A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA found that same-sex male couples are less likely to break-up, compared to lesbian or heterosexual couples.
Researchers followed 515 couples in Vermont from 2002 to 2014 and found that, when considering all couple types together, longer relationship length, older age and better relationship quality reduced the chances of a breakup. This is the first study to compare relationship breakups over a 12-year period that same-sex relationships were recognized. Vermont legalized civil unions in 2000.
Same-sex female couples with more education were more likely to stay together. There were no differences in the rate of break ups between couples who legalized their relationships and those that didn’t.
Lesbian couples were about twice as likely to break up as gay male couples. Heterosexual couples fell in the middle.
The reason male couples stay together longer is not necessarily because of better relationships. The report’s author said other studies show “women have higher standards for relationship quality than men.” So lower standards may be a reason men stay together.
For lesbian couples, each year of age decreased breakups by 4 percent and each year of increased education decreased breakups by 16 percent.
Economic status and children didn’t affect the breakup rate for either gay or straight couples.
— David Taffet