Sunday, July 26, 2015

Salubrious straights

The percentages of people, by sexual orientation, who reported having missed work over the last month due to "mental or physical" health issues (n = 1,160):

OrientationMissed work
Straight13.3%
Bisexual19.4%
Gay34.4%

Sample sizes are small for gays and bis (22 and 27, respectively) as the question was asked for the first time in the most recent 2014 iteration of the survey, so results shouldn't be treated as anything more than suggestive.

When we talk about a germ theory of homosexuality, this isn't what we usually have in mind, but as someone who gets the anecdotal sense that (male) homosexuals are generally less healthy than heterosexuals are, the above comes as little surprise, even after acknowledging that stereotypically gay jobs are not especially physically demanding or dangerous.

GSS variables used: MISSWORK, SEXORNT

3 comments:

Jokah Macpherson said...

That is absolutely fascinating. Setting aside the issue of the issue of the small n for gays and bisexuals, the difference between gays and straights is statistically significant even at a .01 confidence level. In other words, pretty strong evidence of a significant difference. This needs to be publicized more widely.

One other weird thing I noticed is that if you control for sex, the rates are similar for gays and lesbians, but male bisexuals track the gay group while female bisexuals are in line with heterosexual women. This seems to support the idea of it being a general health thing rather than the consequences of diseases spread through promiscuity since lesbians aren't famously promiscuous yet still have absentee rates similar to those of gay men.

Anonymous said...

Is it mental of is it physical health though? Some will say that if it is mental that discrimination and so on is to blame

Audacious Epigone said...

That question doesn't specify, but there is another that does. If it is mental, the chicken-and-egg question is there. I'll take a look at it.