The intersection of gender identity, sexual orientation, and active transportation behavior: An exploratory study

Active transportation (AT), commonly seen as walking and bicycling, has positive physical and mental health benefits for all who participate. Although participation in AT has health benefits, there are disparities based on various demographics (race/ethnicity, gender identity, age, education/income). The purpose of this study was to attempt to understand AT behavior while looking at the intersectionality of gender identity and sexual orientation. Data were collected from students enrolled in health and wellness courses at a Northeastern U.S. university using an online survey distributed via email. Participants self-reported their age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and AT trips to/from campus per week by mode: bicycling and/or walking. Two-way ANOVAs examined differences in AT trips/week by gender identity and sexual orientation, and one-way Tukey Post-hoc tests examined individual differences between groups. On average, participants (n = 3947) were 20.31 (SD = 1.83) years of age, and the majority were non-Hispanic whites (73.0%, n = 2870). Results showed significant (p < 0.05) interactions between gender identity and sexual orientation in total AT and walking trips/week. Additionally, post-hoc tests showed significant (p < 0.05) differences between combined gender identity and sexual orientation categories. Findings suggest a significant interaction between gender identity and sexual orientation for total AT and walking trips/week, as well as significant differences in bicycling trips/week when looking at gender identity alone. This is the first study, to the authors’ knowledge, that attempts to understand AT behavior inequities based on the intersection of gender identity and sexual orientation. Future studies are needed to better understand the factors underlying these disparities.


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  • Accession Number: 01854202
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 10 2022 4:38PM