Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studying the health of same-sex couples

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Same-sex couples that live together report worse health than people of the same socioeconomic status who are in heterosexual marriages, according to a national study that could have implications for the gay marriage debate.

Same-sex couples that live together report worse health than people of the same socioeconomic status who are in heterosexual marriages, according to a national study that could have implications for the gay marriage debate.

Research has shown that married people are healthier than the unmarried. Yet, while gay marriage is gaining support in Michigan and around the country, most same-sex cohabiters do not have the option of legally marrying their partners, noted Hui Liu, Michigan State University sociologist and lead investigator on the study.

While Liu's research does not directly assess the potential health consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage, she said it's plausible that allowing same-sex couples to legally wed could improve their health.

"Legalizing same-sex marriage," Liu said, "could provide the benefits associated with marriage -- such as partner health-insurance benefits and increased social and psychological support -- which may directly and indirectly influence the health of people in same-sex unions."

For the study, which appears in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Liu and colleagues analyzed the self-reported health of nearly 700,000 participants in the 1997-2009 National Health Interview Surveys. About 3,330 men and women are identified as same-sex cohabiters in the study.

Same-sex cohabiters reported poorer health than heterosexual married couples of similar socioeconomic status, which takes into account levels of education, income and insurance coverage. Liu said this disparity may be due to a lack of social, psychological and institutional resources that come with legal marriage as well as high levels of stress caused by homophobia and discrimination for gay couples that live together.

The study also examined differences among racial groups, finding that both white and black lesbian cohabiting women had poorer health than their heterosexual married counterparts. However, while black lesbian women who lived together reported poorer health than other unmarried black women, lesbian white women who cohabitated reported similar or even better health than other unmarried white women.

Liu said white women in same-sex relationships are more likely than their black and Hispanic counterparts to have both partners in full-time employment and adhere to general ideals of equality -- factors that may boost health status -- while racial minority women in same-sex relationships may experience more stigma, discrimination and economic disadvantages that in turn undermine health.

Liu's co-authors are Corinne Reczek from the University of Cincinnati and Dustin Brown from the University of Texas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hui Liu, Corinne Reczek, and Dustin Brown. Same-Sex Cohabitors and Health: The Role of Race-Ethnicity, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, February 27, 2013 DOI: 10.1177/0022146512468280

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Studying the health of same-sex couples." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085940.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2013, February 27). Studying the health of same-sex couples. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085940.htm
Michigan State University. "Studying the health of same-sex couples." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085940.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Same-Sex Cohabitors Less Healthy Than Those in Heterosexual Marriages, Study Suggests

Feb. 27, 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 ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins