Seems that hetero couples might have a little something to learn from same-sex couples. And I'm not talking about new positions.
After Vermont legalized same-sex civil unions in 2000, researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 couples, including same-sex couples and their heterosexual married siblings. The focus was on how the relationships were affected by common causes of marital strife like housework, sex and money.Wait. Do you mean to tell me that the patriarchy hurts everyone? Color me amazed. Astonished. Astounded even. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)
Notably, same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones. In heterosexual couples, women did far more of the housework; men were more likely to have the financial responsibility; and men were more likely to initiate sex, while women were more likely to refuse it or to start a conversation about problems in the relationship. With same-sex couples, of course, none of these dichotomies were possible, and the partners tended to share the burdens far more equally.
While the gay and lesbian couples had about the same rate of conflict as the heterosexual ones, they appeared to have more relationship satisfaction, suggesting that the inequality of opposite-sex relationships can take a toll.
Of course, this merely backs up what lots of people have been saying for years--feminism helps both men and women because it helps destroy traditional gender roles and encourages egalitarian relationships between genders. And so it should be no surprise that when you dump those traditional roles, as often happens in same-sex relationships, you get less tension.
This isn't really news--at least it's not new. But it is relevant, what with the California Supreme Court ruling going into effect before long and the local ballot amendment we Floridians need to fight back: SayNo2. It's good stuff to know and pass around, that's for certain.