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Marketing to the Homosexual (Gay) Market: A Profile and Strategy Implications
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SUMMARY. This article describes a significant market to which marketers must devote greater attention. The gay market is well-educated, has high discretionary income, is informed socially and politically, is dedicated to career and home ownership, and places greater importance on friendship networks than do most Americans. Although a potentially lucrative market segment, gays represent a difficult segment to reach since alienation by other segments could be an explosive factor for many businesses. [Article copies available from The Haworth Docwnent Delivery Service: 1-8oo-342-9678.}

Since the homosexual community is comprised mainly of white males, the composite proftle of the homosexual market segment is that of gay men. The homosexual market can be further broken down into subseg-

M. Wayne DeLozier is Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Nicholls State University. Jason Rodrigue is a licensed property and insurance agent for a large regional insurance agency_ Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. M. Wayne DeLozier, College of Business Administration, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA 70310. E-mail: delozierw@cenac.nich.edu

© 1996 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 203

ments of black homosexuals, older homosexuals, and lesbians. However, the focus of many marketers should be on white gay men since this is the largest and most profitable subsegment of the homosexual market

To date, there is no reliable infonnation as to the number of homosexual individuals in the United States. The two most widely cited studies are somewhat contradictory. The Kinsey Institute in 1948 estimated the homosexual population of the United States from six percent to sixteen percent (6%-16%) of the total adult population (Weekes, 1989). However, a more recent study conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute revealed that only 1.1 percent of adult males were found to be exclusively homosexual (Ybarra, 1993). While the Kinsey range is not a very useful estimate of the gay population, The Guttmacher study also has its limitations. "Gay leaders question the study's accuracy, saying homosexuals are reluctant to identify themselves" (The Wall Street Journal, 1993, AI).