Marriages between two men are more likely to stay together than their straight counterparts, a new study has shown.

The US study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute showed that married gay men were the least likely couples to separate, Pink News has reported.

Women in same-sex marriages were the most likely to break up—twice as likely as gay men, and 1.5 times as likely as opposite-sex marriages.

The study followed 500 couples over 12 years in Vermont, where civil unions have been legal since 2000 and same-sex marriage since 2009.

Study researcher Professor Esther Rothblum said the results could possibly be explained by women expecting more in a relationship than men do.

“Other studies on heterosexual couples have found that women have higher standards for relationship quality than men,” she said.

“We suspect that similar dynamics may be at play with the lesbian couples in our study, leading to the higher dissolution rate.”

Other research has shown that lesbians are happier in relationships than straight women are, and that they have many more orgasms.

Lesbian marriages are less likely to break up the longer they stay together—the new study showed that for every year the relationship lasts, the odds of separating drop by 13 per cent.

Older couples are less likely to break up, and having children had no effect on whether a marriage would last.

Researcher Kimberly Balsam said the study was “crucial in combating stereotypes about same-sex couples” and would hopefully “inform policy and program development to support healthy relationships for all couples”.

Another recent study showed that more young gay men are seeking a monogamous relationship or hoping to get married that their older counterparts.

Among the study participants, 90 per cent of single gay men under 40 said they wanted a monogamous relationship, and 92 per cent said they intended to marry.

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