Monday, 19 April 2010

Gay Couples, Straight Couples: What's the Difference?

In "Psychology Today", there's a useful comparison between the relationship dynamics of gay/ lesbian and heterosexual couples.  The key difference? On the positive side, the gays are more honest with each other: for example, by talking more frankly about their sexual interests, and their expectations about monogamy. On the negative side, gay couples - especially with men -  just don't stay together as long.  (The researchers don't mention it, but it could be of course, that the greater durability of heterosexual unions may have something to do with that little matter of marriage certificates, and even children.  It is still too early for long-term studies of legally married same - sex couples, but there is some early research which does suggest that formal marriage does indeed contribute to married couples staying together longer than cohabiting relationships - just like the straights.)

Here are some extracts from the article:

Queer IQ: The Gay Couple's Advantage

Most lesbians don't fear rapacious women and gay men need not always soft-peddle their sexual predilections. On balance, gays and lesbians understand their partners' bodies and biases with a certainty that many a clueless "breeder" yearns for. "Homosexuality could be viewed in some respects as the triumph of the individual's mating intelligence over the gonads' evolutionary interests," argues Geoffrey Miller.
The result is that gay relationships are less mired in deception and perhaps even less prone to friction, according to multiple studies.
"If two guys in a relationship are on the same wavelength, it's going to be very hard for them to deceive one another about their motives, their lusts, their philandering. Whereas between the sexes, each sex presents a socially acceptable form of masculinity or femininity that is reassuring to the other person but not particularly accurate," says Miller.
Gay and lesbian couples are not only more honest with one another, they are also more likely to exhibit affection and humor in negotiating relationship stressors, according to John Gottman, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Gottman compared conflict discussions in gay and straight couples and found that "gays and lesbians talked explicitly about sex and monogamy. Those topics don't come up in 31 years of studying heterosexual couples, who are uptight in discussing sex. In their conversations, you really don't know what they're talking about."

No comments:

Post a Comment