Families, Resources, and Adult Health: Where Do Sexual Minorities Fit?
Denney, Justin T.; Gorman, Bridget K.; Barrera, Cristina B.
Extensive research documents the relevance of families and socioeconomic resources to health. This paper extends that research to sexual minorities, using twelve years of the National Health Interview Survey (N = 460,459) to examine self-evaluations of health among male and female adults living in same sex and opposite sex relationships. Adjusting for SES eliminates differences between same and opposite sex cohabiters so that they have similarly higher odds of poor health relative to married persons. Results by gender reveal that the cohabitation disadvantage for health is more pronounced for opposite sex cohabiting women than for men but little difference exists between same sex cohabiting men and women. Finally, the presence of children in the home is more protective for women's than men's health, but those protections are specific to married women. In all, the results elucidate the importance of relationship type, gender, and the presence of children when evaluating health.