Navigation Links
Study: Same-sex cohabitors less healthy than those in heterosexual marriages
Date:2/26/2013

WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2013 Same-sex cohabitors report worse health than people of the same socioeconomic status who are in heterosexual marriages, according to a new study, which may provide fuel for gay marriage proponents.

"Past research has shown that married people are generally healthier than unmarried people," said Hui Liu, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of sociology at Michigan State University. "Although our study did not specifically test the health consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage, it's very plausible that legalization of gay marriage would reduce health disparities between same-sex cohabitors and married heterosexuals."

Titled, "Same-Sex Cohabitors and Health: The Role of Race-Ethnicity, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status," the study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, compares the self-rated health of 1,659 same-sex cohabiting men and 1,634 same-sex cohabiting women with that of their different-sex married, different-sex cohabiting, unpartnered divorced, widowed, and never-married counterparts. The study of white, black, and Hispanic 18 to 65-year-olds used pooled, nationally representative data from the 1997 to 2009 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). NHIS respondents rated their overall health as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. As part of their study, Liu and her co-authors, Corinne Reczek, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and Dustin Brown, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology and the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, divided the respondents into two groups: those who reported excellent, very good, or good overall health and those who reported fair or poor overall health.

"When we controlled for socioeconomic status, the odds of reporting poor or fair health were about 61 percent higher for same-sex cohabiting men than for men in heterosexual marriages and the odds of reporting poor or fair health were about 46 percent higher for same-sex cohabiting women than for women in heterosexual marriages," Liu said.

As for why same-sex cohabitors reported worse health than people of the same socioeconomic status in heterosexual marriages, Liu said there could be several reasons. "Research consistently suggests that 'out' sexual minorities experience heightened levels of stress and higher levels of discrimination, and these experiences may adversely affect the health of this population," Liu said. "It may also be that same-sex cohabitation does not provide the same psychosocial, socioeconomic, and institutional resources that come with legal marriage, factors that are theorized to be responsible for many of the health benefits of marriage."

According to the researchers, it is possible that providing same-sex cohabitors the option to marry would boost their measures of self-rated health because they would experience higher levels of acceptance and lower levels of stigma. "Legalizing same-sex marriage could also provide other advantages often associated with heterosexual marriagesuch as partner health insurance benefits and the ability to file joint tax returnsthat may directly and indirectly influence the health of individuals in same-sex unions," Liu said.

The researchers also found that same-sex cohabitors reported better health than their different-sex cohabiting and single counterparts, but these differences were fully explained by socioeconomic status. "Without their socioeconomic status advantages, same-sex cohabitors would generally report similar levels of health as their divorced, widowed, never-married, and different-sex cohabiting counterparts," Liu said.

Interestingly, the study suggests that the pattern of poorer self-rated health of same-sex cohabitors in comparison with those in heterosexual marriages does not vary by gender and race-ethnicity. In contrast, results comparing same-sex cohabitors with different-sex cohabiting and single women, but not men, revealed important racial-ethnic patterns. "After we controlled for socioeconomic status, black women in same-sex cohabiting relationships reported worse health than black women of any other non-married union status, while white women in same-sex cohabiting relationships actually reported better health than both white women in different-sex cohabiting relationships and divorced white women," said Liu, who explained that black women in same-sex cohabiting relationships may experience significant social discrimination and homophobia, and such stressors may shape their health in especially detrimental ways.


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Doctors Health Press Reports on Study: Heart-Healthy Linoleic Acid Levels Decrease with Age
2. Study: Electronic Prescribing Cuts Medication Errors
3. Regenstrief study: Informatics tools underutilized in prevention of hospital-acquired infection
4. Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Body Image Influences Psychosocial Activities and Quality of Life.
5. Study: Behavioral therapy for children with autism can impact brain function
6. Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Mixed Weight Couples are More Likely to Have Unhappy Marriages
7. Study: Infection preventionists know safe care
8. Study: Alternate walking and running to save energy, maintain endurance
9. Research study: Whistle away the need for diapers
10. Study: Husbands who do more traditionally female housework have less sex
11. Study: Lungs From Heavy Smokers OK for Transplant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Mercy College is expanding its Graduate Business Programs to the Bronx ... to high demand: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Organizational Leadership (MSOL) and ... School of Business Graduate Program Chair Dr. Ray Manganelli said: “We believe that people ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has received accreditation for its ... accreditation of three residency programs that Memorial is currently pursuing, including Pediatrics and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... 60 rural hospitals across the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on ... by Rep. Geoff Duncan (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The White House announced efforts ... more information about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections for borrowers. ... federal and private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million Americans holding ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... infants born with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery ... diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... April 29, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... 2016" market research report that provides an overview ... analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug ... (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, ... reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Glycotope GmbH, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company built ... Dr. Alfredo Zurlo as Chief Medical Officer. ... years clinical experience and a proven track record in ... at Mologen AG where he was Chief Medical Officer ... held various positions at F Hoffmann La Roche and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... will notably complement the company,s valve repair and ... the move also places Abbott more firmly into ... one of the fastest growing device areas, with ... to its recent report,  Advanced Remote Patient ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: