Norway first introduced ‘registered partnerships’ for same sex couples (SSC) in 1993 and legal same sex marriage (SSM) in 2009. Registered partnerships have mostly the same rights and duties as heterosexual married couples and according to the authors ‘registered partners are in practice SSM. Most importantly, the procedures for entering and dissolving registered partnerships and opposite-sex marriages are identical’. This means that Norway has a long history of relationships that are in effect SSM that can be studied and compared to opposite sex marriages. In addition, ‘access to longitudinal and all-emcompassing population register data makes it easier to study such relationships in Scandinavia than elsewhere’.
The authors studied divorce rates in SSC vs opposite sex ones and also look at differences in divorce rates between male and female SSC as well as whether adding children to a SSC makes any difference to divorce rates. It should be noted that during study period, SSC were not permitted to adopt children from overseas and surrogacy is illegal, therefore the main avenues for obtaining kids were adoption of partner’s biological parents or medically assisted insemination for females. This means that the more females SSC with kids are likely to be the BIOLOGICAL parent which will influence results.
A summary of their findings:
1.Divorce risk for male SSC was 1.38 times that of OSC
2.Divorce risk for female SSC was 2.28 times that of OSC even after controlling for children and other factors. Thus female SSC are MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO DIVORCE as OSC
3. Divorce risk for female SSC was 1.71 times that of male SSC
4. Comparing SSC with and without children: for males SSC children increased risk of divorce in male SSC by 76% and for female SSC they reduced it by 51% (down from >200% as seen above). This may well be due to fact that female SSC more likely to have one biological parent as noted above.
The authors conclude:
‘Contrary to what we expected, the results from the current study confirmed that SSC still have a significantly higher divorce risk relative to OSC and that female couples are more divorce prone than their male counterparts. In multivariate models where we controlled for several other characteristics of couples like age, education and the presence of children, male SSC risk of divorce was 38% higher than that found for OSC. The risk of divorce of female SSC who had legally formalised their unions, on the other hand, was more than twice the divorce risk of married couples consisting of a man and a woman. Comparing male and female SSC, we found that the divorce risk of female SSC was 71% higher than the risk of male couples. Alternative models confirmed that there have been no major changes in divorce risks of male and female couples over the study period”
This data is consistent with other Scandinavian studies and confirms two key findings:
1. Both male AND female SSC have a higher risk of divorce overall than OSC
2. Female SSC are more likely to divorce than male SSC
CLICK HERE to view full article