Gender, sexual diversity and professional practice learning: findings from a systematic search and review

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Research into higher education has shown that for those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and/or Queer (LGBTQ), universities are places where both direct and indirect discrimination is experienced. This paper reports the findings from a systematic search and review on gender and sexual diversity in professional practice placements. This was part of a broader project exploring the way that students were supported and educated to provide appropriate support for LGBTQ people using their services and whether students who identified as LGBTQ experienced specific issues regarding the (non)disclosure of their gender or sexual diversity in placement settings. Three primary themes were identified. Environment: which relates to the way that homophobic and transphobic discrimination is experienced in professional practice. Influence: the importance of faculty on the environment as both a positive and negative force. Interventions: how students support LGBTQ people who use their services and how educators intervene with students who identify as LGBTQ. Our review showed how students in all included disciplines report feeling under-prepared for the realities of working with LGBTQ people in practice. However there are examples of positive practices which can support LGBTQ students through navigating disclosure of their own identities, as well as enabling all students to act as advocates and allies for the LGBTQ service users and peers/colleagues that they will inevitably work with and alongside, throughout their careers.


Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date21 Jan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2019


  • diversity, gender, LGBTQ, placement, practice, sexual