We review methodological opportunities and lessons learned in conducting a longitudinal, prospective study of same-sex couples with civil unions, recruited from a population-based sample, who were compared with same-sex couples in their friendship circle who did not have civil unions, and heterosexual married siblings and their spouse. At Time 1 (2002), Vermont was the only US state to provide legal recognition similar to marriage to same-sex couples; couples came from other US states and other countries to obtain a civil union. At Time 2 (2005), only one US state had legalized same-sex marriage, and at Time 3 (2013) about half of US states had legalized same-sex marriage, some within weeks of the onset of the Time 3 study. Opportunities included sampling legalized same-sex relationships from a population; the use of heterosexual married couples and same-sex couples not in legalized relationships as comparison samples from within the same social network; comparisons between sexual minority and heterosexual women and men with and without children; improvements in statistical methods for non-independence of data and missing data; and the use of mixed methodologies. Lessons learned included obtaining funding, locating participants over time as technologies changed, and on-going shifts in marriage laws during the study.
|Number of pages
|Journal of GLBT Family Studies
|Published - May 1 2020
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
for this research was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R01HD069370 (Kimberly Balsam, PI).
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Civil unions
- gay father
- lesbian mother
- same-sex marriage
- same-sex partner
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)