The Relationship Between Gender and Sexual Orientation in Academia

Russell L. Steiger, P. J. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To date, there has been no prior systematic analysis of where LGB research gets published and where LGB studies programs are housed within universities. LGB research could have a disciplinary home in any number of areas of study because of its relevance across many disciplines. Nevertheless, drawing upon the theory of sexuality-as-gendered, we predicted that LGB research and programs of study would be found predominantly within gender studies. We examine the extent to which sexual orientation research (Study 1) and U.S. university LGBTQ-related academic programming (Studies 2 and 3) has found their home in the gender studies discipline. Study 1 results showed gender studies have been the primary home of published sexual orientation research in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals over the past three decades. In Study 2, university LGBTQ academic programming was housed within gender studies departments more frequently than any other department—including standalone LGBTQ studies departments. In Study 3, Google searches for university “LGBT studies” frequently led to that university’s gender studies department website as the top search result—including universities whose gender studies department offered zero LGBTQ-related courses. Combined, these results demonstrate far-reaching manifestations of the fact that gender and sexuality are inextricably intertwined constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Academic settings
  • LGBTQ+
  • curriculum
  • gender
  • queer
  • sexual orientation
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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