Washington Times reports a recent study that finds homosexual relationships much shorter and radically less monogamous than heterosexual ones.

I don’t know enough about how homosexuals conduct themselves to really evaluate the story, but I see some red flags here. For one thing, the tone of the article is very much op-ed even though it’s posted as a straight (no pun intended) news piece. For another, I’m not sure comparing heterosexual married couples and homosexuals who are merely cohabitating is apples-to-apples. Since gays can’t marry, even in Holland (where the study was conducted), I’m not sure what the fair comparison is, frankly.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Norbizness says:

    It would seem that the most apples-to-apples approach would be to compare the average lifespan of relationships that begin with some form of co-habitation, whether or not they end up in marriage.

    Surprising that this should appear in Reverend “All those homosexuals, lesbians… those who go after free sex — if they practice that type of principle, they are less than animals” Moon’s publication.

  2. Actually, I think the fairest comparison would be between cohabitating non-married couples of opposite-sex, male-male, and female-female pairings. Any comparison involving married couples is not, by definition, an equal comparison until some legal (if not social or religious) equivalent has existed for same-sex couples for at least an average lifespan.

    The people who go the extra step to have their relationship recognized legally are (generally, not in every case) the ones who are demonstrating a public committment to make their relationship last. Comparing legally married couples to opposite-sex cohabitating couples would likely show similar results in terms of longevity of the relationships.

  3. James Joyner says:

    NR: I think you’re probably right. The only problem with that is that, since gays can’t marry, some gays who consider themselves married–and would marry if they were legally able–are lumped into the comparison. But I don’t know how else to do the study more fairly.