- Housing, Contexts, and the Well-Being of Children and Youth
- Volume 16 Number 1
- Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
- Associate Editor: 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.