Study: Legal
Status Helps Relationships Last Longer

Study: Legal
            Status Helps Relationships Last Longer

Guys in Bed (Getty) | Advocate.com

Same-sex couples
in legally bound relationships appear to stay in their
relationships longer than those who are not legally
recognized, according to a new study published in
Developmental Psychology.

The study is a
five-year project that began in 2002, the year same-sex
civil unions were legalized in Vermont.

Robert-Jay Green,
executive director of LGBT research organization
Rockway Institute, said the study shows that civil union
status itself may help preserve relationships.

"There are many
ways that a legal couple status may support a
relationship -- more family understanding, acceptance by
friends and coworkers, greater commitment that results
from a public declaration, and enhanced legal
protections in the form of health care benefits and
community property," Green said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sixty-five male
and 138 female couples who entered civil unions in 2002
were asked to provide information. The study also included
23 male and 61 female couples not in civil unions and
55 heterosexual married couples who were related to
the same-sex couples in civil unions. Same-sex couples
not in civil unions were more likely to have ended their
relationship than same-sex couples in civil unions or
heterosexual married couples in the study. About 9% of
same-sex couples not in civil unions ended their
relationship, while only 3.8% of same-sex couples in a
civil union ended their relationships.

The study was
conducted by Kimberly F. Balsam and Theodore P. Beauchaine
of the University of Washington, Esther D. Rothblum of San
Diego State University, and Sondra E. Solomon of the
University of Vermont. (The Advocate)

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