Until recently, limited data existed in education research focused on the LGBTQI+ community and their experiences. As this area of interest continues to grow, education researchers are learning how to effectively collect these data, interpret their implications, and use them to help improve the educational outcomes of LGBTQI+ identifying students. In this blog post, we review current federal recommendations for data collection and encourage researchers to submit FY 2024 applications focused on the educational experiences and outcomes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) identifying students.
Collecting Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities
In January 2023, the Office of the Chief Statistician of the United States released a report with recommendations on how to effectively design federal statistics surveys to account for sexual orientation and gender identities (SOGI). While this report is for a federal audience, the recommendations are relevant and useful for education researchers who wish to measure the identities and experiences of those in the LGBTQI+ community. Some suggestions include—
- Provide multiple options for sexual orientation identification (for example, gay/lesbian, straight, bisexual, use other term)
- Provide a two-question set in order to measure gender identity—one asking for sex assigned at birth, and one for current self-identification
- Provide write-in response and multiple-response options for SOGI-related questions
- Allow respondents to proceed through the survey if they choose not to answer unless answers to any of these items are critical for data collection
Education researchers looking to incorporate SOGI data into their studies can also use existing SOGI data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to support their research. A new NCES blog outlines the studies that collect SOGI information and outlines some initial findings from that data.
Funding Opportunities for Research to Improve Outcomes of LGBTQI+ students
In alignment with the SEER Equity Standard, IES encourages researchers to submit applications to the FY 2024 research grant competitions that support the academic and social behavioral outcomes of students who identify as LGBTQI+. IES is especially interested in research proposals that involve—
- Describing the educational experiences and outcomes of LGBTQI+ students
- Creating safe and inclusive learning environments that support the needs of all LGBTQI+ students.
- Identifying promising practices for school-based health services and supports, especially mental health services, that are accessible to and supportive of LGBTQI+ students
- Identifying systems-level approaches that reduce barriers to accessing and participating in high quality learning environments for LGBTQI+ students
Check out our funding opportunities page for more information about our FY 2024 requests for applications. If you have specific questions about the appropriateness of your research for a specific FY 2024 research competition, please contact the relevant program officer listed in the request for applications.
This blog is part of a 3-part Inside IES Research blog series on sexual orientation and gender identity in education research in observance of Pride month. The other posts discuss the feedback from the IES LGBTQI+ Listening and Learning session and the first ever learning game featuring a canonically nonbinary character.
This blog was produced by Virtual Student Federal Service intern Audrey Im with feedback from IES program officers Katina Stapleton (NCER - Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov) and Katherine Taylor (NCSER - Katherine.Taylor@ed.gov) and NCES project officers Elise Christopher (Elise.Christopher@ed.gov) and Maura Spiegelman (Maura.Spiegelman@ed.gov).