Study Finds: Gay Men Excel Academically

A new study claims that gay men’s academic success is remarkably inclined

Joel Mittleman, a (straight!) University of Notre Dame sociologist found that on an array of academic measures, gay males outperform all other groups on average, across all major racial groups.

The paper, published in the American Sociological Review on February 20, contradicts other opinions about how growing up gay can have an affect on the academic performance of males versus females.

In recent years there were some reports on American males have become less scholastic oriented. Mittleman’s research indicates that this characterization of the educational gender gap is critically lacking in specificity. It is, in fact, straight males who tend to be mired in a scholastic morass. And the considerable academic progress that young women have charted since the advent of second-wave feminism has been largely restricted to the heterosexuals among them.

Historically, girls have received better grades than boys. But the study finds that gay men’s college graduation rate dramatically bests even that of straight women, about one-third of whom have a bachelor’s degree.

Searching for the drivers of these differences in school performance between straight and gay students, Mittleman used a machine-learning algorithm to identify response patterns to survey questions that predicted being male versus female among members of the longitudinal cohort. He found that being atypical for their gender in survey responses helped explain at least part of the gay students’ GPA variation.  Moreover, Gay boys appear willing — even eager — to flout gender norms in academics.