Examining Disparities in Excessive Alcohol Use Among Black and Hispanic Lesbian and Bisexual Women in the United States: An Intersectional Analysis
Sexual minority (i.e., lesbian, bisexual) women and racial-ethnic minority groups in the United States are disproportionately harmed by heavy alcohol use. This study examined disparities in heavy alcohol use at the intersection of race-ethnicity and sexual identity for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic sexual minority women.
Using data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the researchers compared the age-adjusted prevalence of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use among sexual minority women of color, sexual minority White women, and heterosexual women of color with that of White heterosexual women. The joint disparity is the difference in the prevalence of heavy alcohol use between sexual minority women of color and White heterosexual women. The excess intersectional disparity is the portion of the joint disparity that is due to being both a racial-ethnic minority and a sexual minority woman.
Black and Hispanic sexual minority women reported the highest prevalence of binge alcohol use (45.4% and 43.4%, respectively), followed by White sexual minority women (35.7%) and White heterosexual women (23%). Black and Hispanic heterosexual women reported the lowest prevalence of binge alcohol use (20.8% and 20.2%, respectively). The joint disparity in binge alcohol use between Black sexual minority women and White heterosexual women was 21.2%, and the excess intersectional disparity was 17.7%. The joint disparity in binge alcohol use between Hispanic sexual minority women and White heterosexual women was 16.8%, and the excess intersectional disparity was 10.8%.
Disparities in heavy alcohol consumption for Black and Hispanic sexual minority women, compared with White heterosexual women, were larger than what would be expected when considering differences by race or sexual identity individually.