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Study: Gay men lead happier, healthier lives where gay marriage is legal

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gay men who live in U.S. states where same-sex marriage is legal make fewer doctor visits, have lower healthcare costs, and in general lead happier and healthier lives, according to a new study being published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers at Columbia University analyzed health data from a group of gay men in Massachusetts for the twelve months before and after same-sex marriage was legalized in that state in 2003, and concluded that the number of visits by gay men to health clinics dropped significantly after same-sex unions were legalized.

The researchers surveyed the demand for medical and mental healthcare from more than 1,200 gay men registered with a Massachusetts health clinic in the 12 months prior to the 2003 change and the 12 months afterwards and found a 13-percent drop in healthcare visits after the law was enacted.

This was regardless of whether the men were in a stable relationship, the American Journal of Public Health reported.

There was a reduction in blood pressure problems, depression and “adjustment disorders,” which could be the result of reduced stress, researchers said.

“Our results suggest that removing these barriers improves the health of gay and bisexual men,” study leader Mark Hatzenbuehler said.

via: UPI

A spokesman for the Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK-based sexual health and HIV charity, told the BBC that “there is a known link between health and happiness.”

“It’s no surprise that people who are treated as second class citizens tend to have low self esteem, which in turn makes them more likely to take risks,” the spokesman said. “Whether this is drugs, alcohol abuse, or unsafe sex, treating gay men unequally has lasting repercussions for their health.”

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26 more reader comments:

  1. Well, duh.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:32pm
  2. OMG NO WAY.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:33pm
  3. can I just second the duh above

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:33pm
  4. Duh!

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:34pm
  5. Gay Marriage should be LEGAL ALL OVER THE U.S.A.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:35pm
  6. hmmm…..surprise, surprise

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:36pm
  7. Hmmmm…. I wonder why??? Maybe because we are not treated like second class citizens like we are in the U.S.?

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:38pm
  8. Really? What’s the next study result…birds like to fly? Of course people are going to be happier where they are treated equally and their love and commitment for their spouse is recognized. Did we really need a study to tell us that? Well….on second thought…given the idiot “conservatives” spouting bullshit, maybe this study WAS necessary.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:38pm
  9. Wait where people are “accepted” they are happier? no way (sarcasm)

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:43pm
  10. This is one of the arguments for same sex marriage in Australia too. BTW having looked at the abstract this research included bisexual men in the sample, thus it wasn’t just ‘gay’ men.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:47pm
  11. ^hahahah love this!

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:48pm
  12. …This is, news? Really? Like, this shouldn’t even surprise homophobic people, it’s just basic human brain/body interaction. It applies to everyone.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:51pm
  13. Duh

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 6:09pm
  14. well shit who knew?….

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 6:13pm
  15. Um…so “gay men” are the only LGBTQ persons who mattered enough to warrant study?

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 6:46pm
  16. Duh! Same as straight men – we are all so connected in the great circle of life – can I get an Amen????

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 6:46pm
  17. RAMEN? Where!? Oh Amen. Never mind. yeah, the sad thing is, too many bigots are so closed minded that they’ll shake their heads like a wet dog and cross their arms like a child with an attitude.

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:06pm
  18. agree

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:42pm
  19. not shocking!

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8:37pm
  20. makes sense to me…

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8:54pm
  21. duh?? *smiles

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 9:58pm
  22. Well, there is one more study the opponents are going to use against marriage equality…

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:40pm
  23. I don’t even wonder why..

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:47pm
  24. Wow, who’d have thought that Just Having the Freedom to enjoy a Civil Right would improve someone’s emotional & physical health, even if an individual chose not to take advantage of it?! I WOULD!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11:20pm
  25. No shit Sherlock…

    Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 10:01pm
  26. and eating McDonald’s is bad for you

    Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 1:15pm