Sexual Identity and Birth Outcomes: A Focus on the Moderating Role of Race-ethnicity


Everett, B. G.; Limburg, A.; Charlton, B. M.; Downing, J. M.; & Matthews, P. A. (2021). Sexual Identity and Birth Outcomes: A Focus on the Moderating Role of Race-ethnicity. Journal of Health and Social Behavior.


Race-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes are well established, and new research suggests that there may also be important sexual identity disparities in birth weight and preterm birth. This study uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and is the first to examine disparities in birth outcomes at the intersection of race-ethnicity and sexual identity. We use ordinary least sqaures and logistic regression models with live births (n = 10,318) as the unit of analysis clustered on mother ID (n = 5,105), allowing us to adjust for preconception and pregnancy-specific perinatal risk factors as well as neighborhood characteristics. Results show a striking reversal in the effect of lesbian or bisexual identity on birth outcomes across race-ethnicities: For white women, a bisexual or lesbian identity is associated with better birth outcomes than their white heterosexual counterparts, but for Black and Latina women, it is associated with worse birth outcomes than their heterosexual peers. © American Sociological Association 2021.



health inequality


Export Date: 25 March 2021

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Health and Social Behavior


Everett, B. G.
Limburg, A.
Charlton, B. M.
Downing, J. M.
Matthews, P. A.

Year Published




Reference ID