Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 107–121 | Cite as

Disability Estimates between Same- and Different-Sex Couples: Microdata from the American Community Survey (2009–2011)

  • Carlos Siordia
Original Paper


Disability and sexual orientation have been used by some to unjustly discriminate against differently-abled and differently-oriented minority groups. Because little is known about the disability rates of individuals in same-sex unions, this technical report presents disability rates by separating couples into: same-sex-female; same-sex-male; different-sex-married; and different-sex-unmarried couples. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) 2009–2011 3-year file is utilized to produce estimates (and their standard errors) for the following six disability items: independent living; ambulatory; self-care; cognitive; hearing; and vision. Estimates of disability by selected geographies—i.e., Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs)—are also presented as is a figure showing a PUMA polygon. Qualitative comparisons seem to indicate that: same-sex-female couples have higher rates of disability compared to the other three groups; that in general, disability estimates for individuals in same-sex couples have a greater degree of uncertainty; and that disability-item-allocations are most prevalent in same-sex couples. Because societal marginalization may increase through cumulative processes, public health professionals should continue to seek out ways to identify underserved populations.


Same-sex Disability United States ACS PUMS PUMA DOMA 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health (grant number T32 AG000181to A. B. Newman).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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