against interracial dating still exist such that even though interracial couples are similar to intra-racial couples in their levels of intimacy in private, they are less comfortable displaying their feelings in public.