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Equality Makes Same-Sex Couples Happy
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July 20, 2021

Equality Makes Same-Sex Couples Happy

Same-sex couples do these things really well in relationships.

Same-sex couples tend not to take things so personally. Negative comments don't bear as much weight as positive comments do. Straight couples tend to be more affected by and upset by negative comments.

All relationships involve conflict, negotiation, and compromise. Same-sex couples, however, tend to be happier than heterosexual couples. What's a significant difference between same-sex and straight couples? Equality is typically a shared value among same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are dramatically more egalitarian, leading to fewer power struggles, less anger and aggression, and more humor in the relationship. Same-sex couples are also more likely to share childcare and household duties. Tasks are divvied up according to preference, and not on the default of gender roles. With more equality also comes better communication. Why? Because both partners feel like they have a voice.

Here's a list of eight ways that same-sex relationships succeed:
  1. Same-sex couples have lowered physiological arousal when together, meaning they're more likely to soothe each other, unlike straight couples who tend to have higher levels of ongoing physiological arousal, indicating ongoing stress and aggravation.
  2. Same-sex couples tend not to take things so personally. Negative comments don't bear as much weight as positive comments do. Straight couples tend to be more affected by and upset by negative comments.
  3. Same-sex couples tend to use more affection and humor to help repair the relationship during and after conflict.
  4. Same-sex couples tend to use fewer hostile, domineering, and controlling tactics. Equality and power-sharing are values more common to gay and lesbian couples than straight couples.
  5. Sexual Satisfaction: lesbians may have less frequent sex, but they focus on duration and have more orgasms than straight or bisexual women.
  6. Rather than have affairs, same-sex couples are more likely to negotiate and discuss their expectations openly about monogamy and non-monogamy. For instance, half of gay men report having sexual experiences outside of their relationship, with their partner knowing.
  7. Same-sex couples are more likely to share household chores, divvying up work around the house based on time and talent rather than relying on traditional gender roles to determine who does what around the house.
  8. Same-sex couples make great parents. Children from gay and lesbian parents tend to be slightly happier and healthier than children from straight parents.

*Click here to see sources and citations.

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Joanne Bagshaw is an award-winning professor of psychology and women’s studies at Montgomery College. She is also an ASSECT-certified sex therapist with a private practice in Maryland, and she writes the popular feminist blog, “The Third Wave,” for Psychology Today. Before respecializing as a sex and relationship therapist, Joanne was a trauma therapist for 20 years, working primarily with rape and sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and adults who were abused as children. When she’s not smashing the patriarchy, or traveling around the world with her husband and daughter, Joanne can be found curled up in a comfy corner with a good book, a steaming cup of coffee, or even better, a full glass of wine.

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