211558 Asian Same-sex Households: A Test of an Inverted U Market Marriage Paradigm

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 12:45 PM

Frank Y. Wong, PhD , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Paul Ong, PhD , Professor, School of Public Affairs/Professor, Asian American Studies/Director, UC AAPI Policy Multi-campus Research Program, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Lois M. Takahashi, PhD , Department of Urban Planning, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Background and Significance: With the legalization of marriage for same sex couples in four states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont), the selection of marriage partners for same sex couples where at least one partner is Asian (one of the fasting growing minority group) is an important question with considerable implications for issues such as access to health care and other social welfares.

Objective and Purpose: We explored the patterns of same-sex couple household composition among Asians in the U.S. to ascertain how Asian same-sex couples may parallel or be distinct from prevailing theories and analyses that explain Asian heterosexual mate selection

Methods: We used three years (2005-2007) of data from the 5% sample of the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the American Community Survey (including U.S. Census of 50 states and the District of Columbia). The focus of this analysis are Asian same-sex couple households, which we defined as same-sex couple households with at least one member self-identified as Asian. The final sample included 487 same-sex male couples with at least one Asian individual in the household.

Results: Individuals tended to form partnership with someone with similar ethnic background. English proficiency was significantly associated with being head of the household. Income, a labor market characteristic, was inversely related to race-based partnership.

Discussion and Conclusions: Characteristics associated with same-sex Asian coupling appear to be differed from their heterosexual counterparts. The public health implications of these findings will be presented and discussed.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participants will (1) learn about conceptual and methodological issues relevant to mate selection in heterosexual and same-sex Asians, respectively; and (2) explore same-sex Asian coupling in the context of current controversy of same-sex marriage.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Gay

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I CONCEPTUALIZE ALL ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF THE STUDY
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.