The number of same-sex couples has grown significantly in the past decade

Same-Sex Couples

The Civil e sex . Some provinces and territories had already adopted legal same-sex , Statistics Canada reported 64,575 same-sex couple households in Canada, up by 42% from 2006. Of these, about three in ten were same-sex (Statistics Canada, 2012). These increases are a result of more coupling, the change in the marriage laws, growing social acceptance of homosexuality, and a subsequent increase in willingness to report it.

In Canada, same-sex couples make up 0.8% of all couples. Unlike in the United States where the distribution of same-sex couples nationwide is very uneven, ranging from as low as 0.29% in Wyoming to 4.01% in the District of Columbia (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011), the distribution of same-sex couples in Canada by province or territory is similar to that of opposite-sex couples. However, same-sex couples are more highly concentrated in big cities. In 2011, 45.6% of all same-sex sex couples lived in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, compared to 33.4% of opposite-sex couples (Statistics Canada, 2012). In terms of demographics, Canadian same-sex couples tended to be younger than opposite-sex couples. 25% of individuals in same-sex couples were under the age of 35 compared to 17.5% of individuals in opposite-sex couples. There were more male-male couples (54.5%) than female-female couples (Milan, 2013). Additionally, 9.4% of same-sex couples were raising children, 80% of whom were female-female couples (Statistics Canada, 2012).

While there is some concern from socially conservative groups (especially in the United States) regarding the well-being of children who grow up in same-sex households, research reports that same-sex parents are as effective as opposite-sex parents. In an analysis of 81 parenting studies, sociologists found no quantifiable data to support the notion that opposite-sex parenting is any better than same-sex parenting. Children of lesbian couples, however, were shown to have slightly lower rates of behavioural problems and higher rates of self-esteem (Biblarz and Stacey, 2010).

Staying Single

Gay or straight, a new option for many Canadians is simply to stay single. In 2011, about one-fifth of all individuals over the age of 15 did not live in a couple or family (Statistics Canada, 2012). Never-married individuals accounted for 73.1% of young adults in the 25 to 29 age bracket, up from 26% in 1981 (Milan, 2013). More young men in this age bracket are single than young women – 78.8% to 67.4% – reflecting the tendency for men to marry at an older age and to ).

Although both single men and single women report social pressure to get married, women are subject to greater scrutiny. Single women are often portrayed as unhappy “spinsters” or “old maids” who cannot find a man to marry them. Single men, on the other hand, are typically portrayed as lifetime bachelors who cannot settle down or simply “have not found the right girl.” Single women report feeling insecure and displaced in their families when their single status is disparaged (Roberts, 2007). However, single women older than 35 report feeling secure and happy with their unmarried status, as many women in this category have found success in their education and careers. In general, women feel more independent and more prepared to live a large portion of their adult lives without a spouse or domestic partner than they did in the 1960s (Roberts, 2007).

The decision to marry or not to marry can be based a variety of factors including religion and cultural expectations. Asian individuals are the most likely to ericans are the least likely to ). Additionally, individuals who place no value on religion are more likely to be unmarried than those who place a high value on religion. For Black women, however, the importance of religion made no difference in ). In general, being single is not a rejection of marriage; rather, it is a lifestyle that does not necessarily include marriage. By age 40, according to census figures, 20% of women and 14% of men will have never ).

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