LGBTQ+ Studies: a Mini-Collection of Review Articles.

June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an uprising of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City that is credited for sparking the gay rights movement in the United States.   

To commemorate the anniversary, we are offering access to four articles that explore health, law, research, and public opinion of the LGBTQ+ community. They are all freely available to read.

“There have been extraordinary changes in public understanding and acceptance of LGBT people and issues, and significant advances have been made in scientific understanding of LGBT youth mental health. At the same time, critical gaps in knowledge continue to prevent the most effective policies, programs, and clinical care from addressing mental health for LGBT young people.” 

Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth, in the 2016 Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

“In a review of courts’ use of social science evidence on same-sex parenting and the immutability of homosexuality, Levit notes ‘a fairly dramatic shift in the past twenty years, [in which] science is becoming an ally to rather than an oppressor of gays and lesbians.’ Levit’s observation receives support from a recent study of citation patterns in social science research on the effect of parents’ sexual orientation on child outcomes.” 

The Role of Social Science Expertise in Same-Sex Marriage Litigation, in the 2017 Annual Review of Law and Social Science

“The prediction that transgender people would fall into the dustbin of history proved to be far off the mark. In the 1980s and 1990s, vibrant activism by transgender and gender nonconforming people around their economic and social marginalization, the medical regulation of their identities, and the legal restrictions on cross-dressing in public that were still on the books in many cities and states gained more visibility.” 

The Development of Transgender Studies in Sociology, in the 2017 Annual Review of Sociology.  

“With television shows such as Ellen and Will & Grace, even people who would not necessarily know an out gay individual have an opportunity to virtually know one. (…) Multiple studies have found that knowing someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is associated with more supportive attitudes. Moreover, the degree of contact matters. People are more likely to have positive views when they have a closer relationship with someone who is gay (Brewer 2007). It is harder to express negative views and discriminate against someone if the person is a close friend or family member.” 

Examining Public Opinion About LGBTQ-Related Issues in the United States and Across Multiple Nations, in the 2019 Annual Review of Sociology.  

How Social Science Can Help Shape Election Law

In this video, Richard Holden, Professor of Economics at UNSW Australia Business School, and author of this comprehensive review, sheds light on the democratic process and the surprising factors that influence how people vote.

The review presents existing social-science research that helps us think through the voting process, including how electoral boundaries are drawn, the redistricting process, what might explain the high incumbent reelection rate in the United States, and how geography influences voting. All this has particular relevance in today’s context of highly polarized and partisan politics that encourages nefarious practices like gerrymandering to win votes. Professor Holden’s review suggests that social science can be a powerful tool to inform election law and support a healthy and transparent democratic process in an increasingly complex political climate.

Learn more with this article, which we’ve made freely available:

Housing and Poverty in the U.S.

Matthew Desmond, of Harvard University, was interviewed by The New York Times on his new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Dr. Desmond co-wrote “Housing, Poverty, and the Law” with Monica Bell for the 2015 Annual Review of Law and Social Science. In this article, they examine the present state of the research on housing and housing policies, and call for further investigation of the private rental market, where the vast majority of poor families live, and its role in perpetuating poverty.

IScreen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.59.23.pngn the book, Dr. Desmond recounts his embedded field work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during which he observed tenants in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, as well as their landlords.

An associate professor of social sciences at Harvard, Dr. Desmond has studied poverty from an angle that has been overlooked in recent years. While factors like jobs, the mass incarceration of black males, and parenting have drawn more attention, he says the issue of housing is  central to the creation of poverty.

As U.S. house prices soared and income and public assistance stagnated in the past two decades, Dr. Desmond says that those who can least afford to spend 70 to 80 percent of their income in rent are now the ones most likely to do it. This, he adds, is the “difference between stable and grinding poverty.” Legal and informal evictions, which used to be rare, are now happening by the millions each year. “If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women,” Dr. Desmond writes in his book. “Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.”

Dr. Desmond’s book will be published on March 1st. Powell’s. Amazon.