Gay couples as committed as heterosexual counterparts in relationships

January 22nd, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Jan 22 (ANI): When it comes to being committed in a romantic relationship, same-sex couples are as faithful as heterosexual couples, say researchers.

The study, led by Glenn I. Roisman, PhD at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, disputes the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and are therefore not as psychologically healthy.

In the study, the researchers 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 research team compared 30 committed gay male and 30 committed lesbian couples with 50 engaged heterosexual couples and 40 older married heterosexual couples, as well as with dating heterosexual couples.

All the partners responded to a questionnaire that documented how positively they interacted with one another on a day-to-day basis. The couples were also observed during a laboratory task and were monitored for distress by skin conductance and heart rate.

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.

And lesbian couples worked together especially harmoniously during the laboratory tasks.

The notion that committed same-sex relationships are atypical, psychologically immature, or malevolent contexts of development was not supported by our findings, said Roisman.

Compared with married individuals, committed gay males and lesbians were not less satisfied with their relationships. Gay males and lesbians in this study were generally not different from their committed heterosexual counterparts on how well they interacted with one another, although some evidence emerged the lesbian couples were especially effective at resolving conflict, added Roisman.

The study is published in Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. (ANI)

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