Gay marriages have less stress than the rest of us
Gay marriages reportedly have less stress as compared to their lesbian counterparts. But there’s some good news: married lesbians are still doing better than women married to men.
This was the findings of a team of researchers looking into the issue. One of their findings was that women in different-sex relationships had higher levels of stress in their relationship.
Men in different-sex relationships were equal with women in same-sex relationships in terms of relationship stress. But men in same-sex relationships had the least.
Straight, lesbian, and gay marriages
Published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, the study was entitled “Marital Strain and Psychological Distress in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples.”
Michael Garcia, the study’s co-author, said in an interview with the New York Times that while women were more likely to report stress in their marriages, these were really women in opposite-sex relationships.
University of Texas sociologist and study co-author Debra Umberson also told the New York Times that husbands of women tend to take their work at home for granted and are unaware of the care they provide.
It’s not surprising that gender roles play a big part in household chores: women are expected to do the bulk of work around the home.
Likewise, Umberson said that women’s husbands “commonly fail to recognize her needs for emotional support.”
Advantages of gay marriages
According to the study, gay couples have an advantage in that they divide household chores more equally and have more in-depth conversations about their sexual relationship.
Same-sex couples have a tendency to split chores that are “feminine” and “masculine” more equally based on individual preferences.
For example, 74 percent of same-sex couples share child care duties versus 38 percent of heterosexual couples with women bearing most of the responsibility.
What’s more, lifelong gender roles give men more “emotional autonomy and independence.”
Umberson said gay men are more “low-key” about emotional care. They offer this when it’s needed instead of “treating it like a routine obligation.”
Women in marriages
Meanwhile, Umberson said that women go “all in” with regard their partner’s emotional physical needs as they’ve been socialized to believe that it’s responsibility to provide emotional support.
“With two women, there is a lot of reciprocity in care work– with each spouse aware of the other’s needs and preferences, and responding actively to those,” she said.
The study looked into the daily diary entries of “756 midlife US men and women in 378 gay, lesbian, and heterosexual marriages” to come up with their findings.
The participants were asked to keep entries on stress related to their marriage and partner.
Marriages by the numbers
In another study, it was found that both same- and different-sex couples have one partner quit or cut back work at work when they have children.
What’s interesting is that same-sex couples are less likely than different-sex couples to give “women’s work” to the partner with fewer work hours.
What’s more, gay and lesbian couples don’t have an unintended or unwanted child, which means they are more likely to mutually spend more time with their children.
Meanwhile, another study noted that gays and lesbians having a disagreement with their partner were less belligerent, domineering, and using fearful ways than different-sex individuals.