Distinctiveness theory suggests that numeric rarity is correlated with stronger homophily. In this paper, we examine this theory by studying gender homophily in social networks of older adults. We document subjective social networks in multiple long term care settings for older adults over several time points. Homophily for each gender is estimated using exponential random graph models. We find evidence for positive homophily across all networks, and show that it is correlated to the magnitude of the female majority or male minority. Our findings empirically verify distinctiveness theory and could improve interventions to promote tie formation in social networks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [grant numbers 537/16 ].
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- Long term care settings
- Social networks