A lack of gay men interested in the hard stuff

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    ...Let me start off by saying get your head out of the gutter icon_smile.gif

    Anyway, I'm talking about gay men interested in the hard sciences and engineering. At my school it seems like most of the gay men I've met are majoring in sociology, feminist studies or comparative race and ethnicity. I feel like based on my own anecdotal experience the percentage is too high to be coincidental, especially since my school has a very heavy engineering and sciences focus. I myself am a pretty math/techie oriented guy and I can count on less than one hand other gay students who have similar interests.

    Of course, to clarify, I'm not criticizing at all the humanities. I think they are definitely interesting. I'm merely curious as to why so many gay men seem to flock towards the same majors. I'd be wondering the same exact thing in reverse if most of the gay men I knew were all engineers and there were very few gay humanities majors.

    So is what I'm noticing "typical"? If any of you are in college as well it'd be cool to see how things compare.
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    Feb 01, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    Maybe the gays in these majors are more comfortable being openly gay?
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    Feb 02, 2011 12:00 AM GMT
    Ppl tend to choose things that interest them...
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    Feb 02, 2011 2:03 AM GMT
    My school is extremely good at science and engineering (top 3 in computer science). I'm gay and I have three majors all in policy and humanities......I make the engineers and computer science kids realize how great their lives are.....
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    Feb 02, 2011 2:09 AM GMT
    I know TONS of gay kids in HUman Kinetics, sciences and business.

    And not to be an ass, but SOMe of my coures involve much more work than sceience courses of the same level. I don't think there are hard and not hard majors.
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    Feb 02, 2011 2:16 AM GMT
    mizu5 saidI know TONS of gay kids in HUman Kinetics, sciences and business.

    And not to be an ass, but SOMe of my coures involve much more work than sceience courses of the same level. I don't think there are hard and not hard majors.


    Just to clarify, the term "hard sciences" used by the OP is used to mean "physical/tangible", not "hard" as in "difficult".

    As for the OP, I knew a good number of gay men in college studying the physical sciences, although they were all pre-med. That said, as a graduate student in the physical sciences, I don't see any openly gay scientists amongst my colleagues.
  • shag91607

    Posts: 62

    Feb 02, 2011 2:26 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said
    So is what I'm noticing "typical"? If any of you are in college as well it'd be cool to see how things compare.


    I guess it depends on where you go. Granted, I was in college a while ago, but my experience was pretty mixed. Maybe because I was mostly in the science and math classes (astrophysics major) I met mostly math, engineering, and physical science gay guys. There were a good portion of dance, art, and poly sci majors that I met too... but it was pretty mixed for me maybe 60/40 in favor of the humanities.
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    Feb 02, 2011 2:36 AM GMT
    I was an engineer major through my junior year of college. Reached my senior year and changed to psychology/sociology (senior year, I know... And it added 2 more years of college). I truly became more interested in the human condition while trying to understand who it is that I am. For me, learning about "me" and how I fit into a world that seems so very different from "me" ignited my interest and I've been studying/observing human interaction ever since. Thats just been my experience.
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    Feb 02, 2011 2:42 AM GMT
    I am in engineering and most of my gay friends I know are in engineering as well. That being said, I don't know many people in social science, the arts, and humanities so my opinion would be skewed.

    In any case, my particular discipline had 75 graduates from undergrad and I know 5 of us were gay (there may have been a couple more). I don't know if that is high or not nor do I know how it compares to something like English or Drama but I've told you what I know.
  • LoganITGuy

    Posts: 31

    Feb 02, 2011 3:05 AM GMT
    I knew a lot of gay people at RIT in its IT, CS, and multiple engineering programs. RIT and Rochester were pertty gay friendly. Maybe your school isn't/wasn't?

    I also know many gay people within the IT field here in DC. Myself and my boyfriend included.

    I don't know if you call them "hard" classes but again many friends in finance, economics, and fields related to military & defense (I live in DC, what do you expect?)

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    Feb 02, 2011 3:06 AM GMT
    Computer science engineer, don't know that many gays in engineering, most of my gay friends are either in theater, architecture, advertising or something communications related.

    Wouldn't mind getting to know some more gay engineers icon_biggrin.gif
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Feb 02, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    I did three years in Civil Engineering and switched to Real Estate Finance with a minor in Engineering. My second Degree is Architecture and Urban Design.

    I enjoyed the Hard Sciences but I enjoy Business and Architecture more.
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:12 AM GMT
    I'm an engineer, and my group of gay friends all seem to be either doctors, engineers, lawyers, or business people icon_razz.gif

    I actually do not have any friends majoring in sociology, feminist studies or comparative race and ethnicity
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:20 AM GMT
    You've gotta be kidding me--you don't know any gay engineers? Where the hell ARE you, LOL? icon_biggrin.gif
  • Tunetaz

    Posts: 24

    Feb 02, 2011 3:29 AM GMT
    I'm an engineer, but I have to admit that there aren't too many gay men in my field.
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    Electrical Engineering guy here, have another degree in Econ and Finance too icon_twisted.gif


    Big nerd if work comes.

    Big jock if gym comes
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:37 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidMaybe the gays in these majors are more comfortable being openly gay?


    I agree with this. Gays are everywhere. Maybe engineers are just too nerdy? I often mistake nerds for feminine gay men because they act so similar sometimes. *Can't wait till someone gets offended at this* icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:39 AM GMT
    Digit1987 saidI am in engineering and most of my gay friends I know are in engineering as well. That being said, I don't know many people in social science, the arts, and humanities so my opinion would be skewed.

    In any case, my particular discipline had 75 graduates from undergrad and I know 5 of us were gay (there may have been a couple more). I don't know if that is high or not nor do I know how it compares to something like English or Drama but I've told you what I know.


    lol, I don't know any eng guys, I am the only one I know. Most ppl I "know " are English lit kids, not belong to us who rule the world icon_twisted.gif
  • JDean

    Posts: 166

    Feb 02, 2011 3:42 AM GMT
    This is a biased forum, all iknow are chem, bio and genetic eng. majors. I know a few aeronautical engineers, but not from school. I'll admit to having a bit of a prejudice against the humanities types.
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:44 AM GMT
    Mechanical engineer undergrad here
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    This is not uniquely a gay thing. Generally speaking, American kids these days have very little or no interest in science or technology, other than buying the latest and greatest ipod every year. This is why the US is falling behind.
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:46 AM GMT
    CE, EE, ME, and ChemE are pretty straight in my experience, but CS -- we're probably at least 50% gay. Physics has pretty high gay factor as well, IMHO.

    I suspect a serious problem with your experimental methodology. Where are you looking and how are you detecting the gays? Perhaps you're just picking the wrong fields?

    Maybe you should hop on BART and explore UCB? Stanford is... er... a little more... "uptight", shall we say?
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    Hmmm... I'm not sure my experience has been the same. I'm personally a Mechanical Engineer and know plenty of gay guys in the hard sciences and engineering at my school. Plus, my undergrad school was pretty much all sciences and engineering (GT) and so there were plenty of gay guys in these majors.

    I think it's more that when it comes to these majors, the atmosphere in the workplace and even in the educational system is a lot more about what skills you have and how well you're able to generate and execute problem-solving ideas and less about you as an individual. Plus, there's definitely a culture of proving these abilities, and that takes a lot of time and effort for these majors. I think that maybe the sciences and engineering is just one of those areas where whether or not someone is gay simply slips under the radar because it's not anything that people are looking for. Perhaps because they don't even have the time to look for it.
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    how can u tell which students are gay or not?
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    Feb 02, 2011 3:54 AM GMT
    ME in training here.

    Definitely not a ton of gay people in the engineering field it seems. Granted, my college is in a small, midwest town so yeah, gays are pretty scarce here.