The Most Sexist and Antigay Places in America, According to Twitter

Apartment-finder site Abodo combed through 12 million tweets to rank cities’ attitudes toward equality.
Historic French Quarter in New Orleans. (Photo: Anne Rippy/Getty Images)
Mar 8, 2016· 2 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

When searching for the perfect city in which to live, you’re likely to consider cost of living, job availability, and whether you’re willing to endure winter months with below-freezing temperatures. Apartment-finder site Abodo thinks you might also regard the level of racism, sexism, and antigay sentiment in a potential hometown.

Abodo searched tweets with 154 terms that reference race, gender, and sexual orientation, in both neutral and negative ways, from June 2014 to December 2015. The group found 12 million tweets containing one of the terms and went on to categorize states and cities with the most and least derogatory Twitter feeds.

According to a 2014 survey from the Pew Research Center, about 23 percent of Americans use Twitter. While tweets may not tell the whole story, Abodo argues that its findings offer a snapshot into a region’s cultures and values.

Overall Offensive Level

(Chart: Abodo.com)

Louisiana had the highest instances of derogatory language, with about one tweet per 87 expressing some form of slur. Texas and Nevada came in second and third, respectively, for tweets containing offensive language. Wyoming and Montana were at the opposite end of the spectrum, with the lowest amount of derogatory language used on Twitter.

(Chart: Abodo.com)

Women Have It the Worst

(Chart: Abodo.com)

Most of the offensive tweets were against women, using the words b---h, c--t, hag, bimbo, slut, and twat. Recognizing that b---h can have both positive and negative connotations, Abodo also offered a list that omitted the word, but it still found that gender-based insults were the most common.

When including b---h, researchers at Abodo discovered that New Orleans had the highest percentage of derogatory comments against women, with about 1 out of every 27 tweets containing a sexist insult. Louisiana has the widest gender wage gap in the nation, with women earning about 65 percent of what men make, compared with the national average of 78 percent.

A Surprising Leader in Homophobic Comments

(Chart: Abodo.com)

Antigay language was the next most common form of abuse on Twitter, although tweets with the words fag, faggot, homo, dyke, sodomite, and lesbo came in a distant second to sexist terms. Abodo determined that Buffalo, New York, had the highest rate of antigay tweets, with one out of every 625 tweets including a gay slur. As one of just a few states to offer nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people for adoption, employment, and housing, New York might seem like an unlikely hub of antigay sentiment. Abodo researchers noted that they did not differentiate between positive and negative comments and that they were “uncertain how much this may reflect more neutral in-group reclamation.”

Repeat Offenders

While Abodo didn’t rank cities by overall derogatory comments, there were a few locations that popped up multiple times. Arlington, Texas, ranked in the top 10 for its frequency of antigay, sexist, antiblack, and anti-Latino tweets. New Orleans was also in the top 10 for all the aforementioned categories except for slurs against Latinos.

(Chart: Abodo.com)

(Chart: Abodo.com)