News & AnalysisSocial Science

Marriage Decision Highlights Same-Sex Studies

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Science  17 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6070, pp. 787-788
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6070.787

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The legal jousting over California's Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state, has helped highlight a growing body of research on the psychological and socioeconomic aspects of same-sex relationships. Even into the 1990s, stereotypes suggested that gay and lesbian workers tended to earn more than heterosexuals. But after combing a trove of national survey data, researchers concluded that gay men actually earned less on average than their straight colleagues, while lesbians typically earned about the same or a bit more. Such results ultimately led researchers to examine the economic costs and benefits of marriage.