Date of Degree

9-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor

Neil G. Bennett

Committee Members

Jeremy Porter

Mary Clare Lennon

Justin Lavner

Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Gender and Sexuality

Keywords

dissolution, partner availability, gay, lesbian, LGBT

Abstract

Despite recent improvements in the availability of data on same-sex union formation and dissolution, the field remains understudied. Recent findings on the stability of same-sex unions in the United States and in Europe are inconsistent both within and between countries. Using three data sets – How Couples Meet and Stay Together, the Generations and Gender Survey, and the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences surveys – event-history analyses are conducted to examine the stability of same-sex unions relative to male-female unions in the United States and continental Europe. The availability of partners for LGBT-identified males and females in eighteen selected cities across the United States is also estimated using Gallup Daily tracking survey data, with partner preferences estimated from the 2010 U.S. Census 10 percent PUMS as well as two empirical studies on age preferences. Same-sex union formation is contextualized using responses to attitudinal questions in the Gallup Daily tracking survey and the World Values Survey. Findings indicate differential patterns of union stability in the United States and in Europe – whereas no differences in union stability among cohabiting couples are found in the United States, female-female cohabiting couples in Western Europe have a higher risk of dissolution than their male-female cohabiting couple peers; additionally, while female-female formal unions are found to have a higher risk of dissolution than male-female peers in formal unions in Western Europe, no differences in union stability among couples in formal unions are found in the Netherlands, and female-female couples in formal unions in the United States have a higher risk of dissolution compared to their male-female couple peers. Estimates of availability of partners for same-sex-attracted individuals are sensitive to the underlying age preferences assigned to the model.

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