Lesbian Scientistics: The math behind “Bette and Tina” and “Erica and Callie”


This week at Scientistics headquarters we were sitting around pondering two of our longtime friends who have taken their relationship to the romance stage, because of course they have: They’re lesbians. We can’t figure out if we are going to call them “Kim and Sarah” or “Sarah and Kim.”

The question made us ponder name order in relationships. Once a couple is together, doesn’t one name always come first when you’re talking about them?

And if you say it backward, with the other person’s name first, doesn’t it sound weird? And if so, what factors go into being the first-name person in the couples name equation?

We decided to do some Scientistics research with four famous lesbian TV couples to answer these questions.

Question: Doesn’t one name always comes first when you’re talking about couples?

To find the answer, we employed Google. “Spencer and Ashley” gave us 22,900 results, whereas “Ashley and Spencer” yielded only 6,020. “Bette and Tina” returned 98,900 websites, but “Tina and Bette” got us only 32,400. “Callie and Erica” returned a whopping 17,800 results, compared to a paltry 3,770 for “Erica and Callie.” “Helen and Nikki” and “Nikki and Helen” were closer, with the former giving us 28,600 and the latter 20,000.

Or, in chart form:

So, yes: One person’s name reigns supreme when two people become a couple. And yes, it does sort of sound weird if you flip them around. But why?

Our Scientistics team pondered and questioned and did some Max-worthy internet searches, but nothing gave us any insight into why one person’s name comes first. We tried to find some similarities between Bette Porter, Spencer Carlin, Helen Stewart and Callie Torres to see if there is one specific quality that gives a person name domination.

Is it bossiness? Well, two are bossy, but not all four. Is it attractiveness? Nope, all of these women are gorgeous. Is it height? Can’t be: Bette is taller than Tina, but Nikki towers over Helen. Is it the tintinnabulation of the name? We don’t know. What does that word mean?

We were sure we could track down what makes a woman worthy of the first-name spot in a relationship, but for the first time ever, our Scientistics knowledge failed us!

Maybe you can help. Seriously, put down your pencil. Stop writing your name plus “Bette Porter 4 EVA” over and over again. You know that if you got together with Bette, her name would come first. The question is why?

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