• Homepage - Laura Event

    Countering the Culture Wars You Didn't Expect: Education Journalism, SEED, and School Moms Called to Service

    April 2024

    On May 2, join WCW to celebrate the release of "School Moms: Parent Activism, Partisan Politics, and the Battle for Public Education," by Writer-in-Residence Laura Pappano.

    Register Now >>

  • Homepage - Peggy Induction

    Induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame

    March 2024

    Senior Research Scientist Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame alongside Serena Williams, Ruby Bridges, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and six others.

    Watch Now >>

  • Homepage - Evaluating Planned Parenthood

    Evaluating Planned Parenthood's Sex Ed Program for High Schoolers

    December 2023

    Senior Research Scientist Jennifer M. Grossman, Ph.D., received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate the effectiveness of "Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works," a program for high school students.


  • Homepage - PTSD Funding

    WCW Research Scientist Will Implement PTSD Treatment in University Counseling Centers

    December 2023

    Katherine R. Buchholz, Ph.D., has been approved for a $2.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

    Read More>>

  • Homepage - Health Advisory

    Health advisory on social media use in adolescence

    May 2023

    Senior Research Scientist Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., co-authored a health advisory on social media use in adolescence released by the American Psychological Association.

    Read More>>


Wellesley Centers for Women 

is a research and action institute at Wellesley College that is focused on women and gender and driven by social change.
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high-quality research, theory, and action programs.


Year Published: 2005

Authors: Michelle Porche, Ed.D., Diane M. Purvin, Ph.D., Jasmine M. Waddell, Ph.D.

In this paper we present the framework, design, and methods of a new study designed to explore how lesbian and gay couples in Massachusetts, including families with children, have experienced the legalization of same-sex marriage. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 5,994 same-sex couples were married in Massachusetts in the year the court ruling was enacted (May 17th to December 31st, 2004). For our research study, we gathered data from 50 couples, both married and unmarried, in committed relationships within this historic time. While much has been written about the political maelstrom surrounding the court decision, there has been little scientific investigation into its potential impact on individual and family relationship processes. As part of a group of papers prepared to present preliminary findings, this one is focused specifically on quantitative description of the sample from data gathered in the form of a short questionnaire and a qualitative analysis of interviewees' responses to questions about the effect of the legalization of marriage in Massachusetts. Newly married couples reported that the legal ceremony granted their relationship legitimacy, benefits, and protection, albeit limited to the state of Massachusetts. Unmarried couples in committed relationships remarked on changes for the LGBT community, as the marriage movement brings individuals more into the mainstream while also exposing them as vulnerable targets for homophobia. Whether or not they decided to marry, participants agreed that the legalization of same-sex marriage is an important civil right.

Project: Exploratory Study of Same-Sex Marriage


Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our site, or clicking "Continue", you are agreeing to our privacy policy.
Continue Privacy Policy