A new study has found that gay couples tend to have better relationships when compared with their heterosexual counterparts.
The study, titled “Sexual Identity and Relationship Quality in Australia and the United Kingdom,” examined the relationship quality of bisexual, gay, lesbian and heterosexual people in Australia and the United Kingdom.
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According to author Professor Janeen Baxter, the quality of intimate relationships of gay and lesbian people was high, if not higher than the quality of heterosexual couples’ relationships.
“Our results provide robust evidence to combat deep-rooted and erroneous social perceptions of same-sex relationships being conflictual, unhappy, and dysfunctional.
“In fact, relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom, and higher in Australia.
“Relative to heterosexual relationships, same-sex relationships tend to have more equitable domestic work arrangements, less defined gender roles, and a greater sense of social connectedness to a community.
“We believe these findings support policies to legalise same-sex marriage and parenting rights.”
UQ News reports that Baxter and the study’s co-author Dr Francisco Perales believe the findings suggest that heterosexual couples could in fact learn something from gay and lesbian couples.
“Further knowledge of the strategies deployed by gay and lesbian couples to maintain their relationship quality despite individual and institutional discrimination could help to develop new counseling tools,” said Baxter
However, the study also found that bisexual people had greater difficulties with the quality of their relationships.
Baxter and Perales suggest this could be because bisexual people often fail to fit neatly into either the heterosexual mainstream or the gay and lesbian community which could lead to poorer social networks and lower levels of social support.