Sexual Minority Status and Self-Rated Health: The Importance of Socioeconomic Status, Age, and Gender
Mieke B. Thomeer, University of Texas at Austin
Multiple studies find that sexual minorities are disadvantaged across many physical and mental health outcomes. Most of these studies are based on non-representative samples and do not examine how sexual orientation intersects with other socio-demographic factors to shape health. In this study, I use population-level data (N=18,915) to examine the relationship between self-rated health and sexual orientation, as well as how socioeconomic status mediates and age and gender moderate this relationship. Using multivariate logistic regression, I find that sexual minorities report worse health than their heterosexual counterparts, but this relationship is partially explained by socioeconomic status differences. Additionally, age and gender moderate this relationship, such that, net of socioeconomic status, sexual orientation is negatively correlated with fair or poor health for women and adults aged 18 to 29. Future research should use population-level data to examine other health outcomes and continue to explore how sexual orientation intersects with multiple socio-demographic statuses.