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Cityscape: Volume 16 Number 1 | Article 22


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Housing, Contexts, and the Well-Being of Children and Youth

Volume 16 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Using Location Quotients To Test for Negative Secondary Effects of Sexually Oriented Businesses

Eric S. McCord
University of Louisville

A frequent complaint made by community residents is that sexually oriented businesses (SOBs; that is, strip clubs, adult book stores, and XXX theaters) produce negative secondary effects in the form of additional crime and disorder. Local governments respond by writing often strict ordinances that regulate the location and practices associated with these businesses, but that may threaten the balance between the adult businesses’ First Amendment freedom of expression with the municipalities’ exercise of power in safeguarding the public’s health and welfare. To defend these regulatory attempts, courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, require municipalities to justify their ordinances by presenting empirical evidence that SOBs do, in fact, produce additional crime and disorder. This article explains the spatial analysis technique of buffered location quotients, a method suitable for measuring whether and to what degree the presence of SOBs in a community are associated with increased rates of crime and disorder.

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