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

Political engagement and turnout among same-sex couples in Western Europe
Political engagement and turnout among same-sex couples in Western Europe
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 twelve different countries with an identified sample of 1,542 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.
engagement, gay vote, political interest, turnout, political participation, elections, sexuality, LGBT politics
Turnbull-Dugarte, Stuart J.
e25c6280-842c-407f-a961-6472eea5d845
Townsley, Joshua
b67ce2e7-3fe6-4483-89da-4e0329f0183e
Turnbull-Dugarte, Stuart J.
e25c6280-842c-407f-a961-6472eea5d845
Townsley, Joshua
b67ce2e7-3fe6-4483-89da-4e0329f0183e

Turnbull-Dugarte, Stuart J. and Townsley, Joshua (2020) Political engagement and turnout among same-sex couples in Western Europe. Research & Politics. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

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 twelve different countries with an identified sample of 1,542 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.

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TurnbullDug_Townsley2020 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 20 October 2020
Keywords: engagement, gay vote, political interest, turnout, political participation, elections, sexuality, LGBT politics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444948
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444948
PURE UUID: 9a86ac44-a58f-453e-b17a-d82ee7ae4d27
ORCID for Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9330-3945

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Date deposited: 12 Nov 2020 17:33
Last modified: 12 Nov 2020 17:33

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