Sexual Identities and Protesting Among College Students: Exploring Political Distinctiveness Mediation Factors
Eric Swank, Brittanie Atteberry-Ash, Simon Coulombe, Michael R. Woodford
Social Justice Research
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This study examines the links between sexual identity and participation in political protests. Among a sample of college students (N = 2175), we determined that sexual minority students were three times more likely to join a protest than heterosexual students. “Political distinctiveness” theories are used to explain this sexual identity gap in protesting. Following a series of path analyses, we conclude that marital status, exposure to discrimination (as a victim or observer), connections to LGB communities, participation in political groups, and liberal identities mediate the sexuality difference in protesting. Conversely, measures of educational attainment, exposure to multicultural classes, and internalized homophobia were not mediators.