Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 553–577

Examining Sexual Orientation Disparities in Unmet Medical Needs Among Men and Women

Article

Abstract

Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 13,810), this study examines disparities in unmet medical needs by sexual orientation identity during young adulthood. We use binary logistic regression and expand Andersen’s health care utilization framework to identify factors that shape disparities in unmet medical needs by sexual orientation. We also investigate whether the well-established gender disparity in health-seeking behaviors among heterosexual persons holds for sexual minorities. The results show that sexual minority women are more likely to report unmet medical needs than heterosexual women, but no differences are found between sexual minority and heterosexual men. Moreover, we find a reversal in the gender disparity between heterosexual and sexual minority populations: heterosexual women are less likely to report unmet medical needs than heterosexual men, whereas sexual minority women are more likely to report unmet medical needs compared to sexual minority men. Finally, this work advances Andersen’s model by articulating the importance of including social psychological factors for reducing disparities in unmet medical needs by sexual orientation for women.

Keywords

Sexual orientation Gender Health care use Unmet medical needs 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Illinois-ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Stefanie Mollborn, Sociology and Institute of Behavioral Science,University of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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