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What Can All Couples Learn From Same-Sex Marriages?

From
Gay Unions Shed Light on Gen­der in Mar­riage

A grow­ing body of evi­dence shows that same-sex cou­ples have a great deal to teach every­one else about mar­riage and rela­tion­ships. Most stud­ies show sur­pris­ing­ly few dif­fer­ences between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples and com­mit­ted straight cou­ples, but the dif­fer­ences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of con­flicts that can endan­ger het­ero­sex­u­al rela­tion­ships.

The find­ings offer hope that some of the most vex­ing prob­lems are not nec­es­sar­i­ly entrenched in deep-root­ed bio­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the prob­lems can be solved.

One of the things the arti­cle points out is some­thing I’ve def­i­nite­ly noticed, that how peo­ple han­dle resolve con­flicts is far more impor­tant than how often they expe­ri­ence con­flict.

One well-known study used math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­ing to deci­pher the inter­ac­tions between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples. The results, pub­lished in two 2003 arti­cles in The Jour­nal of Homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, showed that when same-sex cou­ples argued, they tend­ed to fight more fair­ly than het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples, mak­ing few­er ver­bal attacks and more of an effort to defuse the con­fronta­tion.

Con­trol­ling and hos­tile emo­tion­al tac­tics, like bel­liger­ence and dom­i­neer­ing, were less com­mon among gay cou­ples.

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