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    Revealing the queer-spectrum in STEM: undergraduate student responses to diverse gender identity and sexual orientation demographics questions
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Casper, A. M. Aramati, author; King, Katherine Ray, author; Atadero, Rebecca, author; Fuselier, Linda C., author
    Queer individuals face notable heterosexist and gender-normative expectations in STEM, leading to lower persistence. However, research on the experiences of queer-spectrum individuals is limited by current demographic practices. We developed queer-inclusive demographics questions and administrated them as part of a larger study in undergraduate engineering and computer science classes. We ask: how do responses compare to nation-wide queer demographics, 3-7% for both sexual orientation and gender, and how common are heterosexist or binary-enforcing responses? In a data subset (n=314), 14% of students reported a queer sexual orientation and 1.3% of students reported a queer gender. Few students used the open-response box for gender binary-enforcing (1.3%) or heterosexist (0.3%) commentary (e.g. only two genders exist). Our high rate of queer sexual orientation responses may be explained by our broad definition of queer or differing population demographics for young adults. The low rate of queer gender identity may be due to under-representation, lack of self-reporting, or survey structure. These data will inform analysis of student experiences in our larger study. Additional work developing a research-based queered demographics instrument is needed for larger-scale changes in demographics practices, which will help others identify and address barriers that queer individuals face in STEM fields.