Coming out in STEM: Factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students

Date: 
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Higher Education Programs
Audience: 
Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Scientists | Learning Researchers
Discipline: 
Education and learning science | General STEM
Access and Inclusion: 
LGBTQIA
Organization:
Montana State University
Description or Abstract: 

Using a national longitudinal survey data set from the Higher Education Research Institute, this study tested whether students who identified as a sexual minority (for example, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer) were more or less likely to persist after 4 years in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, as opposed to switching to a non-STEM program, compared to their heterosexual peers. A multilevel regression model controlling for various experiences and characteristics previously determined to predict retention in STEM demonstrated that, net of these variables, sexual minority students were 8% less likely to be retained in STEM compared to switching into a non-STEM program. Despite this finding, sexual minority STEM students were more likely to report participating in undergraduate research programs, and the gender disparity in STEM retention appears to be reversed for sexual minority STEM students.

Citation
DOI:
10.1126/sciadv.aao6373
Publication Name: 
Science Advances
Volume: 
4
Number: 
3
Document:

Team Members

Bryce HughesBryce HughesAuthor

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