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Partner Homogamy in Married, Heterosexual Cohabiting, Gay, and Lesbian Couples

Lawrence A. Kurdek and J. Patrick Schmitt
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 23, No. 2 (May, 1987), pp. 212-232
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812592
Page Count: 21
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Partner Homogamy in Married, Heterosexual Cohabiting, Gay, and Lesbian Couples
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Abstract

Because similarity between partners has been thought to be related to relationship quality, this study assessed similarities between partners in 44 married, 35 heterosexual cohabiting, 50 gay, and 56 lesbian couples on demographic characteristics, appraisals of relationship quality, and factors predictive of relationship quality. With regard to demographic characteristics: Partners' age was correlated for each type of couple; partners' income, education, and job prestige were correlated only for heterosexual cohabiting couples; and gay partners had the largest discrepancies in age, income, and education. With regard to appraisals of relationship quality: Partners' scores were correlated for each type of couple on relationship satisfaction but for only gay and lesbian couples on love for partner; partners across all couples differed in their assessments of relationship quality. With regard to the predictors of relationship quality: Partner scores were correlated for each type of couple only on shared decision making; these predictor scores were most frequently correlated for lesbian partners; differences between partners were least for lesbian couples on attractions to the relationship and perceived family support and greatest for cohabiting couples on dyadic attachment. Relationship quality was not related to discrepancies between partners' demographic variables but was negatively related to discrepancies in partners' dyadic attachment. In conclusion, partner homogamy was most pervasive in lesbian couples, and for all couples homogamy on dyadic attachment was related to relationship quality.

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