Sex Roles

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 561–575

Money, Housework, Sex, and Conflict: Same-Sex Couples in Civil Unions, Those Not in Civil Unions, and Heterosexual Married Siblings


  • Sondra E. Solomon
    • Department of Psychology, John Dewey HallUniversity of Vermont
    • Department of Psychology, John Dewey HallUniversity of Vermont
  • Kimberly F. Balsam
    • University of Washington

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-005-3725-7

Cite this article as:
Solomon, S.E., Rothblum, E.D. & Balsam, K.F. Sex Roles (2005) 52: 561. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3725-7


In this study we examined the division of finances, the division of household tasks, relationship maintenance behaviors, sexual activity, monogamy, and conflict among same-sex couples who had had civil unions in Vermont, same-sex couples who had not had civil unions recruited from their friendship circles, and married heterosexual couples recruited from among their siblings. Married heterosexuals had a more traditional, gendered division of finances, household tasks, and relationship maintenance behaviors, even though the heterosexuals were all siblings or in-laws of lesbians or gay men. Sexual orientation was a stronger predictor of the division of household tasks than was income difference within couples. Lesbians reported less frequent sexual activity than married heterosexual women, and gay men were less monogamous than married heterosexual men. Gay men in civil unions differed on a few variables from gay men not in civil unions, but there were no differences among lesbians.

Key Words

civil unionssame-sex coupleslesbian couplesgay male couplessexual orientationdivision of houseworkdivision of financesrelationship maintenance behaviors
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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005