Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 317–332

Antecedents of Pro-LGBT Advocacy among Sexual Minority and Heterosexual College Students


DOI: 10.1007/s13178-013-0136-3

Cite this article as:
Swank, E., Woodford, M.R. & Lim, C. Sex Res Soc Policy (2013) 10: 317. doi:10.1007/s13178-013-0136-3


Utilizing the resource model of political participation, we identify the antecedents of willingness to sign a petition supporting employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people among sexual minority and heterosexual college students. Through secondary data analysis, we investigate the role of sociodemographic, mobilizing context, and framing variables, including various LGBT-related attitudes that have never been integrated in a single regression of LGBT activism. Results from a sample of sexual minority (n = 367) and heterosexual (n = 1,707) college students suggest that the majority of students from both sexual orientation groups are willing to sign a petition for LGBT rights. Although the impact of framing variables, such as transphobia and liberal identity, were most influential among both groups, the relevance of some framing antecedents (i.e., heterosexist attitudes and the disclosure of sexual identities) was specific to each sexuality. Before the inclusion of framing factors, knowing LGBT peers and observing heterosexist discrimination inspired greater activism among both sexuality groups as did being female and a graduate student; however, the significance of religious factors were only important among heterosexual students. Implications for future research are discussed.


Activism Heterosexism Discrimination Sexual orientation Legal protections 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Social Work and CriminologyMorehead State UniversityMoreheadUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Clinical PsychologyFielding Graduate UniversitySanta BarbaraUSA