CitationWalsemann, Katrina M; Lindley, Lisa L; Gentile, Danielle; & Welihindha, Shehan V (2014). Educational Attainment by Life Course Sexual Attraction: Prevalence and Correlates in a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Adults. Population Research and Policy Review. vol. 33 (4) pp. 579-602 , PMCID: PMC4222507
AbstractResearchers know relatively little about the educational attainment of sexual minorities, despite the fact that educational attainment is consistently associated with a range of social, economic, and health outcomes. We examined whether sexual attraction in adolescence and early adulthood was associated with educational attainment in early adulthood among a nationally representative sample of US young adults. We analyzed waves I and IV restricted data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 14,111). Sexual orientation was assessed using self-reports of romantic attraction in waves I (adolescence) and IV (adulthood). Multinomial regression models were estimated and all analyses were stratified by gender. Women attracted to the same-sex in adulthood only had lower educational attainment compared to women attracted only to the opposite-sex in adolescence and adulthood. Men attracted to the same-sex in adolescence only had lower educational attainment compared to men attracted only to the opposite-sex in adolescence and adulthood. Adolescent experiences and academic performance attenuated educational disparities among men and women. Adjustment for adolescent experiences also revealed a suppression effect; women attracted to the same-sex in adolescence and adulthood had lower predicted probabilities of having a high school diploma or less compared to women attracted only to the opposite-sex in adolescence and adulthood. Our findings challenge previous research documenting higher educational attainment among sexual minorities in the US. Additional population-based studies documenting the educational attainment of sexual-minority adults are needed.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitlePopulation Research and Policy Review
Author(s)Walsemann, Katrina M
Lindley, Lisa L
Welihindha, Shehan V