Massachusetts was one of the first states in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, well ahead of the 2015 Supreme Court decision that made marriage equality the law of the land. The state’s long history of acceptance makes it a good area in which to conduct research on the factors affecting marriages of same-sex couples. For example, do male or female pairs more often choose to get married? Is either type of same-sex pairing more likely to stay together than the other?
According to WBZ 4, same-sex couples, male or female, make up approximately 6% of all the marriages that take place in Massachusetts on a yearly basis. Between 2004, when same-sex marriage first became legal in Massachusetts, and 2013, more female couples got married than male couples. Specifically, the total number of same-sex marriages between two men during that time period was 9,900 compared to 16,000 marriages between two women during the same time period.
Not only do female couples tend to get married more often, but Psychology Today suggests that they may also be more likely to stay together longer. The rates of dissolution for male same-sex couples tend to be higher than those for either female same-sex couples or different-sex couples. However, the studies that yielded the data included couples in dating and cohabitation situations in addition to married couples. A 2017 study indicated that married same-sex couples, whether male or female, were at least as stable as their married different-sex counterparts. This is despite the fact that same-sex couples who merely cohabitate split up more often than cohabitating different-sex couples.
It is still early to fully gauge the effect that legal marriage will have on same-sex couples throughout the United States. Further research is appropriate.