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SAMESEX - Same-Sex Partnering in Germany

Prevalence, Trends and Social Conditions

Team: Dr. Andrea Lengerer
Leader: Dr. Andrea Lengerer
Scientific unit: Monitoring Society and Social Change (DGB), German Microdata Lab


The project deals with same-sex couples in Germany. The social visibility as well as the societal and legal acceptance of same-sex couples has increased considerably over the past years and today they are even recorded in official statistics. Nevertheless they are rarely considered in social science research so far. Studies on the prevalence and demographic characteristics of same-sex couples are available predominantly for the US, whereas in Germany even basic empirical evidence is sparse.

The project intends to advance the development of a new field of research. For the first time in the German context, the prevalence and trends of same-sex partnering over time and across cohorts are described. Moreover, the formation of same-sex relationships is examined. The question here is which individual and social conditions contribute to the spread of same-sex relationships. Finally, the patterns of mate selection among gay and lesbian couples are analysed.

Data from several years of the German Microcensus are used and prepared for the empirical analysis. Although the Microcensus is limited in its applicability to the research question, it is the only representative data source available in Germany where same-sex cohabitations are included in sufficient quantity.


01.07.2015 – 30.6.2018

Sponsored by


  • Lengerer, Andrea; Bohr, Jeanette (2019): Gibt es eine Zunahme gleichgeschlechtlicher Partnerschaften in Deutschland? Theoretische Überlegungen und empirische Befunde. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 48, 136-157. doi:
  • Lengerer, Andrea; Bohr, Jeanette (2019): Gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften in Deutschland. Verbreitung, Entwicklung und soziale Unterschiede. In: Informationsdienst Soziale Indikatoren 62, 7-12.
  • Lengerer, Andrea (2019): Mikrozensus Tools: Identifikation verschieden- und gleichgeschlechtlicher Partnerschaften in den Scientific Use Files 1973 bis 2014. GESIS Papers 2019/09.
  • Lengerer, Andrea; Schroedter, Julia H.; Boehle, Mara; Wolf, Christof (2019): Datenhandbuch GESIS Mikrozensus-Trendfile. Harmonisierung der Mikrozensen 1962 bis 2012. GESIS Papers 2019/01.