Country Context and the Relative Stability of Same-Sex Unions: Insights From the Case of Colombia

Fernando Ruiz-Vallejo
Diederik Boertien, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), Universitat de Barcelona

The relative stability of same-sex unions as compared to different-sex unions differs across countries. In principle, one would expect the stability of same-sex and different-sex unions to be similar in contexts that are favorable to same-sex couples, but existing evidence is not easily squared with this expectation. The current study helps understanding this puzzle by providing evidence on a context that has relatively high levels of disapproval toward same-sex marriage: Colombia. Data from the DHS provides retrospective information on 45,188 first unions, including 781 same-sex unions. Same-sex unions are less stable than different-sex marriages, but more stable than different-sex cohabiting unions. The latter result likely reflects the fact that different-sex cohabiting couples are particularly unstable in Colombia rather than that same-sex unions are particularly stable. Based on these results, we make a case for cross-nationally comparing general union stability rather than splitting the analysis by marital status.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions