Interesting article on same-sex marriage in the Times. In the Health Section there's a brief review of research showing that greater equality and better conflict skills in same-sex relationships lead to greater satisfaction in the relationship. Similar results are discussed in Pepper Schwartz's book Peer Marriage. Studying same-sex couples and seeing what's the same and what's different illuminates what is - and isn't - gender difference in relationships. When certain patterns are common to m/m and f/f couples but not to m/f couples, it would seem to be more about sexism and gender expectations than innate gender difference.
Key excerpt behind the cut:
Notably, same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones. In heterosexual couples, women did far more of the housework; men were more likely to have the financial responsibility; and men were more likely to initiate sex, while women were more likely to refuse it or to start a conversation about problems in the relationship. With same-sex couples, of course, none of these dichotomies were possible, and the partners tended to share the burdens far more equally.
While the gay and lesbian couples had about the same rate of conflict as the heterosexual ones, they appeared to have more relationship satisfaction, suggesting that the inequality of opposite-sex relationships can take a toll.
“Heterosexual married women live with a lot of anger about having to do the tasks not only in the house but in the relationship,” said Esther D. Rothblum, a professor of women’s studies at San Diego State University. “That’s very different than what same-sex couples and heterosexual men live with.”
Other studies show that what couples argue about is far less important than how they argue. The egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships appears to spill over into how those couples resolve conflict.
I think of this with regard to my own life and relationships, but also in terms of what it means for slash...