This week’s readings were focused primarily on gender and sex, and some of the health disparities LGBT people face today. Last semester I took a Gender and Women’s studies class called “Intro to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies.” In the class we learned about many different aspects of the LGBT community, each week having it’s own particular “topic”. These weekly topics were accompanied by 5-6 weekly readings, which we discussed in further detail in our discussion sections. One of the weekly topics we covered was actually LGBT health disparities and the LGBT community in healthcare today. The articles we had to read for that week were very similar to this week’s readings, so I was glad to see I’d actually have a little more background in the subject this week.
I especially liked the article by Cherlin titled “Health, Marriage, and Same-Sex Partnerships.” In my LGBT class we mainly focused week to week on the LGBT community, its history, and multiple disparities and oppression LGBT people face on a daily basis. However, our discussions never really lead to how the LGBT community is affecting others, only how other populations were affecting the LGBT community. Cherlin begins the article by discussing the ongoing argument of ‘whether marriage is beneficial to an individual’s health and well-being’. Many studies have shown a positive correlation between marriage and health, but there is not enough to prove any causation. That’s where Cherlin introduces the LGBT community; now that same-sex marriage is legalized in several states, we are able to observe and compare marriages without gender differences. It is probably too early to expect any statistical changes in research, but as same-sex marriage becomes legalized and more accepted nationwide it will be easier to analyze marriage statistics, causation (if any), and benefits without gender playing a part.