When most heterosexuals think about same sex marriage, they probably
aren’t thinking “I’ll bet I could learn a lot about relationships by
learning more about gay and lesbian couples.” Often even the most open-minded queer-friendly people are surprised when they find out what the research reports about intimacy, communications, and maturity inside of gay and lesbian relationships. Too often misinformed straight people (and sometimes members of the LGBT community) fail to understand what's happening inside of queer relationships.
Steven M Cohn, PhD, LMFT
The Portland Couples Counseling Center
1940 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
According to researcher and relationship expert John Gottman, "Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples."
Consider for a moment, for example, in thinking about same sex marriage, Gottman and his internationally-renowned research team discovered that heterosexual couples and homosexual couples fight in very different ways than most people and researchers might think. What Gottman refers to as "the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions."
According to this insightful research, gay and lesbian couples are actually less
domineering and bring up conflict with more affection and humor than is found in the straight community. Gays
and lesbians are friendlier, warmer, and less belligerent than straight counter parts as well. Contrast this
with heterosexual couples where straight relationship conflict is, according to
Gottman, “much more of a power struggle with someone being invalidated." It seems that when men and women are in relationship with each other they struggle for more control of what is going to happen inside the container of the relationship than would two women or two men.
In researching writing about gay and lesbian relationships, Gottman concludes: "The overall implication of this research is that we have to shake off all of the stereotypes of homosexual relationships and have more respect for them as committed relationships. Gays and lesbians may be more competent at having a mature relationship. Our data suggests our society needs to reconsider its policy and that we should value and honor love wherever we find it."
The first article in this series is titled Issues In Gay Marriages
Steven M Cohn, PhD is honored to have been featured on CNBC.com.
Steven M Cohn, PhD is pleased to have been featured on Koin 6 Television: "Boost In The Bedroom."
Steven M Cohn, PhD is pleased to have been featured on both KATU.com and KATU Channel 2 Television.
Steven M Cohn, PhD is pleased to have been featured on Oregon Live "Why Oregon's Latest Divorce Statistics May Be Divorced From Reality"