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A Comparative Analysis of a Community and General Sample of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals

An Erratum to this article was published on 14 February 2015

Abstract

Samples recruited at lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) venues have certain benefits, but a major drawback is that these samples are prone to bias as they only contain LGB participants who visit such venues. Empirical data with regard to the potential differences between LGB community samples and LGB general samples may shed some light on the generalizability of research findings from convenience samples recruited through LGB venues. The current study attempted to contribute to existing knowledge by examining differences in social demographics, sexual orientation, minority stress, and mental health between a convenience sample recruited at LGB venues (“community sample,” N = 3,403) and an LGB sample recruited from a general research panel in the Netherlands (“panel sample,” N = 1,000). Various differences were found. In general, community participants were younger, reported a more exclusive same-sex sexual orientation, were more open about their sexual orientation, had lower levels of internalized homonegativity, and encountered more negative social reactions on their LGB status. They also reported higher levels of psychological distress and suicidality. The Nagelkerke R 2 of the analyses (which were adjusted for sociodemographic differences) ranged from .08 (suicide plans among men) to .27 (sexual attraction among women). However, while the estimates of sociodemographics, sexual orientation, minority stress, and mental well-being differed, the relationships between these constructs were comparable in both samples. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The differences with the screening question in August might be due to the fact that in August participants were asked about their sexual attraction, while in March people were asked about their attraction in general.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the funding for the data collection by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and the role played by Jantine van Lisdonk, Niels Kooiman, and Diana van Bergen in the design and logistics of this study. While the idea of the study had been in our heads for a while, the online discussion between Dr. Cochran and Dr. Meyer on LGB sampling issues in the beginning of 2013 encouraged us to write it down.

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Correspondence to Lisette Kuyper.

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Kuyper, L., Fernee, H. & Keuzenkamp, S. A Comparative Analysis of a Community and General Sample of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals. Arch Sex Behav 45, 683–693 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0457-1

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Keywords

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gay men
  • Lesbians
  • Bisexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Minority stress