Sexual Orientation and the College Experience

June 5, 2009

A new study published in the journal Economics of Education Review explores how students of different sexual orientations have different academic and extracurricular experiences in college. The study, based on surveys involving more than 40,000 students, was conducted by Christopher S. Carpenter, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at the University of California at Irvine. Among the findings about sexual orientation are the following comparisons of gay to straight students:

  • Gay male students have higher college grade point averages and perceive their academic work as more important.
  • Gay and bisexual males are more likely to report the presence of a faculty member or administrator with whom they could discuss a problem.
  • Gay and bisexual males place more importance on participating in student organizations, volunteer activities, the arts, and politics.
  • Bisexual females are less satisfied with the education they are receiving and spend less time studying.
  • Lesbian and bisexual females place more importance on participation in the arts and politics.

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