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Gender and Sexual Orientation

Gender and Sexual Orientation

What are the gender roles and expectations for women in Burkina Faso? What does it mean to be a homosexual student in Morocco? What are the laws and attitudes surrounding transgender people in Guatemala? Legal and social norms, customs, and attitudes towards gender and differences in sexual orientation vary considerably across cultures. In order to stay safe and facilitate positive intercultural interactions, you must research the gender and sexual orientation dynamics in the host country community and discuss your options with study abroad staff. For example, some students have asked for and received assistance in finding a same-sex host family. Some questions to investigate about your host community include:

  1. Which are the acknowledged gender and sexual orientation categories?
  2. Do any power structures favor certain gender(s)/sexual orientations? How might this affect the way that you are treated?
  3. What are the legal/social norms and attitudes surrounding your gender and/or sexual orientation?

On-Campus Resources

Sexuality and Gender Abroad

Glen Bradley '15 discusses sexuality and gender abroad.

  • Office for Multicultural Learning, Rainbow Resource Center

    • Perspectives Dialogue Sessions
    • Difficult Dialogues
    • Safe Space Training
  • Diversity Abroad

    Preparation tips and strategies for questions about race/ethnic, class, financial, gender, ability, religious, sexual orientation, first generation, and more dynamics abroad.

  • Amnesty International

    Resources to understand gender and sexual orientation discrimination and issues in the world

  • IES Diversity Resources

    General and travel specific information, networks and resources for LGBTQ and Transgender Students

Jason Nguyenimage

Bronco Perspective

Jason Nguyen

"Everyone assumed I was straight, even though I am gay.  I never claimed I was straight or denied I was gay, so I did not feel like I was being unfair to myself.  I just left it ambiguous and did my best to avoid the topic of my sexuality.  I already felt some uneasiness as an Asian, so I did not want to throw my sexuality on top of that."

Gus Hardyimage

Bronco Perspective

Gus Hardy

“For a majority-Catholic country, I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how gay-friendly the Philippines was.”

Yuliana Mendozaimage

Bronco Perspective

Yuliana Mendoza

“In regards to sexuality, I feel that students are very accepting of differences and I never saw conflict arise over these differences.”

Olivia Chamblissimage

Bronco Perspective

Olivia Chambliss

"Students that have a gender or sexual orientation that falls outside of mainstream expectations may feel uncomfortable expressing themselves fully."

Marie McNamaraimage

Bronco Perspective

Marie McNamara

“While in Ireland, I lived with three openly gay students.  Their perspectives were really interesting.  Their struggles with identifying as gay in a conservative nation were eye opening.”

Saron Goitomimage

Bronco Perspective

Saron Goitom

“The machismo culture in El Salvador is very strong.  Many of the men cat call girls and women as they pass by in cars and I was a victim to this.”

Lindsey Allenimage

Bronco Perspective

Lindsey Allen

“It is important to note that homosexuality is considered illegal in Morocco.  However, this did not stop my peers who identified as LGBT from enjoying their time in Morocco, and they always had a safe space to speak about their personal experiences.”