Comparative Couple Stability: Same-Sex and Male-Female Unions in Europe

Eric Ketcham , City University of New York (CUNY)

Findings on the stability of same-sex unions compared to male-female unions vary among regions of the world. Studies in Scandinavia and Great Britain tend to find that same-sex unions are less stable than their male-female counterparts, whereas studies in the United States tend to find that same-sex and male-female couples experience similar dissolution rates. To the author’s knowledge, no study has addressed dissolution rates of same-sex couples in continental Europe. This study uses the Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS) to examine dissolution rates in eight continental European countries, pooled, and seeks to situate the findings among those from other countries and regions. Preliminary discrete time event history analyses are conducted to calculate the hazard of dissolution between survey waves. Additional analyses will use retrospective relationship histories. Preliminary findings indicate that coresident same-sex couples experience the same dissolution rates as male-female unions, controlling for the marital status of the union.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity