Staying Power: Long Term Lesbian Couples

Susan E. Johnson, Author Naiad Press $14.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-941483-75-9
Perceiving a lack of role models for long-term lesbian relationships, Johnson presents a well-researched study of 108 couples who have been together for 10 to 52 years. Through illuminating profiles and commentary, she examines the meaning of commitment to these couples, which include a butch-femme pair in their 70s, and a former minister's wife and church organist who became lovers. Johnson examines the particular effect on lesbians of variables that bear on any long-term relationship--such as the relative importance of friendship and sex--but also issues of special concern to gay couples. How, for instance, do they formalize their union? Half of the couples in the survey exchanged rings, and purchasing a home was also a signal of commitment. Equality was considered of prime importance by most couples, and race and class differences presented more difficulties than did income disparities. The author provides excellent advice and insight, stressing that time, which allows problems to be resolved, is on the side of couples who try to stay together. Johnson is a sociologist specializing in women's and lesbian studies. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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