How we did the research

How we produced the interview data

Fifty couples in civil partnerships took part in the project. We carried out three interviews with each couple: first we interviewed them together, then we interviewed each person separately.

The interviews were "semi-structured". This means that we ask open-ended questions which aim to allow the participants to tell us about themselves and their lives in their own words.

More about our interviewees

Age of interviewees when they entered civil partnership. (9% were under 25; 40% were between 25-30; 51% were between 30-35)

Fifty couples took part in the project, with an even number of female couples and male couples. Couples had been together from less than a year to over seven years. They had been in civil partnership between one month to over five years, with the average length of CP being just over two years.

We travelled all around Great Britain to interview people: 11 couples in Scotland, 1 couple in Wales, and 38 in England. Couples lived everywhere from little rural communities to big cities.

Seven couples (all female) were parents, and another female couple had a baby on the way! Five of these couples conceived through donor insemination and three had children from previous heterosexual relationships.

About half of our interviewees earned under £24,000. Nearly a quarter earned £24-37k, and just over a quarter earned more than this.

How we analysed the data

With the permission of our participants, all the interviews were audio recorded. These recordings were transcribed, which creates a typed document for each interview. This produced nearly 3,000 pages of data for us to analyse.

From the data that we had collected, the research team produced a detailed list of themes which arose from the data. We did a cross-sectional analysis of our dataset looking at each of these themes. We also did a case analysis (looking at each set of three interviews) to keep a sense of the interconnections between them.