Women bear the brunt of being the health police in heterosexual marriages, but gay and lesbian couples are more likely to mutually influence each other’s health habits — for better or for worse.
The findings are reported in the June issue of the journal, Social Science & Medicine.
Researchers Corinne Reczek, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of sociology, and Debra Umberson, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, followed 20 long-term heterosexual marriages as well as 15 long-term gay and 15 long-term lesbian partnerships in the United States. Their findings reflected previous research that in heterosexual marriages, women put more effort into encouraging good health habits for their spouses.
Sociologists have theorized that from early childhood, the socialization of women into caretaker roles has led to health benefits for husbands. Reczek says this newest study is among the first of its kind to explore how gay and lesbian couples affect each other’s health habits.
The researchers examined what they called health work — defined as any activity or dialogue concerned with enhancing another’s health. The researchers conducted 100 in-depth interviews with coupl.
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experiences of women living with HIV or arm them with the information they need to exercise their rights.
In the Dominican Republic, a recent study of the Stigma Index, in collaboration with IPPF member Profamilia, found that discrimination against women living with HIV can often be much stronger than the stigma men experience. Women suffered discrimination more than men in at least 10 categories of discrimination listed in the index, including employment and health care. The study also found that these women were more likely to be physically abused, forced to have sex or even threatened with a gun.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region has long been a champion of quality health services for all and a staunch defendant of sexual and reproductive rights. We know, based on decades of experience, that in order for all people to attain the highest standard of health, they must first be empowered to exercise choice in their sexual and reproductive lives and feel safe and informed in expressing their sexual identity.
If we as a world are to see an end to the AIDS pandemic, we can no longer afford to keep our eyes closed to this reality.