-- Randy Dotinga
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Same-sex couples who live
together report having worse health than heterosexual married
couples, a new study finds.
It's not clear why there's a difference, and the study,
published in the March issue of the
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, doesn't examine the
health records of the people who took the surveys. Instead, it
relies on how people described their health.
Still, "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," Hui Liu, lead study author and an assistant professor
of sociology at Michigan State University, said in a journal news
The study looked at how nearly 1,700 same-sex cohabiting men and
about 1,600 same-sex cohabiting women described their health and
compared the results to different-sex married, different-sex
cohabiting, unpartnered divorced, widowed, and never-married
counterparts. The findings came from a larger study of whites,
blacks and Hispanics aged 18 to 65 who were surveyed from 1997 to
Why might same-sex couples report worse health?
"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."
For more details about
stress, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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