The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 16

Jonathan T. Pryor, Garrett D. Hoffman

The Traditionally
Heterogendered Institution
Preston and Hoffman's (2015) critical framework, the Traditionally Heterogendered Institution, illustrates how colleges and universities
reinforce and perpetuate environments that
position LGBTQ+ students as the "other" measured against a cisgender and heterosexual
norm. While many higher education institutions adopt programming and policies meant
to support LGBTQ+ students, these policies
and practices do little to change the heterogendered structures that undergird institutions.
Preston and Hoffman (2015) stated, "The
THI is defined as an institution that, despite
the desire to create programs supporting
LGBTQ[+] students, upholds and promotes
a heterogendered discourse through institutional structures and foundation" (p. 82).
This practice is evident when institutions hire
an LGBTQ+ housing liaison yet continue to
structure housing assignments or facilities
along the gender binary. This realization is
also evident when campuses institutionally
support LGBTQ+ programs but do not address
homophobic and transphobic culture within
college and university housing, fraternity and
sorority affairs, or campus recreation spaces
(Pryor, 2018). Relying on the THI framework
allows practitioners to show how college and
university housing was and continues to be
structured to center straight and cisgender students. Using the THI framework allows practitioners to interrogate how, despite LGBTQ+
inclusive programs and policies, the binaristic structures, such as gendered housing
and bathrooms common among housing and
residential life facilities, continue to harm and
marginalize LGBTQ+ students. We applied the
16

Although college and university
housing best practices have made
promising shifts toward LGBTQ+
students' comfort and inclusion
(Marine, et al., 2019), the literature
base illuminated the challenges
imbedded in campus environments
attributed to the conditions
perpetuated by the THI.

THI to LGBTQ+ student experiences within
campus housing to reframe how college and
university housing staff can support LGBTQ+
students through policy and practice.
The THI illustrates how college and university environments uphold normative expectations of gender and sexuality (Preston
& Hoffman, 2015). In particular, Preston and
Hoffman (2015) illustrated how institutions
limit possibilities related to LGBTQ+ student
identities, experiences, and resources for
support. They argued campuses may tokenize
LGBTQ+ student experiences, placing the onus
of community education and outreach onto the
student, rather than on the institution. Pryor
(2018) expanded Preston and Hoffman's (2015)
work to demonstrate how student affairs spaces
and programs perpetuate heterogendered limitations on LGBTQ+ student involvement. We
applied these findings to the specific context
of college and university housing, illuminating
the ways in which LGBTQ+ students in housing
navigated the conditions created by the THI.

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Cover1
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