Journal of Social Sciences

A Comparative Examination of Unhealthy Behaviors and Negative-LGBT Experiences among Individuals in Legal Same-Sex Marriages and in Committed Same-Sex Relationships

Debarun Majumdar and Cheryl Rollman-Tinajero

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2017.173.183

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 13, Issue 3

Pages 173-183


Extant literature on different-sex marriage has widely demonstrated its beneficial and protective effects. Given that legal same-sex marriage has been available on a state-by-state basis only since 2004 starting with Massachusetts and nationwide since 2015 after the Supreme Court Ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, it is imperative to understand if those entering legal same-sex marriage are different from those who are not entering this institution. We identify unhealthy behaviors, such as binge drinking and not being faithful and negative LGB-experiences, such as stigma and bullying, to examine if those in legal same-sex marriage participate in these behaviors or have these experiences at different levels compared to those in committed relationships. Using a U.S. sample convenience (N = 158), represented strongly by the state of Texas, we found that those in legal marriages participated in unhealthy behaviors and experienced negative LGB-experiences at levels lower than those in committed relationships. Results from multivariate analyses, using Poisson’s regression model, indicate that being legally married as opposed to being in committed relationship reduced unhealthy behaviors and negative experiences after controlling for sociodemographic factors. We recommend further research on same-sex marriage because of its potential implications on health.


© 2017 Debarun Majumdar and Cheryl Rollman-Tinajero. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.