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Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation$
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Charlotte J. Patterson and Anthony R. D'Augelli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765218

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765218.001.0001

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Demographic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation

Demographic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation

Chapter:
(p.69) 6 Demographic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation
Source:
Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation
Author(s):

Gary J. Gates

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765218.003.0006

This chapter summarizes existing literature that describes the demographic, economic, and geographic characteristics of lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. It begins with a discussion of some of the data and methodological challenges associated with studying sexual orientation as a demographic characteristic. It then presents analyses to describe estimates of the size of lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations, as well as information about coming out (i.e., disclosure of these identities). The remainder of the chapter considers how lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations compare with the heterosexual population with regard to a variety of demographic characteristics including geographic distribution, age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, family formation, and child-rearing.

Keywords:   lesbians, gays, bisexuals, homosexual, sexual behavior, coming out, demographic data

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