Sample Education Paper on Students Subculture Interview

Students Subculture Interview

The lesbian youth subculture has continuously increased in numbers in American universities with many lesbians coming out at younger ages. This trend has drastically affected their education and the experiences they pass through in school. The average age where lesbians first self-identify is currently 16 as compared to the 1980s when ladies first identified as lesbians were 21-23 years of age (Cahill, 2003). Self-identification to lesbian subculture at the university level can expose students to rejection at home and school. Without proper advice, health education and referrals to resources from supportive adults, then the challenges posed to lesbian students in campuses can negatively impact on their education and lives (Brett Beemyn, 2012). An interview was therefore conducted on willing lesbian students in an attempt to find out what specific issues they face in their respective institutions.

A structured set of interview questions were structured so as to ensure that the research could achieve its primary purpose of identifying specific issues that affect lesbian subcultures in schools. Many students in this subculture preferred anonymity since they did not want the research to create negative perceptions about them. It was an open-ended question interview where lesbian students were required to give their opinions on how their sexual orientation affected various aspects of their lives in campus. The first question clarified how old the student was, for how long they had been a member of lesbian subculture, and the reason they had joined it. They were then asked about how they relate to the subculture and concrete issues that they might have as regards to how they are perceived in the society. Critical areas in campus life had been identified so as to determine what challenges the subculture might be facing. The keys areas are homophobic attitudes, tolerance, repulsion, acceptance, and support (Chang, 2009). Students were engaged actively in these topics in an effort to establish how they handled them and how they could forge a formidable way through such challenges.

The students interviewed were between the ages of 17 to 21 who had been affiliated to the subculture for a period of not less than two years. The main reason they had joined the subculture was to identify with their counterparts and to find an avenue where they could express themselves freely and meet new friends. Majority of the students reckoned that homophobic attitudes in institution are the biggest challenge they face in the universities (Cochran, 2001). The students stated that most people repel them and view lesbianism like it is a crime against the natural way of life. Most interviewees reported that they had been verbally abused due to their sexual affiliations with a few acknowledging physical violence (John A. Mueller, 2009). Some even sighted the psychological impact that the homophobic tendencies have towards them, and this has an adverse effect on their education (Ronni Sanlo, 2012). All of them mentioned support structures that advocate their rights but affirmed that more needs to be done to change the negative perception towards them in Universities.

The interview was an eye-opener on the perceptions lesbians have and the issues they face within the society. It was stimulating to see how they are committed to the subculture and how passionate they are about their values. I was surprised when I learned about lesbian separatism, which identifies specific interests of lesbian culture (Christopher W. Blackwell, 2004). Lesbians identify themselves as either butch (male affiliations) or femme (female affiliations) (Rankin, 2003). The two often come together to form a union forming the basis for their relationships and eventual marriage. Though the culture has its setup, it has not been readily accepted in the society as many lesbian students reported.

References

Brett Beemyn, B. C. (2012). Transgender Issues on College Campuses. Wiley Periodicals, 49-60.

Cahill, J. C. (2003). Education Policy: Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.

Chang, Y.-r. (2009). Lesbians as a subcultural community: style representation of the self through consumption. Sweden: Malmo University.

Christopher W. Blackwell, J. L. (2004). Discrimination of Gays and Lesbians: A Social Justice Perspective. Journal of Health & Social Policy, 27-43.

Cochran, S. D. (2001). Emerging Issues in Research on Lesbians’ and Gay Men’s Mental Health: Does Sexual Orientation Really Matter? American Psychologist, 932-947.

John A. Mueller, J. C. (2009). A Qualitative Examination of Heterosexual Consciousness Among College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 320-336.

Rankin, S. R. (2003). Campus Climate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People: A National Perspective. New York: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.

Ronni Sanlo, L. E. (2012). Risk and Retention: Are LGBTQ Students Staying in Your Community College? Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 475-481.