That certain something: Same-sex couples have qualities that promote better parenting and relationships

Psychological studies of lesbian and gay couples reveal two key factors that promote healthier relationships: (1) flexibility about gender roles, and (2) equal division of parenting and household tasks.

It all comes down to greater equality in the relationship,” says Robert-Jay Green, PhD, executive director of the Rockway Institute and a nationally recognized researcher in both family issues and GLBT relationships. “Research shows that lesbian and gay couples – by virtue of being composed of two partners of the same gender – have a head start in escaping the traditional gender role divisions that make for power imbalances and dissatisfaction in many heterosexual relationships.”

Other research on parenting also found significant advantages for same-sex couples. Three separate studies found that lesbian partners tend to share parenting and household responsibilities more equally and to be more satisfied with this division of labor. By contrast, in heterosexual dual-career families, mothers often did much more childcare and housework compared to fathers, regardless of equal hours spent at work. This imbalance often breeds resentment over time.

Research has found that gay fathers are more nurturing than straight fathers. They are also less likely to limit their parenting role to being only a provider. All of these family researchers concluded that the freedom to defy traditional gender-linked parenting roles helped gay men and lesbians take good care of their children and experience greater feelings of fairness in their couple relationships compared to heterosexuals.

Source: Alliant International University