Same-sex couples are just as committed in their romantic relationships as heterosexual couples, a new report has revealed.
The finding disputes the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and therefore not as psychologically healthy.
The study examined whether committed same-sex couples differed from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners.
Researchers from the University of Illinois 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.
Results of a questionnaire and a laboratory task 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.
The notion that committed same-sex relationships are “atypical, psychologically immature, or malevolent contexts of development was not supported by our findings,” lead author Glenn I. Roisman told PA.
“Compared with married individuals, committed gay males and lesbians
were not less satisfied with their relationships.”
He added: “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.”
The study features in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.