What's Your Instinct: Could Same-Sex Marriages Become The Model For Heterosexual Unions?
If you take out a few of the cringe-worthy moments in a new report from ABC News that equates same-sex marriages with "who's going to kill the mouse?" moments (plenty of straight couples have that same argument), there are a few silver linings that foresee a time when gay and lesbian couples provide archetypal examples of marriage to opposite-sex unions.
Sociologists are eager to look at the outcome of same-sex marriages over the long haul and what happens to household dynamics when gender is no longer a part of the equation.
The National Institutes of Health has given $1 million to researchers at San Diego State University to study 1,000 gay and straight couples and their siblings who have been followed over a decade, since 2000 when same-sex civil unions were legalized in Vermont.
"The same-sex couples who got civil unions in Vermont in 2000 will always be the longest legal gay couples in North America," study author Esther Rothblum told the New York Times, which first reported the grant. "There is so much to learn by following them, but we really know very little. Most of the questions people ask me about same sex marriage, my answer is, 'We don't know yet.' "
The first data was published in 2004 in the Journal of Family Psychology and then followed up again in 2008 in the journal Developmental Psychology. Initial findings were that these couples were happier than their heterosexual counterparts and reported less conflict and higher levels of intimacy.
Communication was also better, according to the studies, which may be because women feel more comfortable talking to other women and men with male peers.
Some speculate that the absence of gender roles may be part of the reason for more marital tranquility.
So, what's your Instinct? Could same-sex marriages become the model for heterosexual unions?