Movin’ On Up? Sexualities and Neighborhood Attainment


Levine, Andrew (2021). Movin’ On Up? Sexualities and Neighborhood Attainment.


Research suggests sexual minorities (e.g. non-heterosexual individuals) concentrate in relatively advantaged neighborhoods despite broad socioeconomic disadvantages. These patterns appear to contradict established models of neighborhood attainment, namely spatial assimilation, place stratification, and contextual mobility. To address this conundrum, I conduct analyses using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) (N=11,705). Improving upon prior research, these data directly measure sexual orientation across dimensions (i.e. identity, behavior, and attraction) and collect information about respondents and their neighborhoods over time. Results reveal significant neighborhood disadvantages among sexual minorities, lending support to the place stratification perspective. Not only do sexual minorities tend to reside in poorer neighborhoods in adulthood than heterosexuals, they are also more likely to experience downward neighborhood mobility between childhood and adulthood. These findings are robust across operationalizations of sexual orientation and raise new questions about sexualities and their relation to inequality and social mobility.

Reference Type

Conference paper

Book Title

Population Association of America Annual Meeting


Levine, Andrew

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