Why Do Social Work Students Engage in Lesbian and Gay Rights Activism?

Eric Swank, Breanne Fahs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper considers the contexts and motivations as to why some social work students engage in lesbian and gay rights activism. To explain electoral and protesting modes of activism, this study utilized variables from resource, mobilizing, and framing theories of political participation to explain activism related to gay and lesbian rights. After gathering data on 159 undergraduate social work majors, regressions suggest that economic resources failed to explain participation in gay and lesbian politics. Instead, the predictors of gay and lesbian activism more closely aligned with four key variables: educational attainment, communicating with full-fledged activists, having an ability to recognize heterosexism, and maintaining a commitment to social justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Activism
  • collective behavior
  • gay rights
  • homosexuality
  • political participation
  • social identity
  • social movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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