Study: Despite Legal and Institutional Progress, LGB People Still Face Inequalities

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday June 23, 2021
Originally published on June 22, 2021

A recent study comparing the mental and physical health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people to straight people found major inequalities still exist, reported Open Access News.

Michigan State University sociologist Hui Liu and research partner Rin Reczek, professor of sociology from Ohio State University, expected younger generations of LGB people to experience lower levels of discrimination and health disadvantages.

"However, our results showed the opposite to be true," Open Access News reports. "In their work, they examined the health data of 180,000 people to investigate if legal progress could have changed how health equality works for Queer people in the US, today. Interestingly, the duo found that Queer millennials appear to have some increased health disadvantages than their older counterparts."

Areas examined included psychological distress, depression, anxiety, self-rated physical health and activity limitation across Millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer and pre-Boomer generations.

"For lesbian and gay Millennials, the scientists reveal that their likelihood of depression is almost 250% higher than that of their straight peers, while bisexual Millennials have a 380% increased likelihood of depression," reports Open Access News.

Liu further commented that older LGB people "have experienced significant interpersonal and institutional discrimination throughout their lives." So there might be a perception that this generation has it better and things are overall better, he explains.

However, the researcher believed that now more than ever, more people are identifying as LGB with less time to develop coping mechanisms against discrimination than older peers — despite legan and institutional progress.

"It means that legal progress does not translate into health equality," Open Access News reports. "If straight peers are increasingly less likely to be depressed than Queer people, despite the legality of marriage and the presence of intrinsic human rights, then health remains open to improvement."