The High Rate of Lesbian Divorce

Homosexuals and lesbians advocated for the right to legal marriage in order to obtain social recognition and status for their relationships. They claimed this was a reasonable demand since their relationships were just the same as those in heterosexual couples.

Same-sex marriages, however, have not worked out too well for lesbian couples in that they have found legal marriage is not a good model for them after all. This is because the relationship lacks the natural complementarity of the sexes. This becomes apparent when the lesbian relationship brings a child into the home. This causes the couple to struggle to adapt to a psychological and biological reality that they had not anticipated.

The problem is that when a child is born into a lesbian relationship, the child has to be cared for, including breastfeeding (if desired), and also requires that the partner who gave birth to the child have time to recuperate. At the same time, the other partner has to provide the family income. This is the usual masculine role in a heterosexual relationship and the feminine role is usually to maintain a household and care for the child. These different roles occur naturally within traditional marriage, but do not work well for the lesbian couple, which leads to conflict between them. This conflict may explain the number of divorces among lesbian couples – much higher than among heterosexual couples. For example, in the U.K., almost three quarters of same-sex marriage divorces involve lesbian couples. Statistics Canada, unfortunately, only tracks the total number of divorced people without distinguishing between types of couples. Sweden, however, has had two decades of same-sex marriage and statistics there reveal that, although male same-sex unions have the same risk of divorce as heterosexual couples, there is an elevated risk for female same-sex couples, more than three times higher than male same-sex couples in some years. Similarly, in Norway, between 1993 and 2010, although women were much more prone to enter same-sex marriages, they were more likely to dissolve their union in divorce. Similar patterns have been reported in Denmark, Belgium, Spain, and the United States.