Study Examines the Political Perspectives of College Students by Gender and Sexual Orientation

A new study authored by Meredith G.F. Worthen, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, that examines the political perspectives of college students by gender and sexual orientation. The results found a clear “sexuality gap” in political perspectives between heterosexuals and gay, lesbian and bisexual students. Dr. Worthen also found a gender gap in political perspective among all groups.

The study found that liberal political views may be more common among lesbian, gay and bisexual people as a group, and especially among lesbian and bisexual women. The study found a distinct “lavender liberalism” among mostly heterosexual, lesbian, gay and bisexual college students. Exclusive heterosexuals, on the other hand, are significantly less liberal.

Dr. Worthen joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

The full study, “’All the Gays Are Liberal?’ Sexuality and Gender Gaps in Political Perspectives Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Mostly Heterosexual, and Heterosexual College Students in the Southern USA,” was published on the website of the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy. It may be accessed here.

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