Theory, Research, & Praxis
Chapter Sixteen: Hidden Populations and Intersectionality: When Race and Sexual Orientation Collide
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When Race and Sexual Orientation Collide
Asian/Americans are one of the fastest-growing groups of students within U.S. higher education. From 1996 to 2003, Asian/American (as defined by the U.S. Census and including noncitizens of Asian descent) student enrollment increased 31.6% or by 282,000 students (Ryu, 2009). As of 2004, nearly 950,000 undergraduate Asian/American students were enrolled in higher education (KewalRamani, Gilbertson, Fox, & Provasnik, 2007). Also, nearly 60% of all 18- to 24-year-old Asian/American students were enrolled in higher education, making their participation rate the highest among any racial or ethnic minority group (KewalRamani et al., 2007). These numbers do not include international students studying in the United States. During the 2012–2013 academic year, over 819,000 students from foreign countries were studying in the United States, of which a majority were Asian countries, as defined by the U.S. Census (Institute of International Education, 2013).
Participation rates for nonracial minority groups, such as gay, Lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) students, are more difficult to obtain; the demographic characteristics on admissions applications do not ask about sexual orientation. As a result, statistics regarding GLB student enrollment are more anecdotal. Nonetheless, with the average coming out age now between 14 and 16 years (down from 21 years in 1979; Marklein, 2004; Ryan, 2003; Tamashiro, 2007), many more young adults are starting higher education aware of their sexual orientation (Marklein, 2004). These statistics reflect the increased likelihood...
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