The Qualities of Dating, Cohabiting, and Married Relationships: Are Same-Sex Couples Any Different from Opposite-Sex Couples?

Kara Joyner, Bowling Green State University
Wendy D. Manning, Bowling Green State University
Ryan Bogle, Bowling Green State University

The most recent data from Add Health offers researchers an unprecedented opportunity to examine and contrast the characteristics of opposite-sex dating, cohabiting, and marital relationships and compare them to those of same-sex dating and cohabiting relationships. Importantly, Add Health used state of the art survey methods to target individuals in these relationships (i.e., computer-assisted self interviews and romantic/sexual relationship rosters). Add Health also benefits from its large sample and its recent fielding; there are sizeable numbers of all relationship types. In this extended abstract, we present preliminary findings based on comparisons of respondents who are opposite-sex single, opposite-sex cohabiting, opposite-sex married, same-sex single, and same-sex cohabiting. We compare these respondents in terms of several relationship qualities, including indicators of stability, quality, and sexuality. We examine zero-order differences in these indicators and in the controls (e.g., demographic characteristics and homogamy).

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 153: Mate Selection in Sexual and Romantic Relationships