The Formation of Same-Sex and Heterosexual Co-Resident Unions: Evidence from Great Britain

Charles Q. Strohm, University of California, Los Angeles

The rise of same-sex marriage has brought increased attention to same-sex relationships, but basic demographic knowledge about the formation of these unions is limited. To address this problem, I use data from the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study to investigate the formation of three couple types: same-sex cohabitation, heterosexual cohabitation and heterosexual marriage. I describe the rates, timing and demographic correlates of entering each union type. I also examine differences between female and male same-sex couples. This paper extends previous research by providing a dynamic, longitudinal perspective, comparing same-sex cohabitation to heterosexual cohabitation and marriage, and linking family background with entry into same-sex cohabitation.

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Presented in Session 94: Multiple Contexts of Union Formation