Same-sex couples shown to have healthier marriages than opposite-sex couples

Recent United States-based study reveals lower stress levels between couples in same-sex marriages than those in opposite-sex marriages.

Two married women nuzzle their heads together same-sex couple

A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family called “Marital Strain and Psychological Distress in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples” shows that men in same-sex marriages have less psychological distress than their straight counterparts.

Women in opposite-sex marriages, according to the study had the highest level of stress while men in different-sex marriages and women in same-sex both fell in the middle with a similar amount of stress. These findings were made through the report written by authors Micheal A. Garcia and Debra Umberson. 

The study was based on “10 days of dyadic diary data from 756 midlife U.S men and women in 378 gay, lesbian and heterosexual marriages”. Participants were asked to write a daily diary entry about stress-related or caused by their marriage or partner.

There are a couple of potential reasons for the alarming difference of stress levels between same-sex marriage between men and women in different-sex marriages. Gender roles are still very relevant in today’s society and in a lot of marriages women may be pressured into doing the bulk of the household chores or even be forced to stay at home and take care of children when they would rather be taking a different path in life. This can cause a lot of resentment and stress within the marriage.

Men in particular in same-sex marriages tend to be better at splitting and sharing tasks that need to be done. They are also more likely to openly discuss their sexuality or being non-monogamous in their marriage. These open conversations can save both men from a lot of grief and stress later down the line, as they have both been open with each other in what they are looking for in the relationship.

On average couples in same-sex marriages spend a higher amount of time with their children, the study speculates that this could be due to the fact that there is a much lower percentage of unintended children within the marriages, as it’s much harder for couples in same-sex marriages to conceive or to adopt a child or let alone get married than it is for couples in different-sex marriages.

The author of Marriage: A History, Stephanie Coontz said in a column she wrote for the New York Times that “many different same-sex couples would have happier and more satisfying marriages if they took a few lessons from their same-sex counterparts.”

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