Just had an idea for a research project.
I was chatting with Rachel about why my research seems so alone in the world - nobody in the Public Health world seems to have picked up on the utility of looking at empirically measured changes in societal heteronormativity as having the potential to affect health impacts - and I don't know why. Gay & lesbian people 'get it' instantly. Public health types seem to get confused by not knowing precisely which biochemical pathway a change in law would need to activate.
Anyway, I was working last week on data from the CHIS, and noticed that gay men (in the aggregate) are more likely to report being in 'excellent' health than straight men. My public health training told me to ignore it - 'excellent' health is not a disease, after all. It's a squishy endpoint, who knows what it means?
But something sparked in me during the conversation with Rachel.
Why are gay men more likely to be healthy than str8 men? Maybe it's not a strange question. Maybe it's an endpoint that's worth a little more investigation.
I know that nobody in the epidemiology world will believe it if it's a single finding. As large as CHIS is, it is only one dataset. So now I need to go poking around in other datasets which ask similar questions - and fortunately there's a lot of them.
I'll keep you posted...