Study Explores Gay and Lesbian Preferences on Media, Advertising

October 22, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Magazines | Media & Entertainment | Men | Television | Women

To determine what motivates purchasing decisions of gays and lesbians, a study by New American Dimensions, LLC and Asterix Group divides the gay and lesbian market demographic into five distinct segments, highlighting a wide range of lifestyles, values and consumption preferences.

The five segments, according to the study:

  • Super Gays – Educated, sophisticated activists, most likely male: 26%
  • Habitaters – serious, responsible, older, likely in a stable relationship: 25%
  • Gay Mainstream – high gay identity, conservative, low profile: 23%
  • Party People – youthful, cutting edge, risk-takers, residing in big cities: 14%
  • Closeted – lowest gay identity, older, single: 12%


The study cross-references the segments with each segment’s preferred ad styles and imagery, resulting in insights for targeting this influential demgoraphic.


Among the media preferences of gays and lesbians:

  • Magazines: Advocate (23%), People (13%) and Out (13%); 43% also read local LGBT publications
  • TV Networks: ABC (20%), Discovery (18%), NBC (17%), Logo (16%) and Bravo (15%)
  • Shows: L-Word (15%), CSI (15%), Grey’s Anatomy (14%)
  • Websites: Yahoo (25%), Google (14%), MySpace (14%)

“We have segmented the LGBT market in all its diversity, providing a more detailed picture of the gay and lesbian customer, providing highly sought-after insights to mainstream advertisers,” said David Morse, President of New American Dimensions, LLC.

Gays and lesbians tend to support their community and reward companies that also do so, according to the study:

  • 60% say they actively support the gay community with time or money.
  • Over 70% say they would pay more for products made by companies that support the gay community.
  • Nearly 70% also prefer TV programs that include gay characters and themes

The study also includes gay and lesbian lifestyle information:

  • 55% of gay and lesbian couples share financial responsibilities.
  • Two-thirds of lesbians reside outside big cities, with over one-third of that group living in small towns or rural areas.
  • 58% of gay men reside outside cities, with a quarter of that group living in small towns or rural areas.
  • Two-thirds of gays and lesbians report discrimination and stereotyping for being gay.
  • Over three-quarters of gays and lesbians report feeling safer in gay neighborhoods.
  • The average age of realizing one’s gay identity is 15.
  • Over 70% agree with the statement, “Being gay is an important part of who I am.”
  • However, like other segments of the general population, gays and lesbians identify themselves primarily by gender and ethnicity and secondarily by their sexual orientation.

The study highlights lifestyles, habits, and attitudes relating to marriage and cohabitation, likelihood of having children, entertainment and other in factors influencing purchasing decisions.

Access to the study is available via Asterix Group and New American Dimensions.

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