Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Blog Activity 8: Romantic Relationships June 3, 2009

In the family chapter, the textbook authors briefly discussed the changing nature of the family. Let’s extend this discussion to a more inclusive understanding of intimate, romantic relationships. Much of the relational communication literature is founded upon the participation of heterosexual participants (disclosed at least), but thankfully more work is being conducted and published regarding non-heterosexist ways of knowing and relating. For example, in chapter seven, the Gambles list female and male preferences in romantic relationships. While many women and men may attest to the accurate experience of women preferring connection and men preferring autonomy, in 2009 I think it’s safe to assume that the boundaries are a bit more blurred.

To begin stretching our understandings of gender romantic relationship norms, please read the following New York Times article, then post your thoughts on the findings the writer reports regarding same-sex v. heterosexual relationships. Please pay special attention to the findings on egalitarianism and fighting styles. Based on your understanding of the family and romantic relationship concepts you’ve read so far, what do you think is going on here? What gender dynamics are or are not at play in the different types of relationships? Finally, religious/personal preferences aside, what influences do you think these different styles of relationships might have on the couples’ children and overall family and relationship dynamics? Please respond thoughtfully and thoroughly and be sure to comment on others’ responses where appropriate.


71 Responses to “Blog Activity 8: Romantic Relationships”

  1. Lauren Says:

    In my opinion, the article proved that people in same-sex relationships have less conflict and individual power in their relationships. For example, the equality between same sex relationships and heterosexual relationships differed and showed that there was more equality with same-sex couples and not in heterosexual couples. I believe this is has a lot to do with the differences in gender because as we read in the textbook, men and women differ a lot in how act in relationships so when you are in a relationship with someone of the same sex there isn’t much of a difference. Like mentioned in the article, men are usually the ones that work while women take care of the housework which is an inequality, but in a same-sex couple, for example men, both are ‘expected’ to work so there isn’t that conflict about what is seen as equal or not. The article also talked about how same-sex couples fight more fairly then heterosexual couples which again I think comes from being the same gender and having the same dynamics. For example, women tend to fight to resolve an issue where as men tend to fight to win. I think it is easier to resolve conflict when you are fighting with the same-sex because you both usually have the same motives.

    I am a true believer that same-sex couples can also have children and have a healthy family, and after reading this article I see why. It is obviously ideal for children to grow up in an atmosphere of equality and less conflict so if same-sex couples usually have those attributes I do not see why children cannot grow up in a healthy environment with them. It can show their children that men and women are equal and should be treated that way. I think the differences in heterosexual relationships, for example, usually less equality, can also influence children by teaching them there are differences between men and women, which is something people like to teach their children that. I know some people think that it is not beneficial for children to grow up in a same sex household because they are not getting the benefit of having a father and mother, which I can agree with, but I still think that children could have a beneficial life growing up with a same-sex family too.

    At the end of the article it mentioned that new research disproved gender being the main reason why same-sex couples are different than heterosexual couples, so my findings could be wrong, but I was basing it off of what was said in the majority of the article.

    • cahendy Says:

      I have two things to ask about what you wrote. First, you said it shows children that men and women are equal by being in a same sex marriage, but that does not make any sense to me because its showing them that either two men are equal or two women are equal. I feel like a same-sex marriage in no way will teach children that men and women are equal.

      Also why would it be bad to teach your children the diffrences between men and women because they are different and that is something children need to learn. I am not saying that you need to teach them men are better than women, but they are both very different, we have been reading about it for the past couple of weeks and its important for children to learn that.

      • kmacklin1107 Says:

        I don’t think that it is necessarily telling that child that two men are equal or that two women are equal. I think it is help to formulate the concept in to the child’s head that all people are equal. And they will still be able to tell that there are differences between the two genders. They are not growing up in a world where the sole influence on their lives are their parents, they have tons of other influences out there that will also describe the gender differencs. Especially if the child watches tv. Then they are going to see a heterosexual relationship and that will help them to see some of the differences that occur between men and women. I just think that these kids will grow up with a better outlook and will see people in a different light.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      I definitely agree with the following statement you made:
      “For example, women tend to fight to resolve an issue where as men tend to fight to win. I think it is easier to resolve conflict when you are fighting with the same-sex because you both usually have the same motives.”

      I also think conflict is easier to handle in same-sex relationships because one can more easily relate to the same-sex. For me, when describing or explaining something to a friend (female), I can be vague (as I may not have the words to describe it) and my friend will already know what I am talking about or trying to get across. This concept is much more difficult when I talk to my guy friends as they tend to seek a more structured and detailed explaination.

    • Lauren Says:

      What I meant by growing up with same-sex parents shows men and women can be equal because of what the article stated about how same-sex couples are more egalitarian than heterosexual couples because usually heterosexual couples have seperate roles. The article used the example men usually take care of financial responsiblies and women are responsible for housework. But since there isn’t that diversity between men and women in a same sex relationship, they share the same burdens equally. Since I did not grow up with same-sex parents I can’t be positive of how same-sex couples are, I was just commenting on what the article said.

      And for your second comment, I said “. I think the differences in heterosexual relationships, for example, usually less equality, can also influence children by teaching them there are differences between men and women, which is something people like to teach their children that.”
      …I was saying that parents like to teach their kids the difference between a man and women, not that I disagreed with it. I think that children can benefit both from living with same-sex parents and heterosexual parents, it just all depends on the values your parents teach you.

      I hope this clears up some of you questions

  2. ginasurrette Says:

    The reason that same sex relationships are far more egalitarian than heterosexual relationships is because the two partners will likely act the same way more often than not because they are of the same sex. When you walk in to a boys dormitory, more often than not you see a mess or something smells like sweat. When you walk into a girls room, more often than not, you’ll see it neat and tidy and smelling good. This is because girls pay attention to detail more frequently than men do, which brings me back to my point that in a same sex relationship between women, they will both be inclined to clean and help each other share chores than in a heterosexual relationship where the couple is less alike in thought pattern n and emotion. (Granted there is always the exception).

    I will also agree that the inequality of a heterosexual relationship can take a toll a couple if they let it. however, even if the heterosexual women get upset about doing the tasks in the house would that not also be a struggle in a same sex relationship if one of the partners worked more out of the house than the other? The article implied that because they are of the same sex the equality in sharing chores is better balanced, but what if one of the partners is more selfish and lazy? Conflict seems unavoidable…

    One of the parts of the article that hit home was that the heterosexual couples should seek perspective during an argument. When in a relationship my boyfriend will get a better perspective from his sister on why i feel, said, or acted a certain way, because as a women she can understand the workings of my mind in a way he may never have thought to consider. So in that manner i can see why a couple of the same sex would have a less belligerent and more understanding argument style.

    same sex relationships probably have less of a stringent outlook on what a partner should be like and are more accepting of others since they themselves understand that they are contradicting and changing human tradition. Heterosexual relationships are very traditional and as such there is added pressure to remain so. The interesting thing about heterosexual relationships is that with the feminist movements the ideals of what a marriage should be like between a man and a women are in a way elusive. Women now want more power in and outside the home so we are caught sorting out exactly how power between a man and a woman can be comfortably shared.

    I think with the added divorce rate, there is more pressure added on people to find there “true love.” The thought of true love and forever also helps us to create unreal expectations of what a potential hubby or wife should be like. Unreal expectations can ruin a perfectly healthy relationship because, nothing ever seems good enough.

    • vrobbins Says:

      I like that you threw in the personal example of your boyfriend gaining perspective through his sister. I have experienced the same thing with my boyfriend. He has two older sisters and was really close (and still is) with one of his cousins. There are ways for men to understand women better and vice versa.

      • chloea Says:

        I also like that you used the example of your boyfriend and his sister. I’ve been in the same situation, but I was the sister. Getting a perspective from a person of the same gender as your argumentative opponent really does aid in our understanding of each other and signifies how differently our minds work.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        I completely agree. Realizing your partner’s perspective can make all the difference in handling conflict.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I don’t necessarily agree with the expectation of true love and forever being the factors that make relationships unreal, but I do think that having expectations for your future partner that are unrealistic are what ruin things. Typically if people have those unrealistic expectations, they are not willing to compromise when that person they settle for is not what they dream of. I think that is where you come into problems in a relationship, but not expecting true love and forever. I personally think those things are still realistic expectations but to stay with that true love forever, you have to work and people aren’t willing to work, we all want what is easiest.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I agree that using your boyfriend and his sister was a good choice for this discussion. I think that there are a lot of men that do this. I know that my brother used to ask my opinion on his relationships and what he did or did not do wrong. It seemed to really help him understand the other side of the argument and resolve conflict quicker.

      I also like that you mentioned the feminine movements that we have discussed earlier. I think that the changes they have helped produce have made it possible for the idea of a female-female relationship to even occur.

      • mattymac Says:

        I do not think the increasing divorce rate is stimulating people to find their “true love” that will last forever. On the contrary, I feel as though it is perpetuating the norm that if a relationship gets sour or gets rocky, it is perfectly acceptable to end it and move on.

        I do understand that this is not true in all circumstances, and often people will work at their relationships and it just seems to fail, but there are instances where some couples just lack the will and determination to work on a relationship. Relationships need tender care and the most successful are ones in which the two individuals are able to work together to resolve their conflicts instead of giving up.

  3. kirstenpowell Says:

    The article suggested that in same-sex couples when they fight they do not show the same signs as heterosexual couples. They are able to see the other person’s perspective easier, therefore making it easier for them to diffuse the problem. I think that this skill that comes easier for same-sex couples is something that heterosexual couples should try. As children we grew up hearing the saying “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes.” This suggestion to consider others points of view is plainly in front of us. The root of the problem in my opinion is a connection issue. On some level when the relationship was being formed the heterosexual couples lose sight of the other persons point of view. In the same-sex couples they think and act in a similar manner therefore it is easier for them to see the other person’s point of view.

    It is obvious that there is a huge difference in gender dynamics in heterosexual relationships versus same-sex relationships. Since men and women act and respond differently in relationships the same-sex relationships are on the same playing field, while often times the heterosexual couples are on separate fields. Since men and women think differently it causes frustration and anger when there is conflict. The frustration due to lack of understanding leads to the increase in adrenaline during these conflicts. I agree with the article that there is hope for heterosexual couples, they just must work harder at creating a better understanding of the way the opposite sex acts and responds in a relationship in order to achieve a more egalitarian means of working through conflict.

    I think that children in these relationships are affected tremendously. Children of same-sex parents probably carry a more equal view of life and means for solving conflict. This may in turn make these children better at compromising than children from a heterosexual relationship. If a child of a heterosexual relationship sees the violence and anger displayed in confrontation this is going to appear if the child gets into a confrontation. Children learning by mimicking the world around them. I think that the children from the same-sex relationships will take a more egalitarian approach to life and in turn will be better at handling conflicts regardless of the sex of the person that they are in conflict with.

    Without the anger and frustration I think that the family dynamics of the same-sex couples as well as their own relationship will be a more open an peaceful atmosphere. The open lines for communication and ability to understand and empathizes with their partners needs will help create a better relationship for the entire family.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I think that it is important that you mentioned the frustration of heterosexual couples coming from the lack of their ability to understand each other. I believe that the adrenaline that comes from the frustrations that you talked about in your post escalates the conflict, which makes it so much harder for heterosexual couples to compromise or diffuse conflict in a timely manner. I also think that the escalation is what causes men to exit relationships and women to get so emotional during conflict.

  4. katelyntemple Says:

    I think it is interesting that Lauren mentioned individual power in same-sex relationships. I really agree with this statement. it seems very common for one partner to give up a degree of their individual power when they enter a same-sex marriage. I am inclined to say the woman tends to give up most individual power, as many women give up working to care for the home and their family. however, I can see how it may be thought that men give up individual power also, as their wives want them to help clean or watch kids after coming home from work. When one person gives up power they desire, it seems natural that conflict would occur, especially if the one who gives up some power views their partner as not making a sacrifice.

  5. katelyntemple Says:

    I didn’t mean to post that yet… oops.

    Reffering to my above post, I think this helps to explain why same-sex relationships are more egalitarian. Since one partner in a same-sex relationship is not expected to be the breadwinner, while the other takes care of the home, the two are able to maintain a sense of individuality and not feel out of power.

    When I think of fighting styles i also think of styles conflict is handeled. I feel that since women are more inclined to talk about problems and share emotions, it would be easier for two women to handle conflict. They both would have very similar expectations and desires, unlike different-sex relationships, where one partner wants to talk and the other does not. It seems reasonable to assume that a sense of equal power and the ability to handle conflict because of similarities would lead to a more egalitarian relationship.

    I also believe the egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships could have positive benefits for children. Growing up in a home filled with conflict is harmful for children. Seeing their parents fight, especially in regards to family related issues, can be very upsetting. Conflict in the home can affect a child’s social life, school work, and even health. With this, it would be ideal for all children to grow up in a home without arguing and with equality.

    The girl I babysit for today said something that showed me she hasn’t grown up in an egalitarian home. She told me that “it isn’t fair she is a girl. Girls do all the work and have no fun.” In an egalitarian home, which happens to be more common in same-sex relationships, these feeling would be less likely to be adopted by children. Also, egalitarian homes could help do away with gender stereotypes. If heterosexual couples were as equal as homosexual couples, there would be no gender role expectations. If a child saw both of their parents working AND doing household chores, it wouldn’t be specifically the role of the man or the woman.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I agree with your comment on how any conflict can affect the child in a negative way, regardless of the type of parents. It is proven through looking at society that heterosexual parents can raise a kid in a fairly equal way and the child will turn out fine, just as same-sex couples children turn out. The presence of conflict will always affect a child, no matter what.

      • mransone Says:

        I agree with Jen, conflict from either heterosexual or homosexual couples will have negative effects on a child.

      • mattymac Says:

        I agree with your last statement, Katelyn. If men and women share more equal responsibilities in roles within the household, then children will not perceive inequality in the heterosexual relationship. The article says opposite-sex couples should look to same-sex couples for influence, but that is not what is going to change these perceptions. It is men and women demonstrating equality and raising their children to demonstrate that same equality so that generations down the line will continue to do so. Also, changing societal and cultural norms that perpetuate differences between men and women will also serve to help demonstrate equality between the sexes to children.

  6. vrobbins Says:

    I am going to be blunt, I 100% dislike that article. I understand that the article was pointing how how same-sex romantic relationships have a lot of advantages. Even so, the problems that heterosexual romantic couples have are resolved and aren’t a problem in same-sex romantic relationships. I just found that the article was saying, to end our problem, become gay.

    I think that it is quite clear that there are different gender dynamics in heterosexual romantic relationships. Women and men have a different outlook on life. When problems arise, they deal with conflict and resolution differently. In same-sex relationships, they are on an equal playing field because they understand their sex, therefore they can better understand the other person. It’s important that heterosexual romantic relationships can maintain open communication and be understanding of one another, especially in times of distress.

    The only thing that I can gather when it comes to how children are affected by differing gender dynamics is that they will be heavily influenced and more than likely follow suit to what their parents model. If a child grows up in a family where they have two moms or two dads, they will more than likely follow in their foot steps because of the advantages and disadvantages that they see as they are growing up. Also, they may approach other friendships differently. In same-sex romantic relationships, two individuals refer to each other as being relatively equal, therefore a child will go into the world that that mindset.

    • melaniebahr Says:

      I didn’t agree with the article either. It made it sound like to have an easy relationship you needed to be gay. First of all every relationship has conflict due to difference of opinion in the parties involved. I think that having different views on life creates variety in relationships and diversity amongst a couple.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      I disagree. I do not think the article was dismissing the presence of conflict in homosexual relationships. I believe it was merely pointing out the difference in styles and effectiveness in conflict resolution.

      You also state that children raised in a same-sex household will learn different gender dynamics, approaching friendships and romantic relationships differently. Do you view this as negative?

      • Lauren Says:

        If a child grows up in a family where they have two moms or two dads, they will more than likely follow in their foot steps because of the advantages and disadvantages that they see as they are growing up.

        …when you said that do you mean that if you grow up with parents that are gay, you will become gay also because of their influence?

      • vrobbins Says:

        No not necessarily. I believe that everyone has their own opinions about things. It’s possible for a child to be raised by same-sex parents yet prefer heterosexual relationships.

  7. Jessie Wright Says:

    The article was very interesting. I agree with Lauren on how it is easier to solve conflicts with someone of the same sex, because both of you have the same sex (therefore have similar interests in resolving the conflict). I think gay couples do share all responsibilities more equally than straight couples. Straight couples have had a set of ‘norms’ for centuries. Since homosexual couples are newly in the century being able to come out and not hide things, they can set their standards. They can look at what has not worked in heterosexual couples and fix it in their relationship. Technically, heterosexual couples could easily change this (and some do), but the stereotype is still there.

    I 100% believe gay couples should be able to have children. My brother is gay and has a GREAT partner. They are thinking of adopting and I am all for it! They are the most stable, happy, considerate couple I have every seen. I could not imagine a more perfect pair for a child. On the other hand, my step dad is COMPLETELY against it. He thinks women and men must have a child together for a reason. A baby needs a mother and a father. It is hard for me to agree with that, because until last year, I grew up without a dad.

    For me the sex of two partners does not matter. I think if people are in love, bring out the best in each other, and want to be together, then they should be together. I could really careless about someone’s sexual preference. It has never been in my mind a bad thing. Especially with my brother, I have been with him many times were people will say things to us, but I do not see why people care about who he chooses to have a relationship with. I have seen many of my girlfriends dating terrible guys, but that is on the outside ‘ok.’ They are in an unhappy heterosexual relationship so it is fine, but god forbid my brother dating an amazing guy that makes him happy. Makes no sense to me.

    Obviously being brought up with homosexual household will be different, but not necessarily bad. With homosexuals being able to rightfully come out, I think it will be a lot more expectable in the years to come. Like I said before, if there is love the child is being nurtured, then I think it is fine.

    • mbest88 Says:

      Hearing your point of view was really interesting since you are living that situation first hand. I definitely agree that if a homosexual couple is a stable and loving that they should be able to adopt children, and I think it is great that your brother is consiidering that. I’m all for adoption, and I think anyone that wants to adopt a child has a very big, loving heart. I also agree with what you said about how same-sex couple have an easier time when it come to conflict. I agree that some straight couple work through their differences and don’t have as much conflict.

      • mransone Says:

        I really liked hearing your point of view. It is interesting to think about that homosexual couples can set their standards because it is such a new thing being brought of of hiding to our society.

    • Lauren Says:

      I agree with you 100%.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I think that it is great that we are able to have someone in this class that has experience with this first-hand. I’m interested to know if you agree with what the article is saying about conflict resolution and compromise. Do you find it easier for your brother and his partner to resolve conflict than you and your significant other do? Do you think that growing up in a homosexual household has helped you with your perspective on things? Since the article suggests that heterosexual individuals need to work on gaining perspective.

  8. scnuhoy87 Says:

    I truly thought that the article was interesting and I have no problem with homosexuals and their decisions. I know through my girlfriend a gay guy that happens to be my girlfriends sister’s best friend. Now, I admit that many heterosexual couples have problems and fight, but from what I have seen from the same-sex community that I have been exposed to (mainly just men-to-men relationships) they have more problems then I have seen from my personal dating experience. The article says that same-sex relationships rarely last long, and that it may be due to lack of acknowledgment publicly, but in that why would that be the deciding factor for a same-sex couple to end their relationship, if they were truly happy then they would not need a certificate to be together. I like what Jessie says about her brother, because it seems like they have a perfect relationship that will last, but if same-sex couples are only being together so that they can say they are married, then they are doing it for the wrong reason. You don’t get married just to do it, and many people don’t need a marriage certificate to be with someone, if you are truly happy regardless of if you are a heterosexual or homosexual couple you stay with someone because you love them and don’t give up just because of a certificate.

    When it comes to the fighting styles I believe that just like in the article, same-sex and cross-sex relationships, fight just the same no different no worse. Just because a same-sex couple share similar interest does not mean that they are going to solve a fight faster or better, rather it makes it worse because if there are two stubborn people then they are not going to just give into the situation. This is the exact same as a heterosexual couple.

    Although my religious background has told me that gay marriage is bad and should not be allowed I do not really have a preference on the topic, but when it comes to a same-sex couple raising a child, I believe that they can raise one perfectly well if not better than a cross-sex relationship.

    I have a skewed outlook on this topic because I did not meet a befriend a gay person until recently (girlfriends sister’s best friend), but from what I have learned about romantic relationships from the book and witnessed with my own eyes, I would completely agree with Jessie that these couples have the right to be together and if they are happy what is the point of stopping their love no matter how much we may disagree with it. There is not a whole new set of rules for same-sex couples, they can follow the same models and fit into the same theories as cross-sex couples.

  9. jenwaybright Says:

    I almost thought parts of this article seemed common sense like; it makes sense that same-sex couples would understand each other better, for they are the same-sex. The perspectives would be similar because, regardless of what gender or role the partner takes on in the same-sex relationship, they still have gone through very similar experiences being the sex they are. Also, the fact that same-sex relationships are more egalitarian, thus making the conflict resolution more fair, makes perfect sense since the reason most conflict is unresolved is the one in lesser power acquiesces to the one in greater power.

    I felt the line “The ability to see the other person’s point of view appears to be more automatic in same-sex couples, research shows that heterosexuals who can relate to their partner’s concerns and who are skilled at defusing arguments also have stronger relationships” was the most important line of this article. Yes, it is somewhat easier on same-sex couples in terms of sharing points of view, but they are challenged with other relationship stressors that heterosexual couples don’t face. As for heterosexual couples, this line shows that you have to invest in your relationship to make it work; it’s not always going to be the easiest of things and will be work and I think that resolving a solution in a more fair way is just seen as too much work for many couples.

    At the end of the article, the “demand-withdrawl” interaction is shown to be present in both types of couples, thus showing that gender is more to “blame” than sex.

    As for having children, I think that regardless of the sexes of the parents, the most important thing is that they are brought up in a loving home. As for socialization for the children in their gender, I am guessing(based on my experiences with gay couples) that there is one parent of one gender and one of another, so the child won’t be socialized awkwardly or inappropriately. They will probably come out being more open-minded than a heterosexual couple’s child, but that comes from being a minority in terms of family types.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I totally agree with what you have said. I do think that most of what the article said was common sense, and basically striaght couples have to work harder and invest more than gay couples. I also agree with what you said about the children. The most important things should be that they are brought up in a good, loving home, and it shouldn’t matter that the child will have two parents of the same sex.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      You have some great points. I agree. Heterosexual couples may have easier ways to solve conflicts, but they constantly have to defend their relationship in public. A lot of people are for homosexual relationships, but there is a big, overwhelming percent that are not for homosexual relations. So between the partners it may be easier, but I feel to the public they might have to have a shield.

  10. melaniebahr Says:

    To be honest, I don’t agree with what the article was saying. To me the article made it sound like heterosexual relationships are full of struggles, disagreements, and unhappiness. It presented the thought that gay couples are much happier because they can see eye to eye and are less offensive to each other. Yes, the article made some good points, but overall I think it was criticizing straight couples. The author didn’t feel the need to state that a gay couple may get along better because simply they are more similar to one another and have more similar goals based on society and that a straight couple consists of two very different people who approach life differently and have different opinions based on their gender.

    I see that the article did prove that same-sex couples have less disagreements and more equality. But it made it sound like the power distribution in a straight couple was a bad thing. I do not think that most straight couples see it that way. When they enter into a relationship they expect the woman to have certain power positions and the males to be in charge of certain things. Usually the men work and the women work in the house. I don’t think that straight couples see this as a burden, its more of an expectation upon entering into a relationship.

    I have mixed feelings on same-sex couples having children. I understand that they want children, they want to be a normal family. But at the same time they have to have the child’s interest at heart. Will the child be judged based upon their parents? Will the child be accepted? In a same-sex couple that has a child, the child would only have ne type of role model to follow, so I feel like they would be more likely to follow the one model they see and are surrounded by. I guess it depends on how open your society is, I just think it would be hard to raise a child when you as a parent are being so judged and criticized. I personally think that children are best raised with a straight couple for parents, call me traditional.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I got the same vibe you did that heterosexual couples always fight, are never happy, etc. I just think that people need to realize, gay or straight, that you are going to have to work at the relationship.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      You talk about power distribution between males and females in heterosexual relationships, where women take on a more domestic role, while men are in charge of the financial stability of the family. You stated, “I don’t think that straight couples see this as a burden, its more of an expectation upon entering into a relationship.” To what extent do you think gender roles should remain (or if they should remain) traditional? Do you think society’s “expectations” of gender roles will change (or possibly diminish) as society evolves? (consider the gender roles from 50 years ago and now)

      • catherineporter07 Says:

        as a partial answer to the question you asked– I too question traditional viewpoints on gender. However, It also bothers me when people frown upon certain individuals choosing these roles for themselves. For instance, my aunt is the perfect example of the stereotypical house-wife and soccer mom, but as she never fails to mention- she absolutely loves it. For as long as she can remember, she would dream of having a family and being a mom. While I do not fit under this same category, I love that she is happy within what people stereotype as traditional.

        Perhaps if society weren’t so focused on the existence of stereotypes.

        I lied, this isn’t really an answer to your question- more a commentary. interesting questions though!

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      The article did compare happy homosexual couples, and unhappy heterosexual couples. I think it would have been more persuasive if they had picked happy homosexual couples and happy heterosexual couples. It may have given better perspectives of the message they were trying to send.

  11. cahendy Says:

    Just like most people who have posted I do not agree with the article. It does sounds like it is saying if you were in a same sex relationship you will be happier. Relationships have never been easy and are not meant to be that way, so why does this article try to say that it is easier to do it that way.

    At one point it said that same sex marriages have just as many conflicts but they handle them better because they are better at putting themselves in eachothers shoes. Obviously that is going to be true because they are the same gender. I can put my self in any guys shoes and see things from his point of view much easier than I can with girls who I am very close with, we think differently and see things differently. In my opinion same sex marriages may have good relationships but when they get old I wonder how many of them have great relationships if every conflict is easy to deal with. I am looking forward to getting married and it not being easy but learning from my wife because she is a girl and because she sees things differently than I and any other guy ever can. In a same sex marriage I do not care how different you are they are still both going to think in similar ways which I feel like robs them of ever getting everything out of a relationship that people do in heterosexual marriages.

    I do not support same-sex marriages nor am I against it, I think it is their choice and thats fine with me but saying that those marriages are better than heterosexual marriages does nto make sense to me. Another point it made that I thought was stupid was they are better at sharing responsibilities such as financial and house work. Again its obvious that they would have to because gender roles do not apply. My parents do a great job at sharing responsibilities but at the end of the day my dad still feels ultimately responsible for the safety of his family and financial security.

    I honestly think that it would be tough for a child to be raised by a same-sex marriage. I do not really buy into people saying that is giving the child only one option to be homosexual because the kid can see all around him heterosexual relationships. What I see as a problem is it is important to have a father and a mother figure in every childs life. Ask people who were raised by one parent and I bet most of the time they are doing great but will also say it would have been nice to have both around. If a young boy were being raised by two women he is going to have to figure everything out on his own because no matter how much they love him, they have never been through the stuff he will go through and can only offer limited advice. Even for a boy being raised by two men, how is he going to learn how to treat women when he likes one? I know that a lot of the reason I treat girls the way I do is because of what my mom taught me but that boy will be missing out.

    • flipmyflops06 Says:

      They are not saying that same-sex relationships are better than heterosexual ones. They actually say they tend to argue the same amount, but that the couples in same-sex relationship are more satisfactory because of how they communicate.

      Also, I agree that some heterosexual couples are more equal at splitting responsibilities, but that same-sex couples are more likely to do this. I think this is mainly because they have to figure out who’s going to do what because they have no expected roles. Sometimes heterosexuals go into relationships assuming that some jobs and chores are specified for women and some for men.

    • emily9988 Says:

      i agree with what you said in your last paragraph about a heterosexual boy being raised by two dads. Lacking a mother in his younger years can be detrimental to his years on his own and how he interact with women. Good point!

  12. mbest88 Says:

    I disagree with the comment above. The article was in no way saying that all heterosexual couple do is fight, and it did explain that the reason homosexual couples are able to resolve fights faster is because of their similarities.

    I’ve never really though about the differences between straight and gay couple, but the article caused me to do so. I agree with the article. When it comes to fighting and resolving conflict I’m sure that gay couples do have a much easier time. When it comes to same-sex relationships there is normally a much more open line of communication. Communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship. Being in a relationship with someone of the same sex puts that couple at an advantage. Straight couples are much more out of balance than gay couples. Like the article said, women are often expectd to do things like houseowrk which cause more tensions in the household because these women often feel like the men aren’t helping out enough. Men and women also want different thins out of relationships. They have different expectations. This makes it harder to resolve conflict. The article is not saying that all straight couples do if fight. It really is just saying that they are at a disadvantage. Which according to the stereotypes is completely true. I’m really not sure how I feel about same-sex couples getting married. But I would bet that gay couple that are married would have a lot less trouble solving conflict, in most cases, than straight married couples.

    I’m not sure how I feel about same-sex couples adopting children. Basically the way I see it is if a loving couple wants to adopt a child then that’s great. There are so many disfunctional households out there that children are growing up in. There are a lot of straight couples out there who are crazy and really shouldn’t be able to raise children. Who are we to say that a loving couple can’t adopt a child who would otherwise have no family. I do understand that there could be emotional and social effects on that child from being raised in a gay home. That’s the only reason that I’m not defnintely for gay couples adopting. But then again there are so many awful people out there raising kids.

    • mransone Says:

      I completely agree with your adoptions thoughts. There are a lot of heterosexual couples that shouldn’t be allowed to raise children. And I do also share your worries on the social and emotional effects that may be place on a child in a homosexual home,

    • catherineporter07 Says:

      I agree that having an open line of communication is important. However, did you feel at all like the conclusions the author was making was lacking credible evidence to support the claims?

  13. kmacklin1107 Says:

    The article was definitely interesting, and shed some new light on all types of relationships. I think one of the reasonings behind the article is that heterosexual couples can learn a thing or two from homosexual couples. I am not saying that they have to agree with the lifestyle that that has been chosen, but the way in which the couple gets a long is what should be looked at. I think that if some of the heterosexual couples of today’s world acted like the homosexual couples when it comes to the act of having equal responsibility when it comes to the housework, taking care of financial matters, and being there for the kids, there would not be as much strife and arguments.

    This is not to say that it would be a conflict free relationship, but I think it would give both parties a chance to understand a little bit better where the other person is coming from when they bring up a point during an argument. In the long run I think that this will help out the children of these couples if they so choose to have children. If a child is in a family where there is constant strife and the parents are always stressed and the work is not shared equally, then that is the perspective that the child will have. I think a child that grows up in homosexual household will have a better outlook on life and people in general. They will see more people as being equal rather than always thinking there is one dominant person in the relationship.

  14. katelyntemple Says:

    I think it is important to remember that the article isn’t saying a heterosexual relationship isn’t as good as a homosexual one. The point of the article was to demonstrate that all problems in relationships do NOT occur as a result of gender dissferences. Through examining homosexual relationships, they found issues such as demand withdraw still exist. I really did not interpret the arcitle as just criticizing heterosexual couples, but providing insight that all relationship problems are not always gender related.

    • sbarmstrong Says:


      • kirstenpowell Says:

        i agree. I felt like the article was stating how in different types of relationships that things are done differently. I think the message was that we can all learn a little bit from everyone. I definitely did not read it as saying homosexual was more preferable, instead I took from it that homosexual relationships have different fighting patterns. The heterosexual couples may be able to use the strategies that homosexuals do in this situation.

    • kmacklin1107 Says:

      I am not saying that the article is saying the a heterosexual relationship is not as good as a homosexual relationship. I am just saying that there is a lot to be learned from both of the relationships.

      • mattymac Says:

        I agree that the article was not trying to say, “Homosexual relationships are better than heterosexual relationships,” but it definitely under-represents heterosexual relationships. I believe the main point was to demonstrate that equality within a relationship is beneficial to the satisfaction and success of the relationship. It was pointing to homosexual couples because there is naturally more equality already at play because they do not typically enact the traditional gender roles.

  15. mransone Says:

    I also have never really thought about the differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples. This article was very interesting and really made me stop and think. This article points out that homosexual couples function very differently in the home, than heterosexual couples do. It does seem more equal and more fair. In heterosexual couples the women normally is in charge if the house and the children, while the man is the breadwinner at work. In homosexual couples the roles are divided more equally, because it is two of the same genders so what is “culturally normal” doesn’t apply. I also found it interesting that the couples don’t fight as often, because they can talk through their issues more calmly because they have better communication abilities.

    When it comes to adopting children, I feel anyone with a healthy, stable, loving relationship should be given the same opportunity to adopt children. My only fear is that a child in a homosexual home could be teased for having two of the same parents, because kids are mean and if you are different in any way they will tear you down because of it.

  16. sbarmstrong Says:

    There seems to be much controversy over this article. I do not view this article as bashing heterosexual couples, rather, stating the differences in conflict. I believe the eqalitarian nature of homosexual couples does reduce the chance of conflict as duties are (typically) more evenly distributed. While conflict is prone in both hetero- and homosexual relationships, I believe conflict is also handled in a more eqalitarian manner as the conflict styles are similar.

    The article also talks about perspective. It is important in ALL relationships to consider your partner’s perspective. I do think it is easier for same-sex couples to engage in this process as two women are likely to be more similar than a woman and man.

    Views aside, I think children would equally benefit from a homosexual parenthood. The gender roles would be skewed, but I do not percieve that as a bad thing. I feel the children would obtain a better sense of androgyny, perhaps granting them more flexibility later in life. The family dynamics would definitely be different, but if the child was raised in a loving home, I do not believe the results would be negative.

  17. flipmyflops06 Says:

    I can understand how same-sex relationships are more equal in their fighting style and chores and how this would lessen the severity of conflicts. The article did point out that same-sex and heterosexual couples had about the same rate of argument, but it was how they handled them that made the relationship better for partners in a same-sex relationship. I think same-sex couples more easily understand one another so it makes diffusing a argument easier. Maybe because of their similar struggles with society they can relate more easily as well.

    When it come to chores and roles in the relationship I definitely believe same-sex couples are at an advantage because they both have the same ‘expected’ work as lauren said in the first post. This makes it so they have to work out who will do what and compromise instead of the roles being automatic.

    I do think that children of same-sex couples may have an easier time in some areas and a more difficult time in others. These children will probably grow up in a household with less conflict, which may make them happier and more well adjusted adults. Also because gender roles are not as rigid in these households, the children will grow up not having restrictions placed on what they believe they are capable of. These children may have a tougher time in relationships with more traditional males or females because children raised in same-sex households may have a more expanded view on what males and females are allowed and should do.

  18. mmpike Says:

    Like a lot of other people I didn’t really like this aricle. I feel like it was really bias, and was basically trying to get across that to have the easiest relationship you should enter a same-sex relationships. The differences between the two type of relationship are unavoidable I feel. Of course there are going to be differences in the relationship because of gender. There is no escaping the fact that men and women are different, and those differences, or lack of differences ( in the case of same-sex relationships) will play out in the relationships.

    I think though, that there is a lot to be said for diversity in a relationship, weather that be between a man and a woman, or in a homosexual relationship. Just because individuals are of the same sex however, does not mean that their conflict will be less. I have had plenty of difficult conflict with one of my really good friends (a girl). I think its important when studying gender to not over generalize, which I think occurs every once in a while.

    I am a firm believer that children should have both a male and female presence in their life. This isn’t to say anything negative about children that have only one gendered parent growing up but I believe that without that the child is missing out on certain opportunities, experiences that are important to development.

  19. emily9988 Says:

    To be completely honest, I did not agree with everything this article said. The article seemed to be biased towards homosexual couples and criticized heterosexual couples. The article states:

    “While the gay and lesbian couples had about the same rate of conflict as the heterosexual ones, they appeared to have more relationship satisfaction, suggesting that the inequality of opposite-sex relationships can take a toll.”

    I feel like this is a very general statement. Sure, they may see more same-sex couples in satisfying relationships, but it’s impossible to make that inference when they can’t look at all of the same-sex and opposite-sex couples in existence.

    The article goes on to talk about how same-sex couples are calmer in relationships, use humor more often, and maintain a regulated heart and stress level when in an argument. They said the exact opposite things when comparing same-sex to opposite-sex couples.

    This article stresses how important equality is, but in fact it sounds like they are leaning more towards inequality by showing biased towards same-sex relationships.

    • tgbaldwin32 Says:

      I agree with your statements of this article completely. By generalizing all the same-sex and opposite-sex couples together into two distinct groups, they have over generalized the human relationship. How do they know that the relationships that they have studied are not unique, thus putting their research in jeopardy. I am a big fan of the scientific method and if they can’t show me numbers, and back those numbers up with evidence, I have a tendency to discredit the entire argument they are presenting. For example this article I think is defiantly pro same-sex couples and how they handle arguments more effectively than opposite-sex couples, yet they don’t go into great detail about how there are many different ways to handle arguments. We as a species have been doing opposite-sex couples just fine, we wouldn’t still be in existence if otherwise so we got to be doing something right, unlike what I think the article is implying.

    • chloea Says:

      I completely agree. It’s ironic that they are speaking of equality when displaying a bias toward one relationship preference. There’s such a diversity of romantic relationships, and when they present research, we don’t know the sample size of the couples that participated.

  20. McNally Says:

    After reading the article I can understand why they say that same-sex couples may have an easier time getting along then others. The way i look at it its kind of like having a best friend. You are going to be more apt to getting along with your best friend or running to your best friend for help when you and your girlfriend or you and another member of the opposite sex are fighting. In saying this it can transfer over that same way to same sex marriages. You have so much in common their will be less conflicts of interest.
    But i cannot agree that same-sex children will learn the life lessons that they would necesarilly learn if they were growing up in a heterosexual relationship. After all, we talked about in previous chapters how men need their fathers to learn the masculine ways as well as their mothers to learn their more emotional feminine ways.
    The equality aspect of this a touchy area. A lot of people have mentioned how in the same-sex marriages or couples they are more keen to be equal status. But then why does the article state that the sterotype for same-sex relationshps is that they do not last. My questions is if you have lets say 2 males as a couple, will they not eventually bump heads to see who is the “man” of the house. And this could go for same sex marriage with women as well. I just feel at some point they are gonna realize that their are going to be things that they disagree on and who is the one to have the final say? Who is going to take charge and be head of the household?
    The article states that in same sex the obligations and duties are equally shared. As opposed to heterosexual relationships where the stereotypical woman will cook and clean and care for the children, while the husband will work and provide financial comfort. I feel that although women are on a rise and can care for themselves because of their uprising independence, it is good for them to have a “head of the household” that they can look up to for support.

    • McNally Says:

      As well a man needs a women’s emotional support

    • sam1503 Says:

      I agree that it would be a good thing to have a “head of the household” in a same-sex relationship. I can see why this would be difficult to achieve because the characteristics of each person in the relationship are the same. My opinion is that in same-sex relationships, one person takes on the role of the male and one person takes on the role as a female. This may not be as heavily as in a cross-sex relationship, but it will help establish responsibilities. When conflict arises, it is still easier for same-sex relationships to compromise and work things out easier because they understand their partner much better.

  21. tgbaldwin32 Says:

    From what I got from the article the most important part was at the end, where is said that same-sex couples also use the “demand-withdraw” interaction. When an article is saying that studying same-sex romantic relationships can help heterosexual romantic relationships I don’t understand why they would put that tidbit about the two being that same in the article.

    I also agree with what a few people said in their posts, I defiantly think this is a pro same-sex romantic relationship article. What I got out of this is if I want an easy relationship go gay, I don’t understand this. I believe that conflict ultimately can bring a relationship closer, through coming together and finding a solution to the problem the two parties can get a greater understanding on one another thus making the relationship stronger.

    I think it would be ok for the same-sex couples to have children. But I really don’t understand what some of the posts are saying how it would give the child a perspective of everyone being equal. I don’t think that, I think it would give the child the perspective that two men or two women are equal. But as long as they can provide a loving family and strong support for their children I believe they can raise perfectly healthy normal individuals.

    • melissam4 Says:

      My theory for why some gay couples showed the demand-withdraw like heterosexual couples is that these people were most likely raised with gender roles in their lives (which is understandable seeing as how thats the expected norm), SO, as many of us have seen, some gay men tend to act feminine, sometimes extremely so due to what I believe is their desire to be a female or at least attract attention from other men like females. Because they act feminine, when they’re in a relationship, they may act out these gender roles and demand better communication from their partner, pushing that partner into withdrawal, especially if he perfers to be ‘the man’ of the relationship.

      This article does seem to highlight the same-sex’s rather than the heterosexual’s, however, I think it’s main purpose is to deliver the message that problems faced by heterosexual couples is not due to biological differences, but deeply embedded gender roles taken on from tradition and what society has stated as the norm. It shouldnt be the norm, and once people realize that, then many couples can stop arguing about typical problems that can sometimes lead to serious arguments and a deteriorating relationship. The same-sex’s are just an example of how to help because according to statistics, they seem to be doing better.

    • chloea Says:

      Oh!! Good point about how conflict brings relationships closer and makes them stronger! I definitely agree. We learn from those conflicts and demonstrate our commitment to each other as we pull through the disagreement.

  22. catherineporter07 Says:

    First off, I have a very difficult time reading an article like this without having access to the actual research procedure these different sociologists/ psychologists used to formulate their conclusions, so I suppose this has been doubtful of taking what this article is saying as truth – But I will try to answer as if I believe the research is accurate.

    From what we have read and learned so far about family and romantic relationships, one thing that I believe is going on here is that because generally men tend to communicate in similar ways that other men do, and women tend to communicate in similar ways that other women do, when in a romantic relationship- they are better apt in understanding how to approach conflict. While in heterosexual relationships men and women continually struggle to understand the way each other operates, members in a romantic relationship of the same-sex experience this to a lesser degree (as even members of the same-sex do have their own set of differences). Once again I find it difficult to make an analysis on this article, because of the generalizations it makes without solid evidence available for the reader’s viewing.

    Also, stereotypical gender roles are not existent in homosexual relationships, well because the individuals are of the same sex. Therefore, it is logical that they would agree to share responsibilities. I guess I almost think of it as being like a roommate situation – where you split responsibilities equally.

    In terms of the influence on the couples’ children, I wish I had some-first hand experience to feel comfortable having some sort of backing to what I’m saying. If it is true that in a particular same-sex marriage that the couple split responsibilities in the home and workplace more equally, then I would assume the child would be geared to understand that regardless of sex, responsibilities do not need to be a result of sex associated with gender, but a decision formulated by the individuals. Also, the child may have the capability to examine heterosexual relationships in the household of their friends from a different lens. Overall, I feel as though the individual couple and their children would determine the affect on the child; it seems that making a generalization about gay couples doesn’t suffice and forms another stereotype.

    • mattymac Says:

      You make a good point about how it is possible that children raised by a same-sex couple might be shown that sex does not relate to roles and responsibilities one takes on later in life. However, I wonder if a child raised by a same-sex couple will decide that the equality that exists in his or her parents’ relationship is not because the fact that they are the same sex. This is especially a concern because of the child’s exposure to societal and traditional views of men and women which still perpetuate that different sexes leads to different roles and responsibilities. I feel as though it would just further emphasize the differences between the sexes, especially as it relates to how two women would raise a child compared to how two men would raise a child.

  23. sam1503 Says:

    I personally think that this article was very interesting to read. I had never taken the time to think about how same-sex romantic relationships could be different than heterosexual ones and why. To me, this article’s explanation of why same-sex relationships work makes sense. A woman-woman relationship will embody the emotion and communicational appeal that women seek. Men are also able to give each other what they need from their partner. Therefore, it is easier in a same-sex relationship to understand what the other person needs because it is the same thing you need from them. I also think it makes sense that men and women share the power and responsibilities in same-sex relationships better than those of us in cross-sex ones. Women will both have the urge to nurture the other one because that is a feeling all women get. Men on the other hand will feel obligated to handle the financials. Like the article mentions, people in same-sex relationships compromise with their partners easier, therefore are able to share the responsibilities and power that they both urge to have.

    I find it interesting that the article nor the book touched on the stereotype that in same-sex relationships there is always one person who takes the position of the man and one that takes the position of the woman. I would think that if this stereotype were true that same-sex relationships would have more problems and power would be hard to distribute like it is in cross-sex relationships. What do you guys think?

    I think that children who come from a same-sex relationship household are more inclined to have an open mind about things because they are faced with more scrutiny from others from an early age. I also think that they are able to learn more about how to compromise and work together in relationships because they are able to see their parents do it. I do however believe that the influences children recieve about gender at an early age would be different if being raised by same-sex parents. Stereotypically non-hetereosexual men tend to be more feminine in nature and may not be able to give their son the masculine attention that he needs, such as participating in sports. When thinking about this idea, the TV show Friends comes to mind because Ross’s son is raised by both him, and his non-heterosexual mother and her life partner. In the show Ross feels the need to instile manly attributes to Ben, his son, because he feels as though he is not gettting them from his home life with his mother. This is the way that I’m sure children in this situation often are treated.

  24. melissam4 Says:

    I think it seems very reasonable that same-sex couples are more egalitarian than heterosexual couples. Like everyone has already said, because women are more likely to talk about their emotions, then fighting in lesbian couples is probably more like a heart-to-heart. With gay couples, because men have similar methods of communicating, resolving conflicts is also probably easier as well. Also, because some gay men feel inclined to act feminine, then they’re more likely to also prefer to talk about their emotions and easily get to the bottom of their problems.

    The article explains that same-sex couples can teach a thing or two to heterosexual couples and I completely agree. It’s unfortunate that society has allowed us to believe the differences between males and females. Due to these differences, heterosexual couples feel they have different needs and have been conditioned to express those needs and desires in different ways in which many people of the opposite sex feel they can’t or won’t try to understand. This understandably causes the problems faced by many couples and it seems that in an effort to change, further studing same-sex couples would be highly beneficial.

    With all of the inequality faced between men and women, it seems that children being raised with same-sex parents might be the key society is looking for in order to abolish this issue. These children would be raised seeing and learning the equality displayed by their parents and not be subjected to societal expectations of gender roles. These children would see that even though some taks may be divided according to parental preference, they won’t be so according to gender. Gender roles will have no deeply embedded meaning except for the bits that may be seen on the media and outside the home. For the most part, these children will grow free of gender roles and possibly be the generation to promote change for everyone.

  25. chloea Says:

    I had trouble with this article because not only is it bias to same-sex romantic relationships, it also strictly presents only the pros to same-sex romantic relationship rather than including the cons as well.

    As has been mentioned before, same-sex couples are able to communicate more easily particularly due to their ability to understand how their partner thinks and feels because they experience it as well. I really liked what was mentioned early on in this blog discussion– many times we use siblings of the opposite sex to aid in understanding our significant others in heterosexual relationships. We communicate differently as a couple because it’s difficult for us to understand one another. No matter how hard we try, we will never completely understand the opposite sex. However, our efforts do help our relationships, providing more appreciation and thus understanding.

    Along with Sam, I would have to say that because each gender has its stereotypes, there is an unequal distribution of power. Same-sex romantic relationships, on the other hand, do not have these stereotypes to affect their distribution of power within the relationship. They distribute the power evenly.

    While I can see how homosexual couples are good at compromising and children would benefit that (and think that you guys have made good points), I still struggle to see how we can so easily dismiss the benefits that heterosexual couples have to offer their children. I don’t think that gender roles need to completely disappear, and thus do see the benefit of having a mother and father figure within the family. It’s not necessary, but beneficial.

  26. mattymac Says:

    I enjoyed reading the article, but I feel as though it over-represents same-sex couples and downplays opposite-sex relationships.

    As many others have posted, it is difficult to deny that there is more equality in same-sex relationships when the two people in the relationship are of the same sex. Many of the differences between men and women disappear, and the differences within the sexes, instead of the differences between the sexes, emerges. For the most part, most men will share more common characteristics with other men than they will with women and most women will share more common characteristics with other women, whether it is because of their biological, psychological, social, or cultural influences.

    How can a dichotomy exist when the very nature of the two individuals in the relationship is that they are of the same sex? While all people are different, I feel that it is foolish to deny that men and women are essentially different. As others have mentioned, the article does not bring in any points that demonstrate how heterosexual relationships are different in a better light from homosexual relationships. I feel as though it over-generalized heterosexual relationships, when, as we have read, there are growing number of opposite-sex couples exhibiting more equality in contemporary society.

    Additionally, the article does not suggest why there is less equality in heterosexual relationships. Perhaps it is more equal because homosexuals do not follow the same gendered patterns that most heterosexuals do. If the purpose of the article is to advocate for heterosexual couples to have more equality within their relationships, then perhaps our culture and society should start enacting and depicting more equal gendered behaviors. I watch television and movies, listen to music, read and watch the news, etc. Most of my behavior and choices do not stem from the influences of other people and other relationships, they stem from what has been placed in front of me as “the norm.”

    In terms of how same-sex couples may influence children and overall family and relationship dynamics, children raised by a same-sex couple will most likely not see the typical gendered patters of interaction that exist between the sexes that are typically enacted within a marriage. They may also see more how equality within a relationship is healthy. However, I wonder if there might not be inequalities that exist in same-sex couples in how they raise children. The article mentions how there are less inequalities when it comes to financial matters and doing the housework, but those are task-related. Raising children functions on a much more emotional and relational level. Does that mean more inequalities may come through within the same-sex relationship when raising children is involved in the equation?

  27. mattymac Says:

    One aspect to being raised in a same-sex relationship that I thought related to gender involves how the text describes how we learn our roles through our parents. Children often identify with the parent of the same sex and learn to behave like them. They also compare and contrast themselves with the parent of the opposite sex and learn not to behave like them. This notion disappears in a same-sex relationship, for will a boy emulate the qualities both his fathers exhibit, or just one? Will a girl emulate the qualities that both her mothers exhibit, one just one? How will a boy learn not to be like a woman and how will a girl learn not to be like a man? Is it of any importance that they learn this, or will it lead to a more androgynous individual? Do boys and girls not need an older member of the same sex for a role model?

    I was thinking about adolescence and puberty and how boys tend to learn about the changes occurring during these times from their brothers and fathers while girls learn from their sisters and mothers. What affect would same-sex parenting have on children of the opposite sex, especially during these years? Also, as many have mentioned in this discussion as well as several others, there are just certain things girls feel more comfortable talking about with other girls for they understand it better. Likewise, there are just certain things guys feel more comfortable talking about with other guys for they understand it better. Would a boy or girl be more likely to hide things from their parents if they were both of the opposite sex?

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