Sectors of Activity and Occupations of Gays and Lesbians in a Union: A Smaller Gender Divide

By Rault, Wilfried | Population, July 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Sectors of Activity and Occupations of Gays and Lesbians in a Union: A Smaller Gender Divide


Rault, Wilfried, Population


Since the 1980s, social science research on homosexuality has expanded rapidly in France, a trend that reflects the rising social visibility of homosexuality, the legal recognition of same-sex unions, and the resulting decrease in stigma. Using interview-based qualitative surveys, numerous studies on sexuality, conjugality, and parenthood have been conducted, partly in response to the politicization of homosexuality brought on by the creation of the civil partnership (PACS) in 1999, the debate surrounding the recognition of same-sex parenting and, more recently, the opening of marriage to gay and lesbian couples in 2013.

In the field of quantitative research, progress is mixed. Quantitative studies are mainly based on two types of sources: representative surveys on sexual behaviour, and specialized surveys on a sample of volunteers based on the model initiated in the 1980s by Michael Pollak and Marie-Ange Schiltz (1994) at the height of the AIDS epidemic. These surveys made it possible to study the diversity of homo-bisexualities, and more generally, to better understand sexual behaviours and how they evolve over time. It remains difficult, however, to characterize gay and lesbian populations socially, even on the basis of detailed social indicators such as educational qualifications, sector of activity, or occupational category. Two general population surveys - Analyse des comportements sexuels des Français (Analysis of sexual behaviours in France, 1992) and Contexte de la sexualité en France (Context of sexuality in France, 2006) - based on probabilistic samples, revealed that respondents who reported at least one sexual encounter with a person of the same sex in their lifetimes were both younger and more highly educated than the average. It should be noted, however, that this indicator - having had at least one same-sex partner in one's lifetime - is not an indicator of homosexual orientation (Bajos and Beltzer, 2012; Messiah and Mouret-Fourme, 1993). Surveys based on convenience samples (such as the Gai Pied surveys and the gay press surveys carried out annually from 1985 to 1993, then again in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2011 - with the latest edition also addressing women) have always revealed very specific respondent profiles (Pollak, 1988; Rault, 2011; Schiltz, 1998; Velter, 2007): high levels of education, upward social mobility and an over-representation in higher-level and intellectual occupations. The authors ascribe this to the choice of survey administration method (notably paper questionnaires that favour those who are comfortable with writing) and to the effect on the respondents' life course of having a stigmatized, minority sexual orientation. These observations were made cautiously, as the surveys depended on voluntary participation and did not include detailed indicators of the respondents' social situations. More recently, routine surveys administered by INSEE, such as the Labour Force survey (Enquete Emploi), have explored certain themes based on the study of individuals in same-sex unions, while taking important methodological precautions, as these configurations are difficult to identify (Laurent and Mihoubi, 2014; Toulemon, 2014; Table 1).

New and more precise data now allow us to study the social status of gays and lesbians. This article first examines the sources available on the subject, as of the mid-2010s. It shows that the current approach, which aims to characterize gay and lesbian people in terms of education and occupation, brings with it several challenges linked to the representativeness of such surveys, the quality of the indicators, and the low numbers of respondents.

After this general overview, using data from the Family and Housing survey (Enquete Famille et Logements, INSEE, 2011), a general population survey based on a probabilistic sample, we will propose an alternative approach which explores the hypothesis that social situations may differ by sexual orientation. Unprecedented in its level of detail and its sample size, this approach is based on the analysis of respondents who report being in a union at the time of the survey (whether cohabiting or not). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Sectors of Activity and Occupations of Gays and Lesbians in a Union: A Smaller Gender Divide
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.