Today, in the aftermath of Pride – in the wake of parades and marches strutting their colorful stuff through the streets of Seattle, Portland, Cleveland, New York, and Chicago – we’d like to turn our attention to same-sex relationships.
Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman have observed the strength and resilience of same-sex couples, even in the midst of the cultural and social stresses to which they are uniquely vulnerable. Together, the Gottmans have made a commitment to assuring that lesbian and gay couples have as much access as straight couples to resources for strengthening and supporting their relationships.
Using state-of-the-art methods to study 21 gay and 21 lesbian couples, Drs. John Gottman and Robert Levenson (UC Berkeley) were able to learn what makes same-sex relationships succeed or fail in The 12 Year Study.
One key finding: Overall, relationship satisfaction and quality are about the same across couple types (straight, gay, and lesbian) that Dr. Gottman has studied. This result supports prior research by Lawrence Kurdek and Pepper Schwartz, who found that gay and lesbian relationships are comparable to straight relationships in many ways.
According to Dr. Gottman, “Gay and lesbian couples, like straight couples, deal with every-day ups-and-downs of close relationships. We know that these ups-and-downs may occur in a social context of isolation from family, workplace prejudice, and other social barriers that are unique to gay and lesbian couples.” However, his research uncovered differences suggesting that workshops tailored to gay and lesbian couples can have a strong impact on relationships.
In conducting interviews, coding facial expressions, and collecting other measures, the researchers found the following.
Read full article on www.gottman.com