The Residential Segregation of Homosexual Households from Heterosexual Households in Metropolitan Areas of the United States, 2010

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:42 AM
Room: Booth 54
Oral Presentation
Dudley POSTON , Texas A&M University
D'Lane R. COMPTON , University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Emily Ann KNOX , Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Residential segregation is a major area of research in demography and sociology. Most of the research has focused on the segregation of racial/ethnic minorities from the majority race/ethnic group in cities of the United States and several other countries. Few if any analyses have dealt with the spatial segregation of sexual minorities from the majority. In our paper we analyze homosexual-to-heterosexual household segregation. There is a void in the literature about the extent to which gay men and lesbians are residentially segregated from heterosexual households. There are some studies of “gay spaces” and enclaves, but most are case studies of single cities (e.g., San Francisco) or analyses of gay enclaves and political force and activism. There are no systematic empirical studies of metropolitan areas in the U.S. (or elsewhere) of the degree to which gay male and lesbian households are residentially segregated from heterosexual households. Our paper addresses this void. We use two dissimilarity measures of residential segregation with the same-sex partnering data from the 2010 U.S. census to calculate segregation scores for the 100 metropolitan with the largest homosexual populations. We show that there is a sizable amount of residential segregation between these two groups. We also show that gay male households are more segregated from heterosexual households than are lesbian households. And we show that the level of segregation varies positively across the metropolitan areas with the size of the gay male and lesbian population. Our research contributes to the general literature on residential segregation by focusing on a non-racial minority that has heretofore received very little attention.