Self-Rated Health at the Intersection of Sexual Identity and Union Status

Corinne Reczek, Ohio State University
Hui Liu, Michigan State University
Russell Spiker, University of Cincinnati

There are union status gradients in health wherein the married experience advantaged health over unmarried, and clear sexual identity gradients in health wherein gay men and lesbians experience worse health than heterosexuals. We merge these two research areas to explore whether a union status gradient holds true across gay, lesbian, and heterosexual people. We use newly-released data from the National Health Interview Surveys to compare the self-rated health of gay/lesbian and heterosexual individuals across union status. Results from logistic regression models show that all groups, except for gay/lesbian previously-married, report higher odds of poor/fair health than the heterosexual married after controlling for demographic covariates. Controls for socioeconomic status explain the difference between the heterosexual married and both heterosexual and gay/lesbian never-married, reduce (but do not explain) the difference between the heterosexual married and the heterosexual cohabiting and previously-married, and increases the difference between the heterosexual married and the gay/lesbian cohabiting.

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Presented in Session 92: LGBTQ Population in Families and Households