Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Donielle Lovell (Director), Lauren McClain, Molly Kerby

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Traditionally, men are expected to arrange their lifestyle in a way that allows them to obtain the “package deal” of a career, becoming a husband, and fatherhood. This study quantitatively studies the effects of partnering on gay and straight men as mediated through the bar scene, aiming to explore how bar participation alters their social networks and their perceptions of social expectations. The ultimate goal is to determine if gay and straight men report differing social expectations such as becoming a husband and father. This investigation explores their beliefs on commitment, monogamy, and parenthood and seeks to determine whether these beliefs differ due to sexuality. Collecting data about how the men participate in the bar scene and if their participation differs after partnering will help reveal differences in social network composition, social expectations, and commitment. The data were collected from people 18 and older through a web-based survey linked directly to particular bars and other community sites within one urban region of Kentucky. Bar participation between gay men and straight men, particularly when partnered, did not differ significantly, suggesting similarities in social network composition. Social expectations did not vary much between gay and single men, but the commitment each group reported was conceptually different. Ultimately, the study both supported and opposed previous literature concerning traditional gendered social expectation


Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Sociology