Same-Sex Unions and Health: An Examination of Alcohol Use

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

Different-sex married individuals experience greater longevity and lower mortality when compared to other union status groups, partially a result of the lower levels of alcohol use that accompany marriage. Yet, it is unclear whether individuals in same-sex married or cohabiting unions experience analogously lower rates of alcohol use as those found for different-sex married individuals, or if individuals in same-sex unions experience higher rates more similar to other union status groups. The present study examines how the risk of being a heavy, moderate, or former drinker varies across union status using the cross-sectional national representative U.S. National Health Interview Surveys. Findings reveal that same-sex married men report lower levels of alcohol use than same and different-sex cohabiting men, but this marital “boost” is not found for same-sex women. Same-sex cohabiting men and women experience disadvantage in risk of alcohol use when compared to different-sex marital and single union groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 7