Numerous studies have linked marriage with happiness among heterosexual couples – but a study from the University of Washington is among the first to explore the potential benefits of marriage among LGBT couples.
The research is part of a national, groundbreaking longitudinal study with a representative sample of LGBT older adults, known as “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality/Gender Study,” which focuses on how historical, environmental, psychological, behavioral, social and biological factors are associated with health, aging and quality of life.
UW researchers found that LGBT study participants who were married reported better physical and mental health, more social support and greater financial resources than those who were single. The findings were published in a February 2017 special supplement of The Gerontologist.
Among LGBT people, marriage increased noticeably after a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. A 2016 Gallup Poll found that 49 percent of cohabiting gay couples were married, up from 38 percent before the ruling.
For the UW study, more than 1,800 LGBT people, ages 50 and older, were surveyed in 2014 in locations where marriage equality was already legal (32 states and Washington, D.C.). About one-fourth were married, another fourth were in a committed relationship, and half were single. Married respondents had spent an average of 23 years together, while those in a committed, unmarried relationship had spent an average of 16 years.
via Medical Express
photo: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images