Urban Migration of Sexual Minorities in the United States: Myth or Reality?
It is often suggested that sexual minorities in the United States, especially gay men and lesbian women, move to urban areas at a higher rate than heterosexual individuals. Existing analyses of this claim are limited for one or more reasons, such as only examining patterns of current residential context without considering movement between contexts or only examining movement for partnered sexual minorities. Utilizing the General Social Survey, a probability survey of the US adult population, we compare patterns of residential context in childhood and adulthood for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual individuals. Initial findings do suggest that gay and lesbian individuals are slightly more likely than heterosexual individuals to reside in more urban areas as adults. However, this difference is explained away by the more urban childhood contexts of gay or lesbian individuals relative to heterosexual individuals. In sum, we find no robust sexuality effect on urban migration.
KeywordsSexuality Migration Urban Rural Gay Lesbian Residential context
The authors did not receive funding to conduct this research.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Author Scheitle declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Guthrie declares that she has no conflict of interest.
The data used in this research come from the General Social Survey (GSS), which is publicly available at gss.norc.org. Informed consent is obtained from all GSS participants. This research is in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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