How Spouses Influence Each Other’s Health Habits in Same-Sex Compared to Different-Sex Marriages
University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center
Decades of research have highlighted how, compared to men, women do more work to influence their spouse’s health habits, to the health benefit of men. In this brief, PRC director Debra Umberson, PRC doctoral student Rachel Donnelly and PRC postdoctoral fellow Amanda Pollitt show that gay and lesbian spouses, like heterosexual spouses, actively work to influence each other’s health habits. Policymakers and others should highlight the ways marriage can promote health in same-sex as well as different-sex couples while also paying attention to gender differences in some of these relationship dynamics.