NOM BLOG

New Danish Study of 6.5 Million: Health Benefits of Marriage are Unique to Male-Female Unions

 

A new study in the Journal of Epidemiology followed 6.5 million Danish persons for nearly 30 years (for a total of 112.5 million person-years) looking at how living arrangements (being single, cohabiting, married, widowed or in a same-sex union) affected their health outcomes.

IJEFrom the official abstract:

"[Hazard Ratios] for overall mortality changed markedly over time, most notably for persons in same-sex marriage. In 2000–2011, opposite-sex married persons (reference, HR = 1) had consistently lower mortality than persons in other marital status categories in women (HRs 1.37–1.89) and men (HRs 1.37–1.66). Mortality was particularly high for same-sex married women (HR = 1.89), notably from suicide (HR = 6.40) and cancer (HR = 1.62), whereas rates for same-sex married men (HR = 1.38) were equal to or lower than those for unmarried, divorced and widowed men. Prior marriages (whether opposite-sex or same-sex) were associated with increased mortality in both women and men (HR = 1.16–1.45 per additional prior marriage)."

The conclusion of the authors:

"Our study provides a detailed account of living arrangements and their associations with mortality over three decades, thus yielding accurate and statistically powerful analyses of public health relevance to countries with marriage and cohabitation patterns comparable to Denmark’s. Of note, mortality among same-sex married men has declined markedly since the mid-1990s and is now at or below that of unmarried, divorced and widowed men, whereas same-sex married women emerge as the group of women with highest and, in recent years, even further increasing mortality."

Commentary from the English Manif blog:

"During 2000 to 2011, Danish male-female married couples were the healthiest and least likely to die at various ages compared with individuals who were unmarried, divorced or widowed. In contrast, same-sex married men in Denmark were no healthier than unmarried men. Same-sex married women had much higher mortality rates than other women, including the ones who were unmarried, divorced or widowed. There was no apparent marriage “benefit” in terms of better health or longer life for these same-sex married women.

While this is just one study that needs to be supplemented by more research, it does suggest that the health benefits of marriage may be unique to the male-female union. Governments may try to legislate a revised version of “marriage,” but they cannot legislate the health and longevity benefits that come from a man marrying a woman."

31 Comments

  1. Dann Birkholz
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    This article is really laughable.

  2. Thomas Peters
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    How so?

  3. D Mills
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I thought that same-sex marriage only became legal in Denmark in June of 2012... How can a study from 2000-2011 possibly include married same-sex couples.

  4. Steven
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Interesting. More interesting to me is that Denmark didn't legalize same-sex marriage until 2012.

  5. Susan
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    First, the study happened over thirty years, most of which same sex couples were not permitted to marry. Certainly we would expect little useful data. Second, the study show remarkable decreases in the mortality of same sex couples since they have been permitted to marry. Marriage is clearly proving to be beneficial to those couples. How could you have possibly come away with any other conclusion from this study?

  6. JP
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Well, since gay marriage wasn't legal until 2012, you're article is misleading. What it does do give more credit to the pro-gay-marriage crowd.

  7. Richard
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Here's why. The final analysis by English Manif (?) concludes that male-female marriage enjoys health advantages yet same sex male marriage is recognized as quite healthy thank you very much but, the laughable part comes with this comment: "Governments may try to legislate a revised version of ''marriage' but they cannot legislate the health and longevity benefits that come from a man marrying a women." So now your argument is that same sex marriage should be outlawed because of health concerns? Take heart, stop worrying about our health. We will manage just fine. But thank you for caring.

  8. Andrew
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Uhh nice try, but the study actually doesn't say (at least not in the abstract summary provided) whether it made side-by-side comparisons of mortality rates of same-sex married men vs. single gay men. Or same-sex married women compared with single lesbian women.

    And even leaving aside that distinction, your "analysis" would only be correct with regard to women -- the very summary you quote says that mortality rates for same-sex married men were equal to or lower than those for unmarried, divorced and widowed men!

  9. Robert
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Even if health benefits were relevant to legal rights, even the NOMsters have to admit that gay men are healthier when married. So what's the point of posting this article, other than the usual NOMhate?

  10. P Edward Murray
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    If a thousand people say a foolish thing or even a million or more say a foolish thing it is still a foolish thing.

    To say that the union of male and female is not natural to humans, to say that it wouldn't provide many benefits is like saying that our Sun is n

  11. P Edward Murray
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Sorry silly computer.. at any rate I was saying that it is just like saying our Sun is not a Star and it doesn't exist anyway:)

  12. Dann Birkholz
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Thomas, How so? Really? I'm pretty sure this article is suggesting that gay people live shorter lives and are more likely to commit suicide? That's ridiculous! Better yet, what does any of this have to do with SSM?

  13. Dann Birkholz
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Nom has become so desperate at this point, they will publish anything that paints gays in a negative light and now we live shorter lives and kill ourselves more often, This is also laughable.

  14. margie
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    That is awesome. male/female marriages rule the roost!

  15. J. Morales
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Thomas, I wouldn't worry too much about it. When faced with facts that they can't rebut, far too often liberals turn to ridicule and smears. I hate to sound harsh, but I've seen it happen too many times. It sounds like an interesting article and like all scientific studies, is limited in scope.

  16. Concerned
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    It's not the first time I've read an article about the health benefits of marriage. Most of what I've read pointed out that men seem to benefit the most physically from being married (to a female). I'm not surprised that more research backs this up.

  17. John B.
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like the "health benefits of marriage" have been pretty good for male same-sex couples: "[mortality] rates for same-sex married men (HR = 1.38) were equal to or lower than those for unmarried, divorced and widowed men.... Of note, mortality among same-sex married men has declined markedly since the mid-1990s and is now at or below that of unmarried, divorced and widowed men...."

  18. John B.
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I guess Mr. Peters' question was a rhetorical one if we are not allowed to answer it?

  19. D Mills
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought that same-sex marriage only became legal in Denmark in June of 2012... How can a study that ended in 2011 possibly include married same-sex couples.

  20. Jack
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Really now, they studied nearly one million more Danish persons than there are people actually living in Denmark for thirty years? Color me impressed.

  21. John Williams
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    So it sounds like gay males in same-sex marriages should be encouraged, right?

  22. D Mills
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    And, how can this study claim to have studied 6.5 million Danish people, when there are only 5.5 million people in Denmark. Not to mention that almost 1 million of those 5.5 million are under age 15. You anti-gays surely do have your own concept of math... and counting.

  23. LonesomeRhoades
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Common sense tells us that homosexuality is not only unnatural, but also unhealthy.
    These people who choose a homosexual lifestyle are sorely lacking in information. They need help.

  24. Dann Birkholz
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    LonesomeRhoades, for god sake how many times do you need to be told, people don't choose to be gay! If this is true when did you decide to pick a straight lifestyle? You sound very uneducated.

  25. David D
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Here's another more informed article on the study:

    "Men in same-sex marriages are living longer - but it's the opposite for their female counterparts"

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2292333/Men-sex-marriages-living-longer--opposite-female-counterparts.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Again, your conclusion is off-base.

  26. Richard
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    The comment from LonesomeRhoades is too rich to ignore. NOM offers a study that actually supports the health advantages for married gay men, numerous bloggers point this out and LR says, "Never mind. It doesn't matter because we just know what we think we know." Right...

  27. Zack
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Lots of these posters fail to mention that Denmark recognized same-sex civil unions with full marital benefits back in 1989. The study is fully appropriate.

  28. Zack
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    @D Mills

    Do you not understand what "over 30 years" means?

  29. Jane
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Its up to the government to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. If homosexuals are committing suicide, taking drugs, and leading lives that cause premature mortality, the government needs to act.

  30. Mao
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Legal porn has been around since 1967. Since porn and (illegal) experimental lifestyles go together, 'marriage' became legal only last year; but living together (outside the law) has been in vogue all the time.
    The study would not have been prompted unless something unusual has been going on that catches one's fancy.
    Like LonesomeRhoades says, the behaviour is unnatural and unhealthy, and hence would adversely affect health.

  31. P Edward Murray
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    There are long term studies about the differences of having a heterosexual marriage and those who are single.

    To negate those facts, to negate that men and women are not complementary is just a very foolish idea.

    Of course just saying an idea is foolish doesn't prevent folks from having foolish ideas.

    None of us were born from a biological gay union.

    The pendulum swings back and forth and this one will eventually lose steam and go back the other way.

One Trackback

  1. [...] This is from the blog of the National Organization for Marriage. [...]