Sexual orientation and body weight: Evidence from multiple surveys
- Christopher Carpenter
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Previous research on sexual orientation and body weight has relied primarily on small convenience samples. I use data from two large representative public health surveys to examine the relationships between sexual orientation and body weight. First, I present new estimates of obesity rates by sexual orientation from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (which contains information on self-reported sexual orientation) and the 1996–2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (which contains information on intra-household same-sex unmarried partnerships). I find evidence in both surveys that gay men are much less likely to be obese relative to their heterosexual counterparts, while lesbians are much more likely to be obese. These differences cannot be easily explained by other demographic characteristics, and there is no evidence that the differences are related to differences in physical activity or muscle strengthening activities. Moreover, I find that obese gay men are less likely to be in a partnership relative to their obese heterosexual male counterparts, even after controlling for the overall lower likelihood of partnership among gay men. This suggests that minority sexual orientation may exacerbate the barriers associated with obesity.
- Allegretto, S., & Arthur, M. 2001. “An Empirical Analysis of Homosexual/Heterosexual Male Earnings Differentials: Unmarried and Unequal?” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 54(3): 631–46. CrossRef
- Black, D., Gates, G., Sanders, S., & Taylor, L. 2000. “Demographics of the Gay and Lesbian Population in the United States: Evidence from Available Systematic Data Sources.” Demography, 37(2): 139–54. CrossRef
- Carlat D, Camargo, C., & Herzog, D. 1995. “Eating Disorders in Males: Report on 135 Patients.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 554: 1127–32.
- Carpenter, C. 2004. “New Evidence on Gay and Lesbian Household Incomes.” Contemporary Economic Policy, 22(1): 78–94. CrossRef
- Carpenter, C. 2004, forthcoming. “Self-Reported Sexual Orientation and Earnings: Evidence from California.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review.
- French, S., Story, M., Remafedi, G., Resnick, M., & Blum, R. 1996. “Sexual Orientation and Prevalence of Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disordered Behaviors: A Population-Based Study of Adolescents,” International Journal of Eating Disorders, 19: 119–26. CrossRef
- Laumann, E., Gagnon, J., Michael, R. & Michaels, S. 1994. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
- Stall, R., Greenwood, G., Acree, M., Paul, J., & Coates, T. 1999. “Cigarette Smoking among Gay and Bisexual Men.” American Journal of Public Health, 89(12): 1875–78. CrossRef
- Sexual orientation and body weight: Evidence from multiple surveys
Volume 21, Issue 3 , pp 60-74
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links