The Resource Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States

Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States

Label
Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States
Title
Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States
Creator
Contributor
Author
Contributor
Subject
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Summary
Vermont was the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex relationships in mid-2000, so that same-sex couples could have the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples at the state level. Same-sex couples came to Vermont from all over the country to legalize their relationships. During the first year that this legislation was enacted, 80 percent of civil unions were acquired by out-of-state residents. In 2002, a project was conducted that compared couples who had civil unions in Vermont during the first year of that new legislation (July 2000-June 2001) with same-sex couples in their friendship circles who had not had civil unions, and with heterosexual married siblings (Solomon, Rothblum, and Balsam, 2004; 2005). The focus was on demographic factors, length of relationship, social support from family and friends, contact with families of origin, social and political activities, degree of "outness," and division of housework, child care, and finances. This was the first study to focus on same-sex couples in legalized relationships in the United States. It was also the first study to examine same-sex couples recruited from a population instead of a convenience sample, because civil unions are a matter of public record. Results indicated very few differences between same-sex couples in civil unions and those not in civil unions, particularly for women. Women in civil unions were more "out" about their sexual orientation, and more likely to consider themselves married than were women not in civil unions. Men in civil unions were more likely to have children, joint bank accounts with their partner, mutual friends with their partner, more connection with their family of origin, and to consider themselves married. They were less likely to have seriously discussed ending their relationship than men not in civil unions (Solomon et al., 2004). In contrast, both types of same-sex couples differed from heterosexual married couples in numerous ways. Same-sex couples were in their current relationship for a shorter duration, less religious, less likely to have children, more likely to share housework and finances, and less close to their family of origin than heterosexual couples. Women in same-sex relationships were more highly educated and perceived less social support from their family of origin than heterosexual married women. Men in same-sex relationships lived in larger cities, were less monogamous and more likely to agree that non-monogamy was acceptable, and perceived more social support from their friends than heterosexual married men. It is not surprising that same-sex couples differed from heterosexual couples. Prior research on lesbians and gay men from convenience samples that compared them to (a) United States census data (e.g., Bradford and Ryan, 1988), (b) their heterosexual siblings (e.g., Rothblum, et al., 2004; Rothblum and Factor, 2001), and (c) representative national samples (e.g., Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels, 1994) have consistently indicated demographic differences. It was also not surprising that same-sex couples in civil unions were quite similar to same-sex couples not in civil unions given that the first study was conducted after the first year of the new legislation. Consequently, that study was more about who chooses to have a civil union versus those who do not. It was less about how being in a civil union changes a relationship -- for that, follow-up research is needed. Demographic variables include age, race, education, religion, sexual orientation, income, and occupation
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
  • Rothblum, Esther
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Balsam, Kimberly
Label
Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • 2000--2002
  • 31241
Control code
ICPSR31241.v1
Governing access note
Access restricted to subscribing institutions
Label
Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States
Publication
Note
  • 2000--2002
  • 31241
Control code
ICPSR31241.v1
Governing access note
Access restricted to subscribing institutions

Library Locations

    • Bowdoin College LibraryBorrow it
      3000 College Station, Brunswick, ME, 04011-8421, US
      43.907093 -69.963997
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