According to a new study released by Michigan State University scientists, married heterosexual couples are healthier than people who are in same-sex relationships.
The researchers believe this could be due to several different factors, including a lack of health insurance and legal resources that come with marriage. They go on to say that allowing gay couples to marry may actually improve their health.
The researchers studied the health of 1,659 same-sex men who were living together and 1,634 same-sex cohabiting women living with their different-sex married, different-sex cohabiting, single, divorced and widowed partners.
In the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Dr. Hui Liu wrote about previous research which has shown that married people are healthier than unmarried people.
“Although our study did not specifically test the health consequences of legalising same-sex marriage, it's very plausible that legalisation of gay marriage would reduce health disparities between same-sex cohabiters and married heterosexuals.
“The odds of reporting poor or fair health were about 61 per cent higher for same-sex cohabiting men than for men in heterosexual marriages and the odds of reporting poor or fair health were about 46 per cent higher for same-sex cohabiting women than for women in heterosexual marriages.”
As for the poor health facing gay couples, Dr. Liu said that discrimination may play a part.
“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.
“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 theorised to be responsible for many of the health benefits of marriage.
“Legalising same-sex marriage could also provide other advantages often associated with heterosexual marriage, such as partner health insurance benefits and the ability to file joint tax returns, that may directly and indirectly influence the health of individuals in same-sex unions.”
Earlier this month, a study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that suggested marriage decreases the risk of having a heart attack and makes people more likely to survive cardiac arrest.
Source: Daily Mail