Same-Sex Sexuality and the Risk of Divorce: Findings from Two National Studies

Andrew S London, Aaron Hoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite symbolic linkages between heterosexuality and marriage, and a pervasive heteronormative ideology of romantic love, little population-representative research examines whether same-sex sexuality–desire/attraction, behavior, and gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity–increases the likelihood of divorce from an different-sex spouse. We examine this association using data from the 1992 National Health and Social Life Survey and the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. In both sub-studies, multivariate logistic regression analyses indicate that same-sex sexuality reduces the odds of ever marrying. However, among the once-married, same-sex desire/attraction, sexual behavior, and gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity respectively increase the odds of different-sex divorce net of demographic and early-life factors. Same-sex sexuality puts a brake on divorce by preventing some different-sex marriages that would ultimately end in divorce, but is associated with an increase risk of different-sex divorce among once-married individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • bisexual (LGB)
  • Divorce
  • gay
  • heteronormativity
  • homosexuality
  • lesbian
  • marriage
  • romantic love
  • same-sex sexuality
  • sociology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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