Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Janet Donavan

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald

Third Advisor

Dr. Emmanuel David

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Diane Sasnett-Martichuski

Abstract

The two party system in United States politics belies the complexity and nuance of political identity. Understanding the partisan psychopolitical behavior of lesbian, gay, and bisexual U.S. citizens informs our collective understanding of the American political tradition. There is currently a scarcity of literature on the topic of LGB political partisanship. This thesis draws out the complex nature between human beings and their partisan behavior, or lack thereof. Data collected from 10 partisan LGB U.S. citizens in tandem with quantitative models drawn from General Social Survey variables suggest that an identity based model is the best predictor of partisanship in LGB Americans over the age of 35. Data demonstrates a model based on socialization is the best predictor of partisanship for Millennial LGB American citizens. This thesis further identifies the intricate role that social and economic modeling has on LGB partisanship.

Context matters. History and demography have impacted the “political” LGB community uniquely over the past three generations. Prior to the Millennial generation, a gay person could indeed be political, but a political person couldn't be gay.

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