What can life satisfaction data tell us about discrimination against sexual minorities? A structural equation model for Australia and the United Kingdom

Publication type

Research Paper

Authors

Nattavudh Powdthavee and Mark Wooden

Publication date

Series Number

8127

Summary

Very little is known about how the differential treatment of sexual minorities could influencesubjective reports of overall well-being. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Data from two largesurveys that provide nationally representative samples for two different countries – Australia(the HILDA Survey) and the UK (the UK Household Longitudinal Study) – are used toestimate a simultaneous equations model of life satisfaction. The model allows for selfreportedsexual identity to influence a measure of life satisfaction both directly and indirectlythrough seven different channels: (i) income; (ii) employment; (iii) health (iv) partnerrelationships; (v) children; (vi) friendship networks; and (vii) education. Lesbian, gay andbisexual persons are found to be significantly less satisfied with their lives than otherwisecomparable heterosexual persons. In both countries this is the result of a combination ofdirect and indirect effects.

Subjects

Social Groups, Well Being and Social Capital

Links

Related Publications

  1. Life satisfaction and sexual minorities: evidence from Australia and the United Kingdom