The latest British government figures show that lesbian couples are nearly twice as likely as gay men to end a civil partnership
The number of same-sex couples ending their civil unions leapt by 20 per cent last year, seven years after their introduction in 2005. Overall there were 794 dissolutions in 2012, almost 60 per cent of which were female couples, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
Gunnar Andersson, professor of demography at Stockholm University, has found in successive studies that women in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are twice as likely to dissolve their civil partnerships than men. He said: “This reflects trends in a heterosexual marriage because women are more prone to say they want to marry - but they’re also more likely to initiate a divorce. Women usually have higher demands on relationship quality, that’s often been said in studies. Even if you control for age there is still a trend of more women ending partnerships than men.”
Civil partnerships were up 3.6 per cent in 2012, with 7,037 taking place. The biggest increase was in Northern Ireland, where 13 per cent more took place, with 101 ceremonies.
By the end of last year there were 120,908 people in a same sex union, which is already “much higher” than the Government Equalities Office originally predicted. They thought there would be between 11,000 and 22,000 civil partners in Britain by 2010, but there were already more than 79,000 at the start of that year - and are now ten times as many.
A quarter of all civil partnerships still happen in London and Westminster was the local authority with the most civil partnerships in 2012.