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Gay Marriage, Happy Marriage

Gay Marriage, Happy Marriage

One of the biggest causes of relationship stress is unclear expectations of the role each spouse plays in a marriage. Who will be in charge of the money? Who will mind the children’s school work? Who is responsible for maintaining a relationship with the extended family?

When these decisions are based on gender, oftentimes one spouse can be left feeling overburdened. So, what happens when the idea of gender roles is thrown out the window?

Now that same sex unions are increasingly common, social scientists are starting to examine them for clues about how gender roles or the lack thereof are improving relationships.

“Heterosexual married women live with a lot of anger about having to do the tasks not only in the house but in the relationship,” Esther D. Rothblum, a professor of women’s studies at San Diego State University, tells The New York Times. “That’s very different than what same-sex couples and heterosexual men live with.”

Researchers in Vermont, where same-sex civil unions were legalized in 2000, found that when compared to their siblings in heterosexual unions, same-sex couples “tended to share the burdens far more equally.” [The New York Times]

Posted: 6/10/08