New findings from the Generations study, a study of a representative sample of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB) in the United States, show differences in the proportion of LGB people who are legally married across three cohorts: younger (18-25 years old), middle (34-41 years old) and older (52-59 years old). In 2016-2017, when the data were collected, 59% of the younger cohort, 68% of middle cohort, and 62% of the older cohort were in a relationship with a significant other who was either of the same- or different sex. Of those in a relationship, 47% of younger cohort, 62% of middle cohort, and 87% of older cohort people were in a same-sex relationship. Among people in same-sex relationships only, 6% of younger cohort, 37% of middle cohort, and 48% of older cohort people were legally married. For the entire population, regardless of relationship status, 1.5% of younger cohort, 15% of middle cohort, and 25% of older cohort people were legally married to a same-sex partner.
Legally Married LGB People in the United States
Findings from the Generations Study, a representative sample of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the U.S., show differences in the proportion of LGB people who are legally married across three cohorts: younger (ages 18-25 years), middle (34-41 years old) and older (52-59 years old).
These findings come from two survey questions about relationships asked of participants in the Generations Study, a five-year study of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. The study explores identity, stress, health outcomes, and health care and services utilization among LGBs in three generations (ages 18-25, 34-41, and 52-59 at the time of baseline data collection in 2016-2017). The study investigators targeted these generations to represent U.S. adults who came of age during different historical contexts. The study aims to assess whether younger cohorts of LGBs differ from older cohorts in how they experience stress related to prejudice and everyday forms of discrimination and whether patterns of resilience differ between different LGB cohorts. Additionally, the study aims to examine how differences in stress experience affect mental health and well -being, including depressive and anxiety symptoms, substance and alcohol use, and suicide ideation and behavior, and how younger LGBs utilize LGB-oriented social and health services, relative to older cohorts. More about the Generations study can be found here. Information about our sister study of a representative sample of transgender people in the United States can be found here.
Generations is funded by a grant from Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (OD) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD grant 1R01HD078526) and through supplemental grants from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. The Generations investigators are Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., (PI), David M. Frost, Ph.D., Phillip L. Hammack, Ph.D., Marguerita Lightfoot, Ph.D., Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D. and Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ph.D. (Co-Investigators, listed alphabetically).