Volume 21 - Article 28 | Pages 843–878

Assortative matching among same-sex and different-sex couples in the United States, 1990-2000

By Christine Schwartz, Nikki Graf

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Date received:25 Mar 2009
Date published:08 Dec 2009
Word count:7865
Keywords:assortative mating, interracial unions, same-sex couples


Same-sex couples are less likely to be homogamous than different-sex couples on a variety of characteristics, including race/ethnicity, age, and education. This study confirms results from previous studies using 1990 U.S. census data and extends previous analyses to examine changes from 1990 to 2000. We find that same-sex male couples are generally the least likely to resemble one another, followed by same-sex female couples, different-sex cohabitors, and different-sex married couples. Despite estimated growth in the numbers of same-sex couples in the population and the increasing acceptance of non-traditional unions, we find little evidence of diminishing differences in the resemblance of same- and different-sex couples between 1990 and 2000, with the possible exception of educational homogamy.

Author's Affiliation

Christine Schwartz - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]
Nikki Graf - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]

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