Homosexual Unions: Rare and Fragile

The following is reprinted with permission from the Howard Center’s “Family in America” newsletter (“New Research,” December 2006; emphasis added). The Howard Center is a wonderful organization, based in Rockford, Illinois, that is home to esteemed family scholar Allan Carlson — who founded the World Congress of Families, an annual event designed to build worldwide, intellectual support for the “natural family.” This year’s Congress convenes Friday in Warsaw, Poland; check out its website to read about the battle between old-line, anti-family European Unions forces and Eastern European nations like Poland that are fighting to preserve marriage and a “culture of life” (which does NOT include teaching homosexuality as normal to children). 

We encourage you to sign up for Howard Center’s e-publication and request a sample printed copy of the “Family in America” newsletter, which is loaded with important, scholarly research on family issues. (You can call Howard Center at 815-964-5819 or e-mail info@profam.org.)

Common sense dictates that unnatural homosexual unions are more volatile than traditional marriages, and the research backs that up. Here are the Demography study’s two key findings on “gay” unions in Norway and Sweden:

  1. Few homosexuals choose to “marry” or register their union with the government;
  2. Homosexual unions end in divorce much more often than heterosexual marriages.

Homosexual Unions: Rare and Fragile 

Progressive activists in the United States have argued strenuously in recent years that giving homosexuals the legal right to marry will improve life for homosexual couples and will consequently benefit society as a whole.  A new study of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia, however, casts serious doubt on such assertions.  For, as it turns out, relatively few homosexual couples avail themselves of this revolutionary right. And a surprisingly high percentage of those who do so end up in divorce court.

To analyze the demographics of homosexual [“marriages,”] a team of German and Norwegian scholars recently examined data collected in Norway and Sweden since these bellwether countries discarded centuries of legal tradition by authorizing homosexual unions (in 1993 in Norway and in 1995 in Sweden).  Both countries have thus now enacted laws granting homosexuals “the legal right to registered partnerships, a civil status that [the researchers believe], in practice does not deviate much from the concept of marriage.”  The legal equivalence of homosexual unions to heterosexual marriage indeed largely explains why the researchers use “the terms registered partnerships and same-sex marriage interchangeably.”   Similarly, the researchers “use the term divorce to refer to [homosexual] partnership dissolution because the divorce procedures of the marriage act [in both countries] apply to registered [homosexual] [“marriages”] as well.”

As the German and Norwegian scholars survey the available data for homosexual unions, they cannot avoid one obvious reality: “the incidence of same-sex [‘marriage’] in Norway and Sweden is not particularly impressive.”  Between 1993 and 2001, while Norway recorded 196,000 heterosexual marriages, the country witnessed the legal registration of only 1,293 homosexual partnerships.  Similarly, while Sweden recorded 280,000 heterosexual marriages between 1995-2002, the country saw the formation of only 1,526 registered homosexual partnerships.  The researchers accordingly calculate “a ratio of around 7 same-sex [‘marriages’] to every 1,000 new opposite-sex marriages” in Norway and a comparable “ratio of 5 new partnerships to every 1,000 new opposite-sex marriages” in Sweden.  The researchers remark that the numbers of same-sex [“marriages”] have run “considerably lower” than might have been expected by those relying on recent surveys of sexual behavior.  These surveys have indicated that “well over 1%” of women and between 1 and 3% of men have had a same-sex partner during the last year, with between 4 and 9% of men and approximately 4% of women reporting that they have had a same-sex partner at some time during their lives.  (The authors of the new study are too well informed to rehash the now discredited absurdity—promulgated by Alfred Kinsey—that fully ten percent of the adult male population is homosexual.) [Note: see Judith Reisman’s website for more good information on Kinsey and his fraudulent research.–Peter L.]

The data for same-sex unions in Norway and Sweden indicate, however, not only that such unions are relatively rare, but also that they are remarkably fragile, ending in divorce significantly more often than do the heterosexual marriages of peers.  The statistics indeed reveal “that the divorce risk for partnerships of men is 50% higher than the corresponding risk for heterosexual marriages and that the divorce risk for partnerships of women is about double (2.67) that for men (1.50).”   The researchers then re-examine the data in statistical models that take into account age, education, and other background characteristics, but these multi-variable models “do not alter the basic relation between divorce risks in different family types.”

The German and Norwegian scholars acknowledge that “divorce-risk levels [that are] considerably higher in same-sex marriages” than in heterosexual marriages would hardly have been predicted by those who have supposed that “the symbolic meaning of partnership formation for a group that has just acquired the right to marry [would have been] related to a higher commitment to this civil status and to lower divorce risk.”  On the other hand, homosexual couples’ distinctively high propensity to break apart would not have surprised those who recognize “the group’s lower exposure to normative pressure to maintain lifelong unions.”  Among homosexuals, the researchers predict, “past relationship experience” is likely to cause “lesbians and gay men…[to] have lower expectations of relationship duration than will heterosexual couples.” 

In their concluding comment on their groundbreaking study—the first such study of “an unambiguously defined population of gay and lesbian couples”—the researchers emphasize the applicability of their findings well beyond Norway and Sweden.  “Many of the demographic characteristics of our Scandinavian couples,” they remark, “resemble those found for other populations of same-sex couples, such as same-sex co-residents in the United States…. Evidently, some aspects of gay and lesbian lifestyles are common for different countries.”

Before American jurists and lawmakers press ahead with the dubious project of granting homosexuals a legal right to marriage or marriage-like civil unions, they should ponder this new study and its conclusions.  For the revolutionaries who congratulate themselves on having smashed centuries of tradition may soon realize that they have wrought this destruction for the benefit of very few couples, a high proportion of whom are soon separated.

(Source: Gunnar Andersson et al., “The Demographics of Same-Sex Marriage in Norway and Sweden,” Demography 43 [2006]: 79-98.)

This article was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2007 at 12:10 am and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", Beyond America, Government Promotion, Homosexual Divorce, News, Pending Legislation. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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