Music Fridays: Ladies Getting Gay Married Edition

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, July 8, 2011 13:20 EDT
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Update: Nona Willis Aronowitz came to the same conclusion as me.  Great minds, you know the drill.  She has even more statistics, some showing again that men's attachment to marriage is, if anything, stronger than women's.  Which makes sense, since at least with straight marriage, men get more out of it on average.

Ruh-roh: statistics have come out showing that in these early years of same sex marriage being legal in some states, lesbians are hitting the altar far more than gay men.  Like far, far more.  

In Connecticut, 3,252 lesbian couples have been married since 2008, compared to 2,053 male couples. In Massachusetts, 8,404 female couples, 4,911 male. In New Hampshire, 1,113 pairs of women, 411 pairs of men. In Iowa, 1,376 lesbian marriages, 772 gay male marriages. In Vermont, 1,157 to 597.

These numbers are even more amazing when you realize that gay men way outnumber lesbians. Cue the sexist stereotypes about how women are monogamous and men are promiscuous!  And that men want to avoid commitment while women are eager to put a ring on it.  

There's just one problem with that stereotype: it isn't true and  never has been.  Susan Faludi debunked this one in "Backlash" and recent research indicates that single men are just as eager to get married as single women.  If anything, men are more attached to the institution than women, as women file for divorce far more than men do.  So this disparity can't really be boiled down to men v. women.  Now, it could be that this is a matter of comparing apples to oranges—there's reasons to think that straight people and gay people of the same gender have different sets of motivations and circumstances on average that would change their willingness to get married—but I think there's a very simple explanation for this that hasn't been considered in any blogging I've seen on this.  Maybe it's as much about who you're marrying as that you're marrying.  Research consistently shows that married men—who until recently have all been in straight marriages—fare better psychologically, physically, and financially than single men.  Women do better in some ways, but not nearly to the degree that men do.  This might indicate that the institution itself has some magical effects on men, but I think a large part of it is that being married to a woman is good for you and more of a value-add to your life than being married to a man, stastically speaking.  (Obviously, individuals vary.)  Which makes sense.  Women are socialized to be caregivers in a way men aren't, and so by marrying one, you get cared for more.  I'm guessing lesbians aren't immune to these trends, and thus are quicker to get married. 

So some songs about weddings and marriage for your Friday:

Yes, the general attitude towards marriage in my music collection is negative.  Your point?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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