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Sexual orientation research review

A comprehensive review of evidence up to 2008

Published: March 2008

Aim

To provide the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) with a comprehensive review of evidence relating to lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.

This review informed EHRC thinking and provided a foundation from which new policy priorities and research could be identified.

It was published in 2008 and is still useful as a significant reference point today. You can download it here.

Findings

  • Statistical information – absence of robust statistical information on sexual orientation is a major obstacle to measuring progress and tackling inequality.
  • Families and relationships – legislation on civil partnerships had reframed research on LGB relationships. More research is needed of relationship and household patterns among LGB people and levels of social support.
  • Education – research on bullying of LGB people in schools, how to address it and what affect it has on attainment remained a priority.
  • Employment – there is an absence of reliable information that allows comparison between inequalities in pay to be assessed. Not enough is known about the employment and career pathways of LGB people.
  • Housing – there is a need to build on existing qualitative work to map the impact on legislation and policies on the housing experiences of LGB people.
  • Crime and Policing – estimates of the level of homophobic hate crime have improved. It was difficult to assess whether increased reported levels were due to better reporting.
  • Participation and representation – LGB people perceived barriers to democratic participation by they required further exploration.
  • Diversity – research on sub-groups in the LGB population (e.g. disabled people, LGB BME people, etc.) are under-researched.
  • Methodological issues – methodological approaches are greatly improved but more transparency in the reporting on research methodologies on which findings were based is needed. 

Methodology

Literature searches and synthesis of existing reviews leading to a comprehensive consideration of over 400 quantitative and qualitative research studies and the methodologies used to support their findings.