Same-Sex Couples Communicate Better And Share Chore Duties Better, New Survey Says, Plus More Things Straight Couples Can Learn From Gay Couples
According to a new study by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the Families and Work Institute, there’s a lot that straight couples can learn from same-sex couples. Not only do same-sex couples communicate better, but because they’re both the same gender, they’re not trapped by traditional gender roles that often make for inequality in relationships. Same-sex couples are free in that regard.
This isn’t the first study to point out that straight couples should be taking notes from gay couples. Last summer a study, the largest one on same-sex parenting, found that kids of gay couples were healthier and happier than kids of straight couples. As the study found, one of the key reasons for this result was based on the fact that gay parents don’t adhere to gender stereotypes, because they just don’t exist for them. In not having parents fight over who should do the cooking and cleaning, based solely on their gender, made for a “more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well being," the researchers found.
So, if you’re in a straight couple and wondering how the hell you can make your relationship better, then take out your notepad. Here are five things that straight couples can learn from their same-sex couple friends.
1. How To Talk About Sex
True story: If you’re in a relationship with someone, you should probably, (most definitely) be able to talk about sex with them. But, according to Connections Mic, same-sex couples corner the market on that, whereas straight couples just kinda go with it, instead of talking about what they’re in to.
As sex columnist and expert Dan Savage explains, when it comes to sex, straight couples have a lot to learn from gay couples:
"When a man and a woman go to bed together, vaginal intercourse in the default assumption. They get to consent, they get to yes, and she gets fucked. They actually stop talking — they stop negotiating — after ‘yes.’ She’s gonna get fucked."
In contrast, when two gay men go to bed they have to discuss what the other is into, because it’s not just about intercourse; many other things come into play. You have to ask, “What are you into?” Savage calls these the “magic” four words that many straight couples just don’t ask.
2. How To Share Chores More Evenly
The study found that in straight couples, when a man makes more (which, thanks to the gender pay gap, is often the case), the woman, even if she also has a full time job, is stuck with more household chores. Women are do the laundry, cooking, and childcare, while men who make more, do all that “manly” stuff like raking the yard. So. Difficult.
When it came to laundry specifically, the study found that in same-sex couples, 44 percent share the responsibility, while in straight couples only 31 percent shared it. Also in same-sex couples, 54 percent had someone who was primarily in charge of laundry and in straight couples, that percentage was 69 – most likely that duty going to the woman in the relationship.
3. How To Both Partake In Childcare
The study also found that when it came to childcare, similarly to other chores, whoever was the moneymaker was more likely to get off scot-free from the child-rearing duties. But in same-sex couples, no matter the discrepancy in income or hours worked, taking care of the kids was more evenly distributed.
Of those same-sex couples surveyed 74 percent equally shared childcare and 62 percent equally shared the work of taking care of a sick child. In straight couples, those percentages were 38 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
4. How To Disregard Gender Roles
For some straight couples, chores are defined by either “pink chores” or “blue chores.” Of course same-sex couples don’t have gender to contend with, but straight couples shouldn’t see things so black and white. Chores shouldn’t be labeled by color. Once the color is subtracted from the equation, they can more easily see tasks as something either a man or woman could do, and traditional gender roles become less paramount in the relationship.
5. How To Communicate (About Everything)
Not only are same-sex couples better at handling the sex topic, but the study found that gay men were more likely to sit down and discuss the division of chores when they first moved in with their partner. Straight women, on the other hand, admitted that they wanted to have that discussion, but just didn’t.
As the survey found, 20 percent of women in straight couples didn’t speak up about the chore situation when they moved in with their partner, whereas in same-sex couples that percent was 15.
According to Ken Matos, lead researcher and author of the study:
“Perhaps because they can’t default to gender, people in same-sex couples are in more of a position to have these conversations. That’s probably the biggest takeaway of the survey: how important it is to talk and say what you want, rather than stay silent, not wanting to start a fight, making assumptions, and then letting things fester.”