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Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies: Search Tips


Use AND, OR, and NOT to connect your keywords and tell the database exactly how you want it to search for your terms.  These terms help you combine or exclude words in your search for more relevant results.

Operator Examples Results

gender AND identity

Results contain    
ALL of the search terms.

women OR girls OR female

Results contain ANY of the search terms, but not necessarily all of them.

bisexual NOT pansexual

EXCLUDES ALL results containing
the second search term.

Tips and Tricks for searching for LGBTQIA+ Content

When searching for LGBTQIA+ content, be aware of the evolving language around these identities. The LGBTQIA+ acronym itself is in a state of near constant flux due to the relatively recent surfacing of minorities that have historically struggled with visibility.

How do you make this work while searching? Try using the wildcard character “*” to find content that predates the expansion of the acronym, as in LGB*. You'll find any acronym beginning with LGB and capture the most variations.

There are a variety of terms for LGBTQIA+ identities, so be expansive with your terms. If you're looking for a phrase, search for it in quotation marks (ex. "queer studies"). A brief (not at all exhaustive) list:

  • bisexual
  • gay
  • "gender nonconforming" or "gender non conform"
  • genderqueer
  • homosexual 
  • lesbian
  • "non binary" or nonbinary
  • pansexual
  • queer
  • "same gender loving"
  • transgender

Also recognize that some terms that are considered offensive today may have been common in the past to describe the content you are seeking, and consider using them in searching, especially if you need pre-21st century sources.

Your Librarian

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Amber Prentiss
Miller Learning Center 373