Demographics of Gay and Lesbian Partnerships and Families

  • D’Lane R. Compton
  • Amanda K. Baumle
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 8)


The field of sociology has long suffered from a lack of focus on issues of sexuality. With this history, it is perhaps to be expected that the field of demography would not yet have placed the demography of sexuality into its mainstream. While sexual orientation has been introduced into the field of demography, it was primarily through its connections to sexual behavior (rather than identity or desire) and, in turn, reproduction. It is noteworthy that so little demographic work has been done in the broad area of sexuality, given its tie to fertility outcomes. More recent research exploring demographics of sexuality shows that sexuality affects demographic outcomes well beyond specific studies estimating the odds of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Sexuality results in differential outcomes on a number of issues that are fundamental to population study, including migration, fertility, morbidity, and other areas. We believe it is important, therefore, for demographers to consider the effects of sexuality on demographic factors, as well as how sexuality intersects with other demographic characteristics – such as gender – to shape outcomes. This chapter explores the role of one aspect of sexuality, sexual orientation, on family demography outcomes. In particular, we examine demographics of partnered relationships and marriages, as well as demographics surrounding parenthood of LGBT-identified individuals and provide a foundation for integrating studies of gender and sexuality when considering family outcomes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D’Lane R. Compton
    • 1
  • Amanda K. Baumle
    • 2
  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentThe University of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Sociology DepartmentThe University of HoustonHoustonUSA

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