TitleMeasuring the Influence of Legally Recognized Partnerships on the Health and Well-Being of Same-Sex Couples: Utility of the California Health Interview Survey.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsElwood, WN, Irvin, VL, Sun, Q, Breen, N
JournalLGBT Health
Date Published2017 04
KeywordsAdult, California, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Female, Homosexuality, Male, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Marriage, Odds Ratio, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Self Report, Sexual and Gender Minorities, Sexual Partners, Socioeconomic Factors

PURPOSE: This study explored the utility of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to compare health-related outcomes among gay men, lesbians, and heterosexuals who reported being in a legally recognized partnership.

METHODS: We regressed sexual identity and marriage/legally recognized partnership status on seven different outcomes related to health insurance coverage, medical services access and use, and general health and well-being using CHIS data collected between 2009 and 2013.

RESULTS: There were 1432 respondents who identified as gay, lesbian, or homosexual, and 67,746 who identified as heterosexual. The percentage of participants who reported being married/legally partnered was 54.06% for heterosexual women, 52.93% for heterosexual men, 38.83% for lesbians, and 23.56% for gay men. Legally partnered/married gay and lesbian respondents were more likely to have health insurance and use healthcare than their counterparts not in such partnerships; few trends were statistically significant. Gay men in legally recognized partnerships were more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report continuous health insurance coverage, a usual medical care source, and at least one provider visit within the past 12 months. We found statistically significant poorer health status outcomes among lesbians in legally recognized partnerships compared to married heterosexual women.

CONCLUSIONS: Lesbians in legally recognized partnerships did not fare as well as married heterosexual women. Gay men in legally recognized partnerships fared better than married heterosexual men on some measures. CHIS questionnaire structures limited our sample and analyses. We recommend that CHIS and other researchers ask partnered status-, marriage-, and sexual identity-related questions en bloc to ensure more robust representation, analyses, recommendations, and policy resolutions.

Alternate JournalLGBT Health
PubMed ID28207297
PubMed Central IDPMC5404247