About Same Sex Marriage

Your Quick Guide to Relationship Success
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Your Quick Guide to Relationship Success
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When most heterosexuals, whether living in West Linn, Bend, Salem, or almost anyplace else, 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

Considering Sex In General

It's important to note that sexual behavior varies widely among individuals, and generalizations about any group may not accurately reflect the experiences of every individual within that group. The frequency of sexual activity depends on various factors, including personal preferences, individual relationships, and other considerations that are not solely determined by sexual orientation.

Sexual activity is a personal choice and can be influenced by factors such as individual libido, relationship dynamics, and cultural or societal influences. Therefore, it's not accurate or meaningful to make broad statements about the sexual behaviors of lesbians or gay men.

It's crucial to approach discussions about sexuality with sensitivity and respect for the diversity of experiences within any group. People's sexual preferences and behaviors are highly individual, and any attempt to generalize may perpetuate stereotypes or oversimplify complex aspects of human sexuality.

About the LBGTQ Community

It's important to note that the experiences of individuals within the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other identities) community can vary widely. Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is a deeply personal and diverse experience, and individuals may have different perspectives based on their identities, cultural backgrounds, and personal circumstances.

For some, being part of the LGBTQ+ community can be empowering, as it provides a sense of belonging and connection with others who share similar experiences and challenges. It can be a source of support, understanding, and solidarity. Many people find strength and resilience in embracing their authentic selves and forming connections with a community that accepts and celebrates diversity.

However, it's essential to recognize that not everyone's experience is positive. Discrimination, stigma, and prejudice against LGBTQ+ individuals persist in various parts of the world. Some individuals may face challenges related to coming out, acceptance from family and friends, workplace discrimination, or societal attitudes. Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, can also be prevalent due to these challenges.

It's important to approach discussions about the LGBTQ+ community with sensitivity and an open mind, acknowledging the diversity of experiences within the community. Supportive and inclusive environments can foster positive experiences, while discrimination and prejudice can contribute to feelings of isolation and marginalization. Ultimately, fostering understanding, empathy, and acceptance is crucial for creating a more inclusive society for everyone.

Research About Same Sex Marriage

It's important to note that research on the health of relationships, whether they are gay or straight, can vary and may not necessarily show a clear-cut comparison between the two. Additionally, generalizations about the health of relationships based on sexual orientation can be misleading because individual experiences and relationship dynamics can differ widely.

Research on relationships often focuses on factors such as communication, satisfaction, conflict resolution, and overall well-being. Some studies have found that gay relationships may exhibit positive qualities, while others have found similarities between gay and straight relationships. However, it's essential to interpret these findings cautiously and consider the limitations of each study.

According to researcher and relationship expert John Gottman and his wife Julie, "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."

Same Sex Marriage

Consider for a moment, for example, in thinking about same sex marriage, Gottman and his internationally-renowned research team of experts discovered that heterosexual couples and homosexual couples fight in very different ways than most people and researchers might think. A surprising discovery. What Gottman refers to as "the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions."

According to this new and insightful research, gay and lesbian couples are actually, by comparison, less domineering and bring up conflict with much more affection and humor than is found in the straight community, in general. Again, remember that generalizations don't apply equally across the board for any group being studied. 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 would seem to appear that when men and women are in relationship with each other they struggle for more power and 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 straight, 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

As a Relationship Specialist, Steven Cohn, PhD, works with marriages and couples from all over Oregon including these cities, towns, and suburbs: Portland, West Linn, Dunthorpe, Pearl District, Bethany, West Hills, Irvington, Lake Oswego, Alameda, Bend, East Moreland, Salem, Ashland, and Medford.

And these Oregon zip codes: 97034, 97219, 97212, 94501, 94502, 97229, 97840, 97451, 97106, 97068, 97221, 97140, 97035, 97036

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Steven M Cohn, PhD is pleased to have been featured on Oregon Live "Why Oregon's Latest Divorce Statistics May Be Divorced From Reality"

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Steven M Cohn, PhD, MBA, LMFT has twice been named one of the top three marriage counselors in Portland, Oregon by the non-profit organization Three Best Rated

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