Differences in perceptions and experiences among out and closeted lesbian and gay students

Out of the college closet: differences in perceptions and experiences among out and closeted lesbian and gay students

Valerie J. Gortmaker

This study found differences between out and closeted lesbian and gay (LG) students in their perceptions of the campus climate and experiences on a Midwestern college campus. Eighty LG students responded to an 87-item survey; 44 were categorized as the “low out” (closeted) group and 36 as the “highly out” group. The study was primarily descriptive, but used independent t-tests and chi-square analyses to compare out and closeted students on core variables. Out and closeted students reported differences in the need to hide their identity, perceived unfair treatment, perceptions of an anti-LG campus, knowledge of LG issues, involvement and activity levels, and the presence of a LG student network.

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Many lesbian and gay (LG) college students remain in the closet, while others take their first step out on campus. Outness has been conceptualized as disclosure of sexual orientation to family members, friends, and coworkers (Bradford, Ryan, & Rothblum, 1994). Coming out involves a complicated process of self-realization of one’s sexuality, then disclosing one’s realization to others (Herek, 2003). Disclosure to others has been acknowledged as a “rite of passage” and an important layer in the bricks of a student’s self-construction (Garnets & Kimmel, 2003). Conversely, remaining “in the closet” (passing as a heterosexual) causes students to lead double lives and endure psychological stress (Herek, 2003).

Universities and colleges are often the setting in which students disclose their sexuality to others and subsequently, endure various positive and negative consequences (Evans & D’Augelli, 1996). LG students typically face a “chilly” climate, including experiences of discrimination, along with feelings of fear (Evans & D’Augelli, 1996; Rhoads, 1994; Waldo, 1998). They also face higher rates of harassment, assault, and intimidation than do heterosexual students (Bieschke, Eberz, & Wilson, 2000). LG students report experiencing verbal and physical assaults (Baier, Rosenzweig, & Whipple, 1991; Brown, Clarke, Gortmaker, & Robinson-Keilig, 2004; D’Augelli, 1992), perceptions of an anti-LG campus (Brown et al., 2004; Herek, 1993; Rankin, 2003; Waldo, 1998), fear of future harassment and discrimination (Buhrke & Stabb, 1995; Evans, 2001), and the need to hide identity from other students and staff (Rankin, 2003).

The campus environment has a strong impact on the number of LG students who are out on campus (D’Augelli, 1989; Evans & Broido, 1999). Perceived and experienced peer hostility toward LG persons may prevent students from disclosing their sexual identity (D’Augelli, 1989). Conversely, perception of a supportive LG campus climate and having LG role models on campus encourage students to come out (Evans & Broido, 1999; Rhoads, 1995).

The Purpose of the Study

This study compared the campus experiences, perceptions, and needs of out and closeted LG students in hopes of providing insights for improving the campus learning environment for LG students. Because very limited research has explored the heterogeneity of LG students, this study focused on five questions: (1) Is there a difference between out and closeted LG students’ perceptions of unfair treatment and need to hide identity from various persons on campus? (2) Is level of outness related to students’ perceptions and experiences on campus? (3a) Is level of outness related to students’ knowledge, interest, and activity level in LG issues and events? and (3b) Why do LG students not become more active in the LG issues and events? (4) To whom would LG students most likely report anti-LG behavior on-campus? and (5) What needs do out and closeted LG students report and what sources do they seek out? (Questions 1-3 were analyzed inferentially and 4-5 are discussed descriptively.)

Method and Procedures

Participants

This study was conducted at a Midwestern state university with an enrollment of approximately 22,000 students. Survey responses were solicited through distribution at key campus locations and at campus and city events using a snowball sampling strategy. LG students were encouraged to pass on copies of their survey to other LG students. Eighty LG students returned completed surveys. The participants were university undergraduate and graduate students, representing 41 males and 39 females. Most participants were age 1922 (61%) and lived off-campus (58%).

LG participants were categorized into out and closeted groups based on a median split of an overall outness score, ranging from 0 to 8. The outness variable was tabulated by totaling the individual outness items (Extent of being out [“Not at all,” “To some,” “Most everyone”] to students, student friends, family, & faculty/staff). Students who fell at or below the median of 5 were categorized as closeted, while students who scored above 5 were categorized as out. Correlations of individual items with the aggregate outness scale were large and significant at the .01 level (friends .67; family .67; faculty .89; students .84). The construct of outness has been shown to be a valid measure when defined as a general level of outness across different persons on campus (Mohr & Fassinger, 2000).

Survey Variables

Survey questions were derived from published studies, revised and supplemented to fit the campus setting with the help of a campus LG focus group. Variables included: Need to Hide Identity, Perceptions of Unfair Treatment, Perceptions of Campus Climate, Attacks Experienced, Put Downs Heard, Responses to Witnessing Harassment, Classroom Experiences, Knowledge Level (about LG concerns, history, and culture), Interest Level (in learning more about LG concerns, history, and culture), Involvement Level (in LG programs/events and social and political activities), Reasons for Not Being More Involved, Presence of a LG Role Model and a LG Student Network, Persons to Report Anti-LG Behavior on Campus, and Needs Assessment for Change.

Analysis

The continuous variables in research questions 1-3 were analyzed using independent t-tests. Additionally, to further control for Type I error, two conditions were established as criteria for meaningful differences: (1) Differences had to be statistically significant at p < .01, and (2) Comparisons had to result in non-overlapping 99% confidence intervals. Use of confidence intervals for determining meaningful differences is receiving increasing encouragement (American Psychological Association, 2001, p.22; Cumming & Finch, 2005; Wilkinson, 1999). Only comparisons meeting the two conditions are noted in the results section. Chi-square analysis was utilized to analyze nominal data. Responses to questions asking what campus persons students would report anti-LG behavior on campus to and what changes they perceived were needed to improve the campus climate are reported descriptively.

Results

Description of Out and Closeted Students

The closeted category consisted of 48% males and 52% females, while the out category consisted of 56% males and 44% females. Most students fell into the 19-22 age range (68% closeted; 53% out). Closeted students were from the following academic classes: 5% freshman, 18% sophomore, 13% junior, 57% senior, 7% graduate school. Out students were from the following academic classes: 19% freshman, 11% sophomore; 8% junior, 19% senior, 42% graduate school. Sixty percent of closeted students lived in the residence halls, whereas, 22% out students lived on-campus.

Students’ extent of being out varied depending on whether the reference group was faculty, family, students, or friends. All students exhibited the greatest degree of outness to their student friends, 94% of out students and 68% of closeted students were out “to some” or “most everyone”. No closeted students were out to “most” of the faculty and staff on campus and few (4%) were out to “most” of their family and the general students on campus. No out students were “not at all” out to any group. Rather, the majority of out students were out to “most everyone” in all groups (69% to faculty/staff and family/relatives, 53% to general students). The mean of the total outness score was 3.70 (SD = 1.29) for the closeted group and 6.86 (SD = 0.83) for the out group.

Comparisons of Out and Closeted Students

The results for the comparisons of interest are presented as they relate to each research question.

Question 1

Is there a difference between out and closeted LG students’ perceptions of unfair treatment and need to hide their identity to various persons on campus?

Unfair treatment. Students were asked if they felt they had been unfairly treated during the past academic year because of their sexual orientation/identity by a roommate, other students, a faculty member, a staff member (e.g., housing, union), an academic administrator, a health care provider, and a campus job supervisor in a “Yes” or “No” response format. Although out students felt they had been unfairly treated due to their sexual identity more than closeted students across all persons, with the exception of healthcare providers (no students reported unfair treatment), the difference was significant only for academic administrators ([chi square][1, N = 80] = 8.16, p < .004). Seventeen percent of out students and no closeted students reported unfair treatment from administrators. Both groups reported experiencing unfair treatment the most from another student (22% out students; 7% closeted students).

Need to hide identity. Students were asked if the possibility of harassment or unequal treatment during the past academic year had ever led them to hide their sexual orientation/identity from the same list of campus persons as the Unfair Treatment questions with the same “Yes” or “No” response format. Closeted students reported that the possibility of harassment and unequal treatment led them to hide their sexual identity more than out students across all persons on campus. Significant differences were found in the percentage of students that felt the need to hide their identity from students, faculty, and health care providers. Eighty percent of closeted students and 44% of out students ([chi square][1, N = 80] = 11.30, p = .001) felt pressure to hide their identity from other students, 71% of closeted and 39% of out students felt the need to hide their identity from faculty ([chi square][1, N = 80] = 7.38, p = .004), and 36% of closeted and 6% of out students ([chi square] [1, N = 80] = 10.41, p = .001) felt the possibility of unequal treatment led them to hide their identity from healthcare providers (See Table 1).

Question 2

Is level of outness related to students’ perceptions and experiences on campus?

Five variables were examined to answer this question: Perceptions and Experiences of an Anti-LG Campus Climate, Attacks Experienced, Put Downs Heard, Personal Responses to Witnessing Anti-LG behavior, and Classroom Experiences.

Perceptions and experiences of an anti-LG climate. The first variable consisted of a total score of perceptions of an anti-LG climate and sightings of anti-LG graffiti. The perceptions of anti-LG attitudes item used a 1-5 response format (1= “Very little extent,” 5= “Very great extent”). Students noted the number of times they saw anti-graffiti on campus using a “0” to “Four times or more” response format. Using an independent t-test and non-overlapping 99% confidence intervals, out students perceived the environment significantly more negative than did closeted students (t [78] = 3.56; p = .001). Thirty-three percent of out students reported seeing anti-LG graffiti on-campus “Four times or more,” whereas none of the closeted students reported such frequency. Seventeen percent of out students reported anti-LG attitudes existed to a “very great extent” compared to 9% of closeted students.

Attacks experienced. Students were asked how often during the past year they experienced various forms of attacks (verbal insults, physical threats, destruction of personal property, had objects thrown at them, and been physically assaulted). Using the total score of attacks, no significant differences were found between out and closeted groups (See Table 2).

Put downs heard. Both closeted and out students reported the number of times they heard persons on campus (course instructors, student affairs staff members, other staff, other students) stereotype, make negative remarks, or tell jokes that put down LG persons. No significant differences were found between out and closeted students on the total score across all persons. Participants reported hearing the most putdowns from other students (78% out students; 82% closeted students) and the least amount of derogatory statements from student affairs staff (14% out students; 11% closeted students).

LG students ‘personal responses to anti-LG behavior. Students were asked how likely (l=”Very unlikely,” 4=” Very likely”) they would confront and report others if they heard students, or an instructor/staff member making derogatory remarks toward or otherwise verbally harassing a student because they assumed s/he was LG. No significant differences were found between out and closeted students on the two variables of confronting others (students, instructor/staff) and reporting others (students, instructor/staff; See Table 2). When LG students witnessed other students harassing another student because they assumed s/he was LG, most students stated they would confront the student (81% out students; 79% closeted students), while fewer would confront an instructor or staff member (58% out; 45% closeted). Seventeen percent of out students would report a student compared to 27% closeted students; while 56% out and 57% closeted students stated they would “somewhat” to “very likely” report staff/instructors.

LG students’ classroom experiences. LG students were asked how comfortable they would feel in submitting a research paper on a LG topic in a class (1= “Very uncomfortable,” 4= “Very comfortable”), how many classes had a statement in its syllabus regarding anti-LG behavior in class(0= “None,” 4= “Four or more”), how frequently they discussed LG issues in class (0= “Never,” 4= “Four times or more”), and how frequently they discussed LG issues outside of class with friends (0= “Never,” 4= “Four times or more”). An independent t-test yielded no significant differences between out and closeted students in each classroom experience tested independently (See Table 2), though more out students reported being “somewhat” to “very comfortable” when turning in a paper on a LG topic (22%) than closeted students (7%). Both groups reported rarely seeing an LG anti-discriminatory clause in a syllabus (92% out; 70% closeted); however, both reported discussing LG topics in class at least once (72% out; 73% closeted).

Question 3

(a) Is level of outness related to students’ knowledge, interest, and involvement level in LG issues and events, and (b) Why do LG persons not become more active in the LG issues and events?

Knowledge and interest. Students were asked how knowledgeable they were about LG concerns, history, and culture (1= “Very unknowledgeable”, 4= “Very knowledgeable”) and how interested they were in learning more about LG concerns, history, and culture (1= “Very uninterested”, 4= “Very interested”). Using an independent t-test and the non-overlapping confidence interval of 99%, out students reported being significantly more knowledgeable than closeted students (t [78] = 4.03; p < .001).

Sixty-seven percent of out students reported they were “very knowledgeable” about LG concerns, history and culture, compared to 23% closeted students (see Table 3). No differences were found between out and closeted students in their interest in learning more about LG concerns, history and culture.

Involvement level. A combination of variables including, frequency of visits to the LG resource center, attendance at LG events, and activity level in LG political and social issues (0= “Never”, 4= “Four times or more”) comprised an overall activity level score. Using an independent t-test, out students were significantly more active than closeted students (t [78] = 4.21; p < .001 ; See Table 3). More out students visited the LG resource center on campus (78%) than closeted students (50%). Ninety-four percent of out and 70% of closeted students reported attending LG events/programs. Additionally, 39% of out students and 7% of closeted students reported being very active politically and socially in LG issues and concerns.

Reasons for lack of involvement. Both out and closeted students reported they were not very active in the community because they were “too busy” (87% out; 84% closeted). Though more closeted students reported being too fearful (27%) and not political (21%) as reasons for inactivity than out students (9% for both categories), no significant differences were found utilizing a chi-square analysis (See Table 3).

Role models and student networks. Similar percentages of closeted and out students reported having a LG role model (56% out; 59% closeted). Significantly more out students (33%) than closeted students (14%) stated they had a LG student network to help find out which instructors were LG affirming and disaffirming ([chi square] [1, N = 80] = 18.44, p < .001; see Table 3).

Question 4

To whom would LG persons most likely report anti-LG behavior on-campus?

Given a list of campus person/offices, students indicated how likely they would report anti-LG incidents on campus (1= “Very unlikely,” 4= “Very likely”). Out students would most likely report anti-LG behavior to faculty members (64%) while closeted students would most likely report to equity, access, and diversity staff (61%). Students were “somewhat” to “very likely” to report incidents to housing staff (29%), campus police (26%), and an ombudsperson (12%). Closeted students were more likely to report to administrators (52%) and equity, access, and diversity staff (61%) compared to out students (37%, 33%; See Table 4 for a descriptive presentation).

Question 5

What needs do out and closeted LG students report necessary to meet their personal and academic needs?

Students were provided with a list of possible needs with opportunity to write in others with a response format of 1= “Not needed,” and 5= “Definitely needed.” Out students reported the most need for institutional policy statements (94% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”), while closeted students reported most need for library books and magazines (91% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”). Out students reported greater need for LG dances (47% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”) and LG entertainment (75% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”) than closeted students (23% and 54%). Conversely, closeted students reported more need for LG related courses (86% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”) and LG organizations (77% “Quite a bit” or “Definitely needed”) compared to out students (69% and 56%). Both out and closeted students agreed the greatest amount of need (> 80% for both groups) was for LG training for student leaders; discussions in classes; LG library, books and magazines; and policy statements.

Discussion

Limitations

Several limitations in this study must be noted. This study sampled only one campus, limiting the generalization to other campuses. Because campus climate is local, each campus must conduct its own study to confirm the findings of this and other studies. It is difficult to assess how representative were the LG student respondents, but returns from 80 LG students compares favorably with the number of returns reported in similar studies on other campuses (e.g., Evans & Rankin, 1998; Herek, 1993; Rankin, 2003). A larger sample size would have made it possible to compare extreme groups (i.e., persons that scored one standard deviation from the median) rather than using a median split.

Conclusions

Out students perceived the climate more negatively than closeted students, whereas closeted students felt more need to hide their identity. Closeted students were more likely to hide their identity from students, faculty, and healthcare providers than were out students. Both groups reported receiving unfair treatment and needing to hide their identity the most from other students. Both groups also heard the most anti-LG remarks from other students. Although research suggests that a greater degree of outness leads to more frequent victimization (Waldo, Hesson-McInnis, & D’Augelli, 1998), both out and closeted students in this study reported similar amounts of attacks.

Not surprisingly, closeted students reported less activity within the LG community due to fear and less political activism than out students. Out LG students indicated they had more knowledge about LG topics and participated more in LG-related activities than did closeted students, although both expressed a similar level of interest in LG topics. Additionally, a greater percentage of out students reported having a student network to help them find LG affirming instructors.

Out and closeted LG students differed in the changes they perceived necessary to the campus to meet their personal and academic needs. Out students’ greatest expressed need was inclusion of institutional policy statements about LG issues; whereas closeted students’ greatest expressed needs were LG library books and magazines. Closeted students also reported a greater need than out students for LG-related courses and organizations.

Out students would most likely report anti-LG incidents to faculty members, whereas closeted students would most likely report to equity access and diversity program staff. This is important, as without access to such persons, students may not report such incidents all.

Implications for Future Research

Future research is needed to explore differences in perceptions and experiences of out and closeted college students of various ages, grades, cultures, and those who reside in different settings (e.g., residence halls, fraternities and sororities, etc.). Too many gaps remain in the research revealing the distinct experiences and needs of students clustered within the global LG category. Indeed, the differences between the perceptions and needs of lesbian and gay male students may well be unique, as well as those of bisexual and transgender students, who were not part of this study. Researchers also need to continue to address the factors within campus climates that facilitate the unveiling of LG identities in a positive developmental manner.

Implications for Campus Administrators, Faculty, and Staff”

Changes on campuses are unlikely to ensue unless administrators and staff first challenge their own beliefs and recognize their personal contribution to the campus climate. Administrators need to advocate for formal and informal policies regarding sexual orientation rights. Policies allowing same-sex partnership employee benefits, for example, create a more supportive climate and encourage strong LG candidates to pursue employment at such colleges and universities. Thus, more LG role models and visible diversity on campus could be created. Policies also provide protection. Small positive experiences, such as visible out faculty and staff mentors and peer support, may dramatically increase LG students’ positive perception of the campus and their felt safety (Evans, 2001; Sanlo, Rankin, & Schoenberg, 2002).

LG students’ needs can be addressed in several ways. Creating more social networks, for example, such as confidential support groups, may increase LG students’ contact with more closeted individuals. Providing “safe space” signs on student affairs staff, counselor, resident assistant, and faculty doors may be more inviting for deeply closeted individuals and may provide all LG persons with more outlets for mentors and persons to whom they can comfortably disclose their sexual identity (Evans, 2000).

Student affairs staff and faculty can be resources for students dealing with coming out issues. Staff and faculty reactions to derogatory comments toward LG persons, graffiti, and incidents can be models for all students. Campus faculty and staff must be hyper-vigilant about the language they use and how they model inclusion (Sanlo, 2002). Recognition of LG issues in the classroom may also help closeted students feel safe and acknowledged. The infusion of LG topics into course content, the inclusion of LG-based programs of study, and mandated diversity classes could provide a visibility that many campuses lack (Lance, 2002).

Victimization to LG students has been acknowledged as a “normative occurrence” in our culture (Ryan & Rivers, 2003). Too many educational systems have responded passively to the everyday negative treatment that LG students endure. Campuses should not be a climate of silence, but rather, the catalyst for acceptance and appreciation of diversity. Before many students take their first step out on campus, a united administrative and student affairs effort must open the politically-barricaded door.

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VALERIE J. GORTMAKER

ROBERT D. BROWN

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Valerie J. Gortmaker, Ed.S. is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Dr. Robert D. Brown, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus of the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Address correspondence to Robert D. Brown, 1200 N. 78th St. Lincoln, NE 68505, Email: RB61201@alltel.net.

Table 1

Perceptions of Unfair Treatment and Needs to Hide Identity

“Do you feel you have been unfairly treated this academic

year because of your sexual orientation/identity? AND

has the possibility of harassment or unequal treatment

at UNI, this academic year ever led you to hide your sexual

orientation/identity from….”

Percent Who Said,

“Yes”

Out Closeted Total

(N = 36) (N = 44) (N = 80)

Roommate

Unfair treatment 5% 0% 3%

Hide identity 11% 30% 11%

Another

Student

Unfair treatment 22% 7% 14%

Hide identity * 44% 82% 66%

Faculty

Unfair treatment 11% 2% 6%

Hide identity * 39% 71% 57%

University

staff

Unfair treatment 17% 2% 9%

Hide identity 28% 50% 40%

Academic

administrator

Unfair treatment * 17% 0% 8%

Hide identity 22% 48% 37%

Healthcare

provider

Unfair treatment 0% 0% 0%

Hide identity * 6% 36% 23%

Campus job

supervisor

Unfair treatment 6% 2% 4%

Hide identity 17% 41% 30%

* p < .01

Table 2

Perceptions and Experiences of an Anti-LG Campus

33 3 8 3 4 3 8 3 4 69

Out Closeted

(N = 36) (N = 44)

M SD M SD

Extent of Anti-LG attitudes and 5.36 2.16 3.90 1.06

graffiti sighted on campus

(1 = “Very little extent,”

5 = “Very great extent”) *

Had verbal insults directed at 1.15 1.64 0.57 1.45

me, been threatened with physical

violence, or had personal

property damaged or destroyed

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four, times

or more”)

How often this academic year did 3.81 2.63 3.52 1.95

you hear course instructors,

student affairs staff, other

staff, and other students

stereotype, make negative

remarks, or tell jokes that put

down LG persons (0 = “Never,”

4 = “Four times or more”)

If you witnessed someone making

derogatory remarks toward or

otherwise verbally harassing a

student because they assumed

s/he was LG, how likely is it

(“Very unlikely,” 4 = “Very

likely”) that you would:

Confront student or 6.00 1.77 5.36 1.38

instructor/ staff

(Total score range = 2-8)

Report student or 4.20 1.51 4.50 1.64

instructor/ staff

(Total score range = 2-8)

Comfort turning in a paper on a 3.31 0.89 3.50 0.76

LG topic

(1 = “Very uncomfortable,”

4 = Very comfortable”)

Syllabi included policy statement 0.19 0.71 0.36 0.61

for Anti-LG comments in class

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

Class discussion of LG topics 1.92 1.66 2.23 1.68

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

Discussion of LG issues with 3.72 0.82 3.73 1.02

friends outside of class

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

Total

(N = 80)

M SD

Extent of Anti-LG attitudes and 4.55 1.78

graffiti sighted on campus

(1 = “Very little extent,”

5 = “Very great extent”) *

Had verbal insults directed at 0.83 1.55

me, been threatened with physical

violence, or had personal

property damaged or destroyed

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four, times

or more”)

How often this academic year did 3.65 2.27

you hear course instructors,

student affairs staff, other

staff, and other students

stereotype, make negative

remarks, or tell jokes that put

down LG persons (0 = “Never,”

4 = “Four times or more”)

If you witnessed someone making

derogatory remarks toward or

otherwise verbally harassing a

student because they assumed

s/he was LG, how likely is it

(“Very unlikely,” 4 = “Very

likely”) that you would:

Confront student or 5.65 1.59

instructor/ staff

(Total score range = 2-8)

Report student or 4.37 1.58

instructor/ staff

(Total score range = 2-8)

Comfort turning in a paper on a 3.41 0.82

LG topic

(1 = “Very uncomfortable,”

4 = Very comfortable”)

Syllabi included policy statement 0.29 0.60

for Anti-LG comments in class

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

Class discussion of LG topics 2.09 1.67

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

Discussion of LG issues with 3.72 0.93

friends outside of class

(0 = “Never,” 4 = “Four times

or more”)

* p < .0l

Table 3

Knowledge, Interest, and Activity Level in LG Culture

Out Closeted Total

(N = 36) (N = 44) (N = 80)

M SD M SD M SD

Knowledge about LG 3.61 0.60 3.05 0.65 3.30 0.68

concerns, history and

culture (1 = “Very

unknowledgeable,” 4 =

“Very knowledgeable”) *

Interested in learning 3.53 0.51 3.45 0.50 3.49 0.50

more about LG concerns,

history, and culture

(1 = “Very uninterested,”

4 = “Very interested”)

Visited the LG Resource 8.00 3.52 4.77 3.28 6.20 3.73

Center, attended LG

sponsored

events/programs, and

political and social

activity level (0 =

Never, 4 = “Four times

or more) *

Why are you not more

active? (Students could

check more than one

answer.)

Too busy 89% 84% 86%

Fearful 9% 36% 20%

Not the political type 9% 21% 15%

Other 0% 2% 1%

Do you have a LG student

network for finding out

which instructors are

affirming or disaffirming?

Yes * 33% 14% 23%

Do you have a LG role

model?

Yes 56% 59% 58%

* p < .01

Table 4

Persons to Report Anti-LG Behavior on Campus

Out Closeted Total

Faculty Member (N = 36) (N = 44) (N = 80)

Very likely 22% 16% 19%

Somewhat likely 42% 39% 40%

Somewhat unlikely 14% 18% 16%

Very unlikely 19% 27% 24%

Administrator (Chair, Dean, etc.)

Very likely 6% 16% 11%

Somewhat likely 31% 36% 34%

Somewhat unlikely 36% 25% 30%

Very unlikely 25% 23% 24%

Housing staff

Very likely 6% 16% 12%

Somewhat unlikely 23% 12% 17%

Very unlikely 21% 21% 21%

Very unlikely 50% 51% 51%

Ombudsperson (Confidential mediator)

Very likely 3% 5% 4%

Somewhat unlikely 11% 5% 8%

Very unlikely 11% 23% 18%

Very unlikely 74% 68% 71%

Campus police

Very likely 11% 5% 8%

Somewhat unlikely 14% 21% 18%

Very unlikely 11% 20% 17%

Very unlikely 61% 55% 58%

Equity, access, & diversity programs

Very likely 6% 19% 13%

Somewhat unlikely 27% 43% 36%

Very unlikely 24% 7% 14%

Very unlikely 44% 32% 37%

COPYRIGHT 2006 Project Innovation (Alabama)

COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group