Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Voices from Lasting Relationships

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Voices from Lasting Relationships

Article excerpt

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Voices from Lasting Relationships. Richard A. Mackey, Bernard A. O'Brien, & Eileen F. Mackey. Westport, CT: Praeger. 1997. 202 pp. ISBN 0-275-95847-7. $19.95 paper.

Although same-sex couples have received some attention from family researchers in recent years, this book breaks new ground with its qualitative exploration of gay and lesbian couples in lasting relationships. The sample is unique-all 36 couples have been together for a minimum of 15 years. In addition, qualitative data are collected. Each partner in all couples participated in a semistructured interview; couples tell their own relationship stories. The interviews were comprehensive and included most traditional relationship topics. The authors took a developmental perspective. They had participants chronicle their relationship experiences for the early, middle, and later years, with each period representing approximately 5 years.

In the introductory chapter, the authors review the literature on couple relationships. Later chapters reflect standard relationship topics: roles, relational fit, decision making, conflict, psychological and physical intimacy, and social support. The authors typically offer an overview of issues, a summary of how the gay and lesbian couples in their sample responded, and a handful of quotes illustrating their points. Only a few tables and graphs, which compare gay and lesbian couples with each other or describe trends across the three time periods, are included. The summaries at the end of each chapter recap the major theoretical observations. …

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