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Political engagement and turnout among same-sex couples in Western Europe

Turnbull-Dugarte, Stuart J. and Townsley, Joshua ORCID: 0000-0003-3816-3430 (2020) Political engagement and turnout among same-sex couples in Western Europe. Research and Politics, 7 (4). ISSN 2053-1680

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2053168020976952


This paper presents and addresses a simple, yet overlooked, research question: is there a sexuality gap in political engagement and participation between sexual minority individuals and the heterosexual majority in Western Europe? To answer this question, we employ a recently applied method of identifying lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals using data on the gender composition of cohabiting partner households from the European Social Survey. Relying on a total sample of more than 110,000 individuals across 12 different countries with an identified sample of 1542 LGB individuals, we test the divergence in political interest and political participation, both electoral and non-electoral, between LGB and non-LGB individuals. The results of our empirical analyses conform with our expectations. Theorising that LGBs, as a marginalised social stratum, are incentivised to participate and ‘vote like their rights depended on it’, we find empirical evidence of a significant and positive ‘sexuality gap’ in levels of political interest, turnout and other forms of political participation in Western Europe over and above what can be determined by socio-economic determinants of political participation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 16:42
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 17:06

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