THE MENDOLA REPORT: A New Look at Gay Couples by Mary Mendola

THE MENDOLA REPORT: A New Look at Gay Couples

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mary Mendola defines herself as a writer rather than a social scientist; and she is a frequent proponent of the gay cause (strongly committed to a woman named Valerie). So when she sent out 1500 questionnaires across the country, defined marriage (""for the purposes of this questionnaire"") as ""two men or two women committed to a permanent or ongoing relationship with each other,"" and interviewed a smattering of respondents to flesh out the results, she pretty much invalidated the objectivity of her study. Nevertheless, if intimations of normalcy are the point, she makes it all sound convincing: 67 percent of the gays who took time out to answer (over 400 in all) affirmed that they were, indeed, ""married""; Mendola even notes that the number waiting a year or so before making the living-together commitment corresponds to a similar percentage in heterosexual surveys. Just for good measure, a couple of psychologists confirm the main contention: that there are more similarities than differences between heterosexual and gay couples, and that whatever differences arise stem from the stigma of ""minority"" status. For good measure, we learn that 55 percent of responding gays own their own homes, either individually or jointly: another indication of marriage-like stability? The topics tackled are fairly wide-ranging, the thesis interesting; but with so many of the author's personal sparks flying, this ""report"" reads as less than reliable.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Crown