Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in the United States seem to be making strides in some social institutions, such as family, due to the recent ruling on marriage equality. Still, there remains a contentious relationship between sexual and gender minority youth, adults, and the institution of religion, for many faith systems. This study explores the relationship between religiosity, long theorized to act as a protective factor from offending, gender and sexuality. We use three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) (Wave I, N = 12,940; Wave III, N = 10,742; Wave IV, N = 8,362) to look at these relationships over three stages of the life course (adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood) on a particular type of offending: selling drugs. We find that while the effects of high levels of religiosity are protective from selling drugs, the effect is not as strong on sexual minority youth and adults as their sexual majority counterparts. We also find the effects of gender are stronger than sexual minority status, across the life course.

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