Here’s where same-sex couples can offer their different-sex counterparts useful tips. Since same-sex couples can’t use imputed male-female differences to sort out who does what, they rely less on stereotypes. Heterosexual parents tend to see tasks such as child care, laundry and dishes as part of a package that is handed to one partner. Same-sex couples are far more likely to each take on some traditionally “feminine” and some “masculine” chores.
They are also more likely to share the routine tasks. A 2015 survey found that almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And a whopping 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples.
Like heterosexual couples with children, same-sex parents often have one partner quit or cut back at work for a while. Gay-male couples have about the same percentage of stay-at-home parents as do heterosexuals. But same-sex couples are less likely than different-sex couples to assign “women’s work” to the partner with fewer work hours.