Entries in equality (6)


To Have and To Hold, To Share and Be Equitable

Meet Nate and Angelica. Nate and Angelica are getting married. They’ve planned every detail of the ceremony, and checked all their reservations twice. The vows are written; the honeymoon getaway is booked. Maybe Nate daydreams about surprising Angelica on special occasions; maybe Angelica has her eye on a good preschool for their future children. Their future is set — or is it? What about the more mundane details of married life that are often overlooked?

Will Angelica be the one on kitchen duty, cleaning up after dinner? Will Nate be the one who picks up the kids when Angelica is working late? Will the person who earns less income contribute to the household in other ways, even if they both work 40 hours a week? Often, couples decide these matters based on convenience or preference, not according to a marital master-plan of equal give-and-take. But precisely because the average couple doesn’t analyze the costs and benefits of every chore undertaken, an unfair division of labor may create resentment over time. For example, Angelica may realize Nate only takes their cats for shots once a year, whereas she has to change their kitty litter every day.

Click to read more ...


Talk is Cheap, and He Was Too

A guy recently asked me to split the dinner check with him. It was our first date. I immediately wanted to yell “Cheapskate!!” at the top of my lungs, grab my purse and run. How could I have that reaction, considering that I am a strong, independent woman? I was so upset with myself. It might help to review the event in greater detail to better understand my reactions.

Click to read more ...


Will Same-Sex Marriage Reduce Equality in Gay Relationships?

The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York got me thinking about how the institution of marriage itself could impact same-sex couples. One provocative question that researchers will undoubtedly explore in the coming years is whether the opportunity to marry could potentially undermine what has historically been one of the greatest strengths of gay and lesbian relationships: equality.

Click to read more ...


How Do I Equalize Power in My Relationship?

A reader recently posted a question asking how they can better equalize the power in their relationship.

To paraphrase Bertrand Russell, power is fundamental in the social sciences, much like energy is for physics. Despite its importance, psychologists still grapple with what power really is and how exactly it functions in intimate relationships. Perceptions of power inequality in relationships have been linked to a number of negative emotions, including depression.1 

Click to read more ...


Similarity Versus Complementarity Among Lesbian Couples

A recent post discussed the role of similarity in romantic relationships; do “opposites attract” or do “birds of a feather flock together?” Fortunately, the science of relationships has been able to help flush out what could be regarded as conflicting advice about what to look for in a partner.

There is very little research to suggest that opposites really do attract when it comes to romantic partnerships. In fact, romantic partners have been found to typically be similar in a variety of qualities ranging from height and weight to attractiveness to educational, ethnic, and religious background. It seems that most of us find validation in keeping company similar to ourselves and we tend to like others who have qualities that are familiar to us.

Click to read more ...


"He's Just Not That Into You"

A reader submitted the following question: The phrase "He's Just Not That Into You" has been popularized by a recent book and movie. I have found that if a man is not that into a woman, it doesn't work out. But if a man is really into a woman, but she's not into him, will it work out?

Dear Reader:

We don't believe in basing relationship decisions on movies or even books that aren't backed up by scientific study, so let's see what research has to say. The general question here is about equal partnership in a relationship, with both parties holding similar levels of interest (see our post on the principle of least interest). Equal interest in a relationship is a good recipe for success.

Click to read more ...