Gays appear to have more stable relationships than their straight counterparts. This is a finding from my most recent research study. Two groups were interviewed. The first group consisted of gays and lesbians. The second group included heterosexuals. Requests for participants interested in discussing personal relationships were placed via fliers in Phoenix Arizona and St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a convenience sample consisting of 200 people. One hundred gays and lesbians were interviewed as well as one hundred heterosexuals. Initial contact was made by phone, and interviews ranged in length from 45 minutes to 2 hours each.
When asked about their love lives, gays were more likely to have long term relationships. In fact, 59% had been in a stable, loving relationship for three or more years. They were very committed to their significant others and reported high levels of joy in their lives. Only 19% admitted to cheating on a loved one, which is much lower than the national average. Though gays and lesbians did state that they dealt with increased stress levels due to societal attitudes, they were more likely to report being content and living happy lives. The people I interviewed stressed that once they overcame the lack of understanding or acceptance of families and friends, they felt a sense of freedom they found exciting. Unlike their heterosexual friends, they were able to talk openly with their mates about their desires. This led them to be more affectionate with their lovers in public and in private. Once they ‘came out’ they felt free to experiment and have fun. In short, they reported high levels of satisfaction with their sex lives. One man stated “I’ve had the best orgasms because I don’t have to fake it anymore. I get what I want now!”
They were less likely to maintain close relationships with their parents. However, they tended to be closer to siblings and spent more time with family members. Additionally, they were more stable in their employment, having worked at the same job for several years. Over 50% worked at the same company for five years or longer, and the majority enjoyed their jobs.
Heterosexuals showed more instability in their love lives. Only 47% had been in a stable, loving relationship when surveyed. Even less reported having been in a long term love relationship. In fact, only 42% said that they had been involved in a committed relationship for longer than three years. Of those who had married, over 50% had been divorced. Almost half admitted to cheating on a spouse or loved one. Two thirds said they were unhappy with their sex lives. They said it was difficult to communicate their desires to their mates, and so, they had unsatisfactory sex. One woman put it this way, “the sex is miserable and so is he (her husband).”
Interestingly, heterosexuals reported high levels of stress and unhappiness in their lives overall. This unhappiness appeared to spill over into other areas of their lives. Employment tended to be more unstable, and they were less likely to remain at a job for long periods of time. Only 26% remained at a job for five years or more. Many reported dissatisfaction with their work. Though they were more likely to have closer ties to parents, they reported spending less time with family than their gay counterparts.
Clearly, this sample demonstrated that gays and lesbians can have better relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. After being honest about their sexuality, homosexuals gain a freedom which translates to happiness and stability. Their relationships tended to be steady which helped them maintain better lifestyles overall. On the other hand, the heterosexuals in the sample were quite unhappy. They were angry at life. They showed more dysfunction in their love lives and concern about their jobs. Stress was high in both groups, yet heterosexuals tended to report more problems resulting from their stress.
Since this was a convenience sample, the results could be affected by who was willing to respond to the flier. However, the results were pretty dramatic. Perhaps this will help clear misconceptions about the gay and lesbian community. Obviously, homosexuals have deep, loving relationships and should be allowed to commit to one another. Bigotry has no place in modern times, and honest love should never be prohibited.
Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D. “Dr. Deb” is an expert on human behavior and criminal profiler who has studied sexual behavior and sex crimes for over 20 years. She is president of the Violent Crimes Institute and may be contacted at: info @ drdsk.com