The first study examined whether committed same-sex couples differ from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners. The ruling will follow a review of cases involving bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, after oral arguments were held in April. They theorized that there may be societal pressures and norms, as well as the presence of legal status as a couple, which may contribute to heterosexual couples staying together even when they are not happy. Both partners in all of the couples answered questions regarding their demographics, status of their relationship, number of children, sexual behavior, frequency of contact with their parents with and without their partners and perceived social support.
The survey also found that many same-sex couples view living together as significant because it symbolizes and solidifies their commitment to their relationship, possibly because marriage has never been an option. This was the first study to follow same-sex couples in legalized unions over a period of time. All the partners responded to a questionnaire that documented how positively they interacted with one another on a day to day basis. And lesbian couples worked together especially harmoniously during the laboratory tasks. The researchers found that same-sex couples were similar to heterosexual couples on most relationships variables, and that the legalized status of a relationship did not seem to be the overriding factor affecting same-sex relationships. Both studies compared same-sex couples with opposite-sex couples on a number of developmental and relationship factors. This issue includes a special section that examines sexual orientation across the lifespan. We received responses such as, 'My partner doesn't get invited on family vacations because we're not married. This suggests that the protections afforded by a legalized relationship may impact same-sex relationships, something the study's authors plan to follow up on in future research, said Balsam. However, the same sex-couples who were not in civil unions were more likely to have ended their relationships compared to those couples in same-sex civil unions or heterosexual marriages. Six dominant themes emerged from the second question, "Why do you think legal marriage is, or is not, important to your relationship? But if we were married, my partner would be invited. These results are from two studies featured in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. The majority of the respondents, 67 percent, reported that same-sex marriage was not available in their state including 92 percent of those who had formalized their relationship in a legal ceremony. Partners in same-sex relationships also answered questions regarding disclosure of their sexual orientation to their family, peers and work associates. Same-sex marriage currently is legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The length of relationships ranged from one to 30 years. The ruling will follow a review of cases involving bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, after oral arguments were held in April. Participants were 63 percent female; 37 percent male; and 2 percent identified as "other," or "gender queer. The couples were also observed during a laboratory task and were monitored for distress by skin conductance and heart rate. Legal benefits and financial protections 91 percent Relationship legitimacy 36 percent Equal commitment as different-sex couples 34 percent We don't need marriage, we're already committed, but we want equal rights 21 percent Couple validation 17 percent Personally important 6 percent "The remarks about the legal benefits and financial protections aren't surprising because we've heard so much about that from news interviews," says Haas. The notion that committed same-sex relationships are "atypical, psychologically immature, or malevolent contexts of development was not supported by our findings," said lead author Glenn I. The first study examined whether committed same-sex couples differ from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners. Results showed that same-sex relationships were similar to those of opposite-sex couples in many ways. All had positive views of their relationships but those in the more committed relationships gay and straight resolved conflict better than the heterosexual dating couples. Their finding disputes the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and are therefore not as psychologically healthy.
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