Last strategies have actually included dealing with community partners ( ag e.g., regional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy teams) to simply help scientists establish trust and opportunities for recruitment, in specific when recruiting more targeted samples centered on race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status (e.g., Meyer & Wilson, 2009; Moore, 2008). Researchers can also benefit from details about the geographical distribution of same-sex partners in the us to get data in areas with greater concentrations of same-sex partners and racial/ethnic and diversity that is socioeconomicBlack et al., 2000; Gates, 2010). On line recruitment could also facilitate research involvement; greater privacy and simplicity of involvement with web surveys when compared with face-to-face information collection may boost the likelihood that folks in same-sex unions and same-sex partners will take part in studies (Meyer & Wilson, 2009; Riggle, Rostosky, & Reedy, 2005).
Comparison Group Challenges
Choices concerning the definition and structure of contrast teams in studies that compare same-sex relationships to different-sex relationships are critical because same-sex partners are demographically distinct from different-sex partners; people in same-sex partners are younger, more educated, more prone to be used, less likely to want to have kids, and somewhat almost certainly going to be feminine than individuals in different-sex couples (Gates, 2013b). As an example, scientists may erroneously conclude that relationship dynamics differ for exact same- and different-sex partners when it’s in reality parental status distinctions between same- and different-sex partners that form relationship characteristics. Three comparison that is specific factors that creates unique challenges—and opportunities—for research on same-sex relationships include (a) a moving appropriate landscape, (b) parental status, and (c) unpartnered people.
Moving landscape that is legal
As appropriate options have actually expanded for same-sex partners, more research reports have compared individuals in same-sex marriages and civil unions (or registered domestic partnerships) with individuals in different-sex married partnerships ( ag e.g., Solomon et al., 2004). Yet because appropriate choices differ across states and with time, the exact same statuses aren’t open to all couples that are same-sex. This moving legal landscape presents significant challenges, in specific for scholars whom try to compare same-sex couples with different-sex couples, because many same-sex partners never have hitched (and sometimes even had the option of marrying), whereas many different-sex partners have had sufficient possibility to marry.
One technique for handling this complexity would be to gather information in states that legally acknowledge same-sex partnerships. As an example, Rothblum and peers (Rothblum et al., 2011a; Solomon et al., 2004) contacted all couples whom joined civil unions in Vermont in 2000–2001, and same-sex partners whom decided to engage then selected their siblings in a choice of different-sex marriages or union that is noncivil relationships for involvement within the research. This design, which may be adjusted for qualitative or quantitative studies, permitted the scientists to compare three kinds of couples and target possibly confounding factors ( ag e.g., cohort, socioeconomic status, social support systems) by matching same-sex partners in civil unions with community users who had been comparable on these history variables. Gates and Badgett (2006) argued that future research comparing various appropriate statuses and appropriate contexts across states may help us better know very well what is possibly unique about wedding ( ag e.g., whether you will find health advantages related to same-sex marriage when compared with same-sex cohabitation).
A associated challenge is that same-sex couples in appropriate unions could have cohabited for several years but held it’s place in a legal union for a short while because appropriate union status became available just recently. This restrictions research in to the implications of same-sex wedding considering the fact that wedding is conflated with relationship extent. One technique for coping with that is to complement exact same- and different-sex partners in identical legal status (e.g., wedding) on total relationship timeframe as opposed to the length of time within their present status ( ag e.g., cohabiting, hitched, or any other appropriate status; Umberson et al., in press). An extra problem is historical alterations in appropriate choices for people in same-sex relationships play a role in various relationship records across successive delivery cohorts, a problem we address later on, inside our discussion of relationship biography and guidelines for future research. Future studies may also think about whether use of marriage that is legal the security and length of same-sex relationships, maybe making use of quasi-experimental practices (also discussed below).
Parental status and kinship systems
Individuals in same-sex relationships are nested within bigger kinship systems, in specific those who include kiddies and parents, and family members characteristics may diverge from habits discovered for individuals in different-sex relationships (Ocobock, 2013; Patterson, 2000; Reczek, 2014). As an example, some studies claim that, weighed against people in different-sex relationships, those in same-sex relationships experience more strain and less connection with their own families of beginning (Rothblum, 2009). Wedding holds great symbolic importance that may change just exactly how other people, including nearest and dearest, view and connect to individuals in same-sex unions (Badgett, 2009). Last studies have shown that individuals in different-sex marriages are far more a part of their loved ones of beginning than are the ones in different-sex cohabiting unions. Future research should further explore the way the change from cohabitation to marriage alters relationships along with other family unit members (including relationships with groups of beginning) for the people in same-sex unions (Ocobock, 2013).