Do New Zealand sexual minorities engage in more hazardous drinking than non‐sexual minorities? Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction and aims

    Research has shown that sexual minorities (SMs) throughout the world display more alcohol use related problems than non-SMs. To date, however, this research has not been replicated in New Zealand. The aim of the current study is to determine whether SMs in New Zealand drink more hazardously than non-SMs.

    Design and methods

    Secondary data analyses were performed using data from the 2015/16 and 2016/17 New Zealand Health Survey.


    Using a Bayesian logistic regression model we tested whether SM status predicted hazardous alcohol consumption. We found that SMs were 2.2 times (95% HDI [1.7-2.7]) more likely to drink hazardously than non-SMs, but this effect was largely driven by sexual minority women (SMW).

    Discussion and conclusion

    New Zealand SMs engaged in more hazardous drinking than non-SMs, an effect driven by SMW. A potential reason for these findings could be that, despite New Zealand's relative acceptance of SMs, structural/social discrimination may persist and have a disproportionate effect on women. More research is needed to determine what factors, such as stigma/discrimination, impact SMs' alcohol use in New Zealand.

publication date

  • July 2019