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LGBTQI* People in Germany Face Staggering Health Disparities

DIW Weekly Report 5/6 / 2021, S. 41-50

David Kasprowski, Mirjam Fischer, Xiao Chen, Lisa de Vries, Martin Kroh, Simon Kühne, David Richter, Zaza Zindel

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Discrimination and rejection experienced by LGBTQI* people affect their mental health and, in the long term, their physical health as well. Survey data from the Socio-Economic Panel and Bielefeld University show that LGBTQI* people in Germany are affected by negative mental health outcomes three to four times more often than the rest of the population. Poor physical health that may be stress-related, such as heart disease, migraines, asthma, and chronic back pain, are also far more common. A person’s general well-being depends in part on their social environment. LGBTQI* people, and trans* people in particular, often feel lonely, which is cause for concern in view of increasing loneliness among most people during the coronavirus pandemic. The findings point to a marked health gradient, which should be addressed by measures including expanding queer safe spaces and by explicitly naming LGBTQI* hate crimes in the criminal code.

JEL-Classification: J7;J15;J16
Keywords: LGBTQI*, trans*, mental health, health disparities, social networks, family ties, friendship ties

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