A new study strongly suggests same-sex couples are conspicuously happier than their straight brothers and sisters.
Researchers questioned over 25,000 people in the United Kingdom and more than 9,000 in Australia.
The data they collected led them to conclude gay and lesbian couples are quite content and just really feeling themselves.
On the other hand, bisexual people were on average less happy in their relationships than heterosexual or homosexual couples.
The study was conducted by Janeen Baxter and Francisco Perales at the University of Queensland.
“Relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom,” they conclude, “and higher in Australia.”
“The lowest relationship quality in both countries was reported by bisexual individuals.”
Baxter and Perales infer that same-sex couples may have stronger bonds because they’re less intent on sticking to tried-and-true gender roles:
“Individuals in same-sex couples (particularly lesbian women) generally are more equitable in the ways in which they allocate domestic work, including childcare.”
Heterosexual couples tend to constantly reaffirm their gender roles while coupled up, which can lead to a potentially destructive power dynamic.
“Unequal household burdens are associated with poor relationship outcomes, including marital conflict and divorce,” they write.
“If gender display is not as salient in same-sex couples and these relationships are more egalitarian than heterosexual couples, higher levels of relationship quality might be expected.”
The researchers also suggest gay couples probably feel aligned with an entire community of like-minded couples, which could also increase their happiness:
“Individuals in same-sex relationships may be more likely than those in different-sex relationships to have high relationship investment….
Our results provide robust evidence to combat deep-rooted and erroneous social perceptions of same-sex relationships being conflictual, unhappy, and dysfunctional.
Our findings support policies that seek to legalize same-sex marriage and parenting rights.”
They also believe these results “highlight the need to give further attention to bisexual individuals as a distinct group because their outcomes are comparatively poor.”