Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert-Jay Green on “Same-Sex Couples May Have More Egalitarian Relationships”

Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert-Jay Green on “Same-Sex Couples May Have More Egalitarian Relationships”

On December 29, 2014 Dr. Robert-Jay Green was interviewed on NPR by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about his research on LGBT relationships. Specifically, looking at about how people behave in same-sex marriage compared with heterosexual marriage.

“A little more than 10 years ago gay marriage was not an option for same-sex couples anywhere in the U.S. Now it’s legal in the majority of the country, and so we wondered what research can tell us about these couples and their marriages. Robert-Jay Green is the founder of the Rockway Institute for Research in LGBT Psychology, and he’s been studying same-sex couples since 1975.”

An excerpt from the transcript: 

GREEN: Well, this was a study of 976 couples who, in 2008, were registered domestic partners in California. We followed them over a five-year period to look at which ones of them got married, which ones of them stayed together, unmarried, and which ones of them broke up.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what did you find out? I mean, does marriage matter?

GREEN: Well, what we found out was that for those who married, they showed much better mental health at the follow-up time period than those who stayed together unmarried. And we feel this is an answer to the question of do same-sex couples need marriage rights, in addition to access to civil unions and domestic registered partnerships? And the answer is yes, it improves their mental health.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So they’re happier, essentially?

GREEN: Yes, happier, less depression, better mental health.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In that sense, are same-sex marriages different than heterosexual marriages? Do you have the same sorts of power dynamics, for example?

GREEN: Well, what we found consistently in our research is that same-sex couples tend to be much more egalitarian in their relationships. They share decision-making more equally, finances more equally, housework more equally, childcare more equally. Basically every dimension we looked at, same-sex couples are dramatically more equal in the way they function together as a couple compared to heterosexual couples.

Congratulations Dr. Green on the great research and interview! 

To read the full transcript and listen to the interview click here