Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2023


Sexual minorities exhibit elevated rates of cigarette smoking, although disparate patterns exist when examining racial/ethnic differences among sexual minorities in the United States. Evidence suggests examining differing neighborhood contexts may help illuminate drivers of tobacco-related outcomes among sexual minorities, especially with respect to racial/ethnic variations among this understudied population. Adapting a framework of whiteness and health, the current project examined the role of racial residential segregation and neighborhood disadvantage as neighborhood contexts significantly associated with cigarette smoking across the adult lifespan. Using data from the 2010 Social Justice Sexual Project, merged with U.S. Census data, I find that residing in a gayborhood serves as a novel metric of racial residential segregation among sexual minorities. In addition, I find that racial/ethnic differences among sexual minorities exist when considering residing in neighborhoods characterized with high levels of disadvantage. Most importantly, I show intersectional variations in the relationship between gayborhood residence and cigarette smoking; wherein, white sexual minorities residing in gayborhood exhibited the highest rates of cigarette smoking compared to their racial/ethnic peers residing in both gayborhoods and outside of gayborhoods. This association was robust even after controlling for a host of individual-markers of sociodemographic difference and varying levels of neighborhood disadvantage.

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Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Nancy Lopez

Second Committee Member

Jessica Goodkind

Third Committee Member

Nina Wallerstein

Fourth Committee Member

Rhonda Belue


sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, neighborhoods, smoking, lifecourse, multilevel modeling, intersectionality



Document Type


Included in

Sociology Commons