Title

"It's Dude Culture": Students With Minoritized Identities of Sexuality and/or Gender Navigating STEM Majors

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2020

Abstract

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career pathways can be both lucrative and transformative in regard to social change (e.g., Christensen, Knezek, & Tyler-Wood, 2014; Fuesting, Diekman, & Hudiburgh, 2017; Wang, Ye, & Degol, 2017). However, research shows that STEM learning environments are inhospitable to students with minoritized identities-most notably, women, people of color, and people with disabilities (e.g., Gottfried, Bozick, Rose, & Moore, 2016; O'Brien, Blodorn, Adams, Garcia, & Hammer, 2015; Stout, Grunberg, & Ito, 2016). Almost no research has examined the experiences of students with minoritized identities of sexuality and/or gender (MIoSG) in STEM. Using grounded theory, this study documented how 56 students with MIoSG experienced and navigated a pervasive culture of centering cisgender heterosexual men within STEM learning environments-referred to by students as dude or bro culture. Rich quotes from participants across gender and sexual identity spectra described how dude/bro culture included bonding over hypermasculinity, assuming heterosexuality, perpetuating anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual discourses, treating students with MIoSG as if they are not smart or invisible, and objectifying and sexualizing cisgender women. Implications for higher education practice are provided.

Publication Title

Journal of Diversity in Higher Education

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