Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Gay Son or HSOC Daughter? Penn Students Answer.

Credit: Simon Oros

A student’s sociology final project is making waves in the Penn community. Mike Pelanti, a senior studying sociology and concentrating in LGBTQ Studies, recently conducted a survey where he asked Penn undergraduates across all four schools one simple question: would you rather have a gay son, or daughter studying History and Sociology of Science?

Immediately, some Penn students were concerned about the premise of Pelanti’s question. 

Lisa Vanderwall, a Material Science Engineering Sophomore, expressed her frustration during a post survey interview: “Why are you asking me to choose between a child with serious issues and a child who is perfectly normal. Of course I would rather choose to have a gay son.”

Such sentiment is reflected in the results of the survey. Almost 97% of Penn students responded that they would rather have a gay son. Surprisingly, an overwhelming 98% of HSOC students did not want a daughter who decided to be an HSOC major. We asked one such respondent why she is willing to be a traitor to her own major. “Premeds are the most hardworking, unhappy people I’ve ever met. HSOC students are just simply unhappy. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” says Christina Trainer, an HSOC Sophomore.

Despite the bashing of those who are simply interested in public health, this research has positive implications for the gay community at Penn. Amy Guttman, in yet another email which celebrates the accelerating work done to end discrimination on campus, summarizes implications of the survey: “Penn students are now less inclined to discriminate against homosexuals because they are preoccupied by discriminating against HSOC students. We applaud the work Mike Pelanti has done in identifying that Penn’s commitment to anti-discrimination is working.”