By contrast, lesbian and gay couples do not have to resist stereotypes about gender difference – they simply do not apply.
However, evidence also suggests that lesbian and gay couples are more likely than heterosexual couples to keep their finances separate (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983); this is especially true for lesbian couples.
In two British studies of lesbian and gay relationships (Dunne, 1997, Weeks et al., 2001) respondents typically made equal contributions to household expenses, but otherwise managed money separately, usually in separate bank accounts.
Mr Smith arrives home after a long day at the office – ‘Hi, honey, I’m home.’ Mrs Smith greets him with a peck on the cheek, his slippers and a glass of whisky.
Mr Smith sits in front of the fire drinking his whisky and reading the newspaper while Mrs Smith puts the final touches to their evening meal in the kitchen.
Kurdek (1993) compared how lesbian, gay and married heterosexual couples allocate household labour.
Kurdek identified three patterns of household labour allocation: equality, balance and segregation.
Kurdek concluded that couples can do without gender in developing workable strategies for fairly distributing labour – perhaps heterosexual couples have something to learn from lesbian and gay couples about achieving equality in their relationships.
This conclusion is quite different from that reached by research assessing lesbian and gay relationships in terms derived from heterosexual ones.
The reason was that even with much less money coming in, the women could now decide for themselves how that money should be spent.