ONTD Political

Asshole Wonders: Are Lesbian Marriages Doomed because Women Are Silly?

9:31 pm - 04/05/2012

"Lesbian break-ups can apparently be bitchier than gay men's.” wrote columnist Giles Hattersley in the Sunday Times this weekend as he speculated his way through a piece on why 62% of civil union dissolutions (i.e. divorces) in the UK are between women despite the fact that lesbian relationships only represent 44% of civil partnerships in that country.

Hattersley gives several reasons for why married lesbians can’t seem to stay together (which I will outline below) but ignores the obvious explanations – divorces are almost always instigated by women and people who have already been married once are more likely to divorce in the future.

In the UK, same sex couples can form legally recognized relationships, akin to marriages, and have had this right since the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in December 2005. Just like marriages these unions can be dissolved via a legal process similar to a divorce (which in the UK requires someone to be at fault).

The most recent evidence from the UK Office of National Statistics finds that homosexual couples that joined in 2005 were significantly less likely to have filed for dissolution four years later than heterosexual couples were to have filed for divorce: 2.5% compared to 5.5%.

As Hattersley points out, however, male couples were much less likely to dissolve their relationship than were female couples: By the end of 2010, 1.6 % of male civil partnerships had ended in dissolution compared to 3.3 % of female partnerships.

This is not to say that women in homosexual partnerships are more likely to experience dissolution than are women in heterosexual partnerships, however, but Hattersley ignores this when he comes up with his list to reasons why lesbian women dissolve civil unions more frequently than gay men.



1. Women are impulsive when it comes to commitment and without having men to temper that impulsivity lesbians rush into relationships too quickly. (He writes “Could it be that the cliché of a woman's thirst for commitment is more dangerous when directed at another woman?)

2. Men are more pragmatic when it comes to relationships whereas women are overly emotional and tend to react to small things men would ignore.

3. Lesbian women have higher standards for their partner’s behavior than do heterosexual women who are more willing to accept that boys will be boys (specifically when they unfaithful).

4. Women in relationships “often fuse themselves too closely together,” leaving one or the other feeling the need to be out just so they feel like themselves again.

He also says something about women not being able to think straight with their biological clocks pounding in their ears, but to be honest with you I had no idea what the argument was.

Despite all the thought that has gone into why two women married together are doomed for failure he ignored the most obvious explanations.

For example, women are far more likely to instigate divorce than are men.

Over 2/3 of divorce proceedings in the US are brought forward by wives and, in one study at least, divorced women were three times more likely to agree with the statement “I wanted the marriage to end but my husband/wife did not” than were divorced men.


If women are more likely to want to end a marriage then it shouldn’t surprise anyone that marriages with at least one woman in them (regardless of sexual orientation) are more likely to end in divorce.

This argument does not depend on women being emotional basket cases. At least one study has found that the differential filing rates between men and women is very closely tied to disputes over property and child custody.

Women who want out of their heterosexual marriages file for divorce much sooner than do men who want out of their heterosexual marriages.

Same sex unions (and dissolutions) have only been legally permitted for a very short period of time. If women are more likely than men to dissolve their relationships quickly (and statistically that appears to be true) then the observation that lesbian women dissolve their relationships at higher rates than gay men isn’t that surprising given that we only have a few years of data available at this moment.

Finally, people who have been divorced in the past are far more likely to divorce in the future.

In the UK in 2010, 19% of male civil unions were between a previously single man and a previously married man while 27% of female civil unions were between a previously single woman and a previously married women.

If lesbian women are more likely to have been in a heterosexual relationship in the past that ended in divorce (which appears to be true) than are gay men, then there is nothing surprising about their higher divorce rates in that gender group.

I suspect that if Hattersley read this he would smile smugly, shake his head and think: “Silly little ninny.”


References:

Allen, Douglas and Margaret Bringig (2000). ““These boots are made for walking”: Why most divorce filers are women.” American Law and Economics Review Vol. 2 (1).

Office of National Statistics (7 July 2011). “Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2010.”

Ross, Helen; Karen Gask; and Ann Berrington (Autume 2011). “Civil Partnerships Five Years On.” Office for National Statistics.

“Giles Hattersley investigates the rise of the pink divorce.” The Sunday Times, 1 April 2012.  (No public link available right now, I will keep checking)





Source: http://bigthink.com/ideas/are-lesbian-marriages-doomed-for-failure


ravewalker 5th-Apr-2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
women not being able to think straight with their biological clocks pounding in their ears

what. fuck this guy.
atomic_joe2 5th-Apr-2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
Gay marriages fail for many of the same reasons as straight ones do. Couples sometimes grow apart, whatever their sexual orientation.
crossfire 5th-Apr-2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
 
eyetosky 5th-Apr-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
This looks like a job for the "mansplaining" tag.



edited because I am apparently spelling like Helen Keller dictating semaphore today.

Edited at 2012-04-05 07:57 pm (UTC)
toxic_glory 5th-Apr-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
I like how this was written by someone who has never been in (and, presumably, will never be in) a lesbian relationship/civil union/marriage. They really got an expert on the subject matter, didn't they?
its_anya 5th-Apr-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Plz, oh mighty and noble middle-class white male, tell me more about how foolish we piteous wimmen are compared to your most sagacious and omniscient self.
corroded_tears 5th-Apr-2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Pssst.. Marina Adshade is a woman
its_anya 5th-Apr-2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
I mean Hattersley ;)
saaniaa 5th-Apr-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Marina Adshade is debunking a man's (Giles Hattersley's) crap in her piece.
bnmc2005 5th-Apr-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
I can't believe this wasn't written for the Daily Mail.
riath 5th-Apr-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
I see. And when was this guy's last lesbian marriage again?

I'm still too sick to do more than side-eye the fuck out of this.
redstar826 5th-Apr-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Clearly, the solution here is couples therapy where lesbian couples kick ignorant straight dudes in the balls. Now, I'm not sure if that will actually fix any relationship problems, but it can't hurt ;)
oatmealia 5th-Apr-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Lesbian women have higher standards for their partner’s behavior than do heterosexual women who are more willing to accept that boys will be boys (specifically when they unfaithful).

~AND~

Over 2/3 of divorce proceedings in the US are brought forward by wives and, in one study at least, divorced women were three times more likely to agree with the statement “I wanted the marriage to end but my husband/wife did not” than were divorced men.



let us consider these two arguments in conjunction, sports fans
lickety_split 6th-Apr-2012 02:31 am (UTC)
This this this.
corroded_tears 5th-Apr-2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
OP- might wanna add that this was written by an economist who is a woman.
saaniaa 5th-Apr-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
She's the one doing the debunking, a guy is the author of the original patronizing, misogynist excuse of an article.
ms_mmelissa 5th-Apr-2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
A+ title op.
pennylane101 5th-Apr-2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
what did i just read?
empath_eia 5th-Apr-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
...Oh, dear. That is a pile of some of the worst internalized sexism I've ever seen. I feel sad.
saaniaa 5th-Apr-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
It's not internalized, it's just plain sexism. This crap list, which Marina Adshade is debunking in this piece, was written by Giles Hattersley (a former men's magazine writer) for the Sunday Times.
empath_eia 5th-Apr-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Whoops, that's what I get for spacing out over the last few paragraphs and only reading the comments. Sorry!
leprofessional 5th-Apr-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
2. Men are more pragmatic when it comes to relationships whereas women are overly emotional and tend to react to small things men would ignore.

Fascinating. Tell me more.
saaniaa 5th-Apr-2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
I guess all the guys who murder their wives or girlfriends when they leave them (or stand up to them in general) do it out of sheer pragmatism.

Edited at 2012-04-05 08:46 pm (UTC)
leprofessional 5th-Apr-2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
I don't want to argue that men, in general, are inherently more emotional than women, but one could make a very compelling and statistically significant case-- that would at the very least hold more water than the other way around.

I wonder why we don't see pseudo-science headlines with that though? while the 'women are dumb' headlines pop out every other day.
babysinclair 5th-Apr-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
I've seen my share of ugly breakups by straights and lesbians. Gay men on the other hand, I have yet to see that in my personal life.

Break ups are hard no matter what pairing you have.
babysinclair 5th-Apr-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I've seen number one happen way too many times though. Together a month? Move in
mercystars 5th-Apr-2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
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greenbloodbitch 5th-Apr-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
yeah pretty much this
ebay313 5th-Apr-2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
"Lesbian women have higher standards for their partner’s behavior than do heterosexual women who are more willing to accept that boys will be boys"

Ok, even assuming this is true- is this supposed to be a bad thing?

I hate this idea that having high standards is somehow bad. Fuck that.

Edited at 2012-04-05 09:21 pm (UTC)
its_anya 5th-Apr-2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
He wants women to tolerate scumbags like him.
ionchannel 5th-Apr-2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. It's better to be single than to settle, imo.
lickety_split 6th-Apr-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
IA. Why torture yourself with someone that needs a babysitter? You'd start to loathe them eventually.
johnjie 5th-Apr-2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
The only thing of substance got from this article is that Giles Hattersley needs to take a long walk off a short pier, which has a great white shark circling the end.
leaf_collector 6th-Apr-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Fuck. This. Guy.
Now chauvinism can make it's way into how 'unsuccessful' lesbian relationships are somehow related to male logic.
"It's ok guys - obviously its not going to work out and its not OUR fault. They're only women."
whatever, obviously he is filling his arguments with his own prejudices, even though he has no bearing on the reality. As has been stated in these comments before, relationships fail for a lot of reasons, like the sex is bad, not because the sexes are bad.

edited for typos :{

Edited at 2012-04-06 12:47 am (UTC)
ladypolitik 6th-Apr-2012 01:31 am (UTC)
angelofdeath275 6th-Apr-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
LOL
bttrflyscar 6th-Apr-2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
seriously--the dog was probably more qualified to even attempt to write such drivel. And now an article about why bacon is delicious!
thenakedcat 6th-Apr-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
I'd like to point out another non-misogynistic reason why lesbian couples might have a higher divorce rate: in all marriages, hetero or homo, money can be a HUGE stressor and point of conflict, especially when there isn't enough of it. Lesbian couples often take a double whammy to their income because of the male-female wage gap, while gay male couples often take a double bonus. Lesbian couples are also more likely to be supporting children, whether from previous relationships or the current one. Lower average income plus more mouths to feed equals more financial stress in the relationship.
lickety_split 6th-Apr-2012 02:50 am (UTC)
Wow I hadn't even considered all that and it's still only touching the tip of the iceberg. If one of them is WOC, ill, disabled, uninsured, etc. lawd help em.
romp 6th-Apr-2012 04:16 am (UTC)
THANK YOU

As someone who lives this, this was my first guess as to the discrepancy.
fornikate 6th-Apr-2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
yes, that's what i was going to say.
surealistic_des 6th-Apr-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
*eyebrow raise*

Divorces happen regardless of gender and sexuality. I'm disliking the smug tone that's apparent in the article.
applegnat 6th-Apr-2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Speechless.
little_rachael 6th-Apr-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
What a big manchild.
angelofdeath275 6th-Apr-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
all I need to know is the fucking title of this article. not even gonna read it
lil_insanity 7th-Apr-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
Yep.
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