Gay and lesbian couples are happier than people in straight relationships.
Maybe you’ve already suspected it, while looking at your straight friends and their relationships.
That hint of sadness in their eyes, compared to the joyous glint in yours and your partner’s.
Well, now an extensive study has provided some much-needed evidence.
After questioning more than 25,000 people in the UK and over 9,000 in Australia, researchers found that gay and lesbian couples are better off.
However, bisexual people suffered from worse relationships, on average, than straight or homosexual people.
Francisco Perales and Janeen Baxter from the University of Queensland conducted the study.
In their findings, they wrote: “Relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom, and higher in Australia.
“The lowest relationship quality in both countries was reported by bisexual individuals.”
The researchers suggested that gay and lesbian couples might have better relationships because they are less concerned about sticking to stereotypical gender roles.
They wrote that “individuals in same-sex couples (particularly lesbian women) generally are more equitable in the ways in which they allocate domestic work, including childcare”.
Straight couples often reaffirm their gender roles in relationships, which, the authors state, can lead to an unfair division of labour.
“Unequal household burdens are associated with poor relationship outcomes, including marital conflict and divorce,” they explained.
“If gender display is not as salient in same-sex couples and these relationships are more egalitarian than heterosexual couples, higher levels of relationship quality might be expected.”
The two added that same-sex couples might feel more connected to a community of similar couples, which may increase their happiness.
They also suggested that “individuals in same-sex relationships may be more likely than those in different-sex relationships to have high relationship investment.”
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Perales and Baxter argued that their findings supported giving more rights to same-sex couples, and refuted arguments that children of same-sex parents suffer.
“Our results provide robust evidence to combat deep-rooted and erroneous social perceptions of same-sex relationships being conflictual, unhappy, and dysfunctional,” they said.
“Our findings support policies that seek to legalise same-sex marriage and parenting rights.”
The authors also emphasised that their results “highlight the need to give further attention to bisexual individuals as a distinct group because their outcomes are comparatively poor.”
Bisexual people have consistently been found to have the lowest life satisfaction among LGBT people.
They also feel less worthwhile and happy – and much more anxious – than other people, according to a study from earlier this year.
And just this week, it was revealed that bisexual people sleep worse than everyone else, with bi women being especially affected.