Thinking about sexual orientation: College experiences that contribute to identity salience
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Sexual orientation has been socially prominent in the national media lately, but little is known about how college creates opportunity for thinking about sexual orientation among individual students. Using data from the Diverse Learning Environments survey, administered by the Higher Education Research Institute, we compared samples of heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual students to determine experiences that predict sexual orientation salience for each group. An inclusive curriculum, cocurricular diversity activities, and bias experiences are all related to increased salience. Participation in an LGBT student organization mattered for LGB students, whereas campus-administered diversity activities were most important for heterosexual students' identity.
Hughes, Bryce E., and Sylvia Hurtado. “Thinking About Sexual Orientation: College Experiences That Predict Identity Salience.” Journal of College Student Development 59, no. 3 (2018): 309–326. doi:10.1353/csd.2018.0029.