SAN DIEGO, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Studies of lesbian and gay couples reveal some key factors that may promote healthier relationships in straight couples, a U.S. psychologist says.
Psychologist and researcher Robert-Jay Green of the Rockway Institute and of Alliant International University in San Diego says the studies of lesbian and gay couples found that the homosexual couples had flexibility about gender roles and an equal division of parenting and household tasks.
In a series of studies Green conducted with Michael Bettinger and Ellis Zacks, lesbian couples were found to be emotionally closer than gay male couples who, in turn, were found to be emotionally closer than heterosexual married couples.
"It all comes down to greater equality in the relationship," Green said in a statement. "Research shows that lesbian and gay couples have a head start in escaping the traditional gender role divisions that make for power imbalances and dissatisfaction in many heterosexual relationships."
Heterosexual couples could learn from gays couples about sharing housework and childcare, using softer communication in conflict and having more nurturing behaviors toward one another and their children, the researchers conclude.
Coincidence? I think not.