Who Cares? Unpaid Caregiving by Sexual Identity, Gender, and Partnership Status Among U.S. Adults. Journal Article uri icon



  • Recent scholarship indicates that sexual minority adults have higher caregiving rates than heterosexuals and that women are more likely to be caregivers than men. However, little research has addressed how gender and sexuality intersect in shaping caregiving status. This study uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and aggregates a probability-based sample of adults living in 36 U.S. states between 2015 and 2021. We examine who provides care among adult heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women. Results reveal that women are more likely to be caregivers than men, but only among heterosexuals. We find little variation in caregiving by sexuality among women, but bisexual men are more likely than heterosexual men to be caregivers; the latter result appears to be driven by unpartnered, bisexual men. Lastly, we contextualize caregivers' experiences and reveal selected descriptive differences in patterns of care recipient-caregiver relationships across gender and sexual identity groups. Our findings advance understanding of caregiving and changing family ties in an era of population aging and increasing diversity in sexual identities.

publication date

  • February 1, 2024

has subject area

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • January 12, 2024 2:09 AM

Full Author List

  • Zhang ZM; Smith-Johnson M; Gorman BK

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-7790

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 115

end page

  • 140


  • 61


  • 1