Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Relationship quality higher with gay couples than hetro - Australia (study)


I've been in both and in love with both, this time David. David and I get on marvelously, not to say we don't have the odd argument. I mean we are men both with strong wills. But at least we think the same way in sorting things out. It's likely a bit of a stereotype but it's generally considered that men are problem solvers whilst woman think more emotionally? 

Whatever the reasons, a new study has found that Australian same sex relationships have a higher quality than straight ones. Personally I think that has a lot to do with Aussie culture; the pressure on men to behave tough, not cry, not not show emotion, don't be weak, etc. It invariably leads to conflict with a woman partner who wants emotional closeness with Aussie men trained not to show emotion.

As much as I loved my late wife staying and caring for her to the end of her life, we did have this conflict ourselves. "You don't share your feelings" she would often say, whilst I was up to my eyeballs in full time physical work and caring for both her and my daughter. We loved each other deeply, at the same time there were occasions we seemed to be on different plains.

The study included subjects from both Australia and the UK. In the UK there was no difference in relationship quality between straight and gay couples, but in Australia there was.  Both the UK and Australia didn't have marriage equality during the study period.
Fourth, some of the patterns in the data differed between Australia and the United Kingdom. For example, the relationship quality of gay or lesbian individuals is comparable to that of heterosexual individuals in the United Kingdom, but much higher than that of heterosexual individuals in Australia. Also, the negative effect of bisexuality on relationship quality is stronger in Australia than the United Kingdom. These and other observed differences highlight how institutional contexts can play a part in influencing how individuals' sexual identities determine their relationship outcomes. We theorized that normative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people and the availability of equal rights concerning family processes (particularly marriage) would be important contextual factors moderating the relationship between sexual identity and relationship quality. Neither country had legalized same-sex marriage before the data we used were collected, but individuals in Australia held more favorable attitudes toward gay and lesbian people than did individuals in the United Kingdom (PEW Research Center, 2013). This might explain why the relationship quality outcomes observed for gay and lesbian individuals relative to heterosexual individuals were better in Australia than in the United Kingdom. 

Fifth, in addition to the findings on sexual identity and consistent with previous literature (Bradbury et al., 2000), we find that women report lower levels of relationship quality than men in Australia and the United Kingdom. Although this is not a new finding, it is based on recent nationally representative data and adds confidence to our measures. Interestingly, in the United Kingdom this gender difference reverses for gay and lesbian individuals, with lesbian women reporting better relationship quality than gay men. This suggests that the relatively poor relationship quality reported by heterosexual women may be driven by being partnered to a man rather than by being women. Wiley Online Library