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GLSEN Study Looks at Anti-Gay School Harassment in Rural/Poor Communities

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New research seems to prove that gay students in rural or impoverished areas experience the most anti-gay harassment at school. Researchers at GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network – found that LGBT youth in rural communities, communities with higher poverty rates and communities with less higher educated adults are most likely to be bullied and threatened.

GLSEN research associate Elizabeth Diaz says education itself is not the key – it’s EXPERIENCE. The less familiar a community is with LGBT people – the more likely gay students in that community will face a hostile school environment.

Diaz: “Some research has suggested it might be about – potentially attending a college or university might have provided an opportunity to interact with diverse communities, including folks who are LGBT, and through that interaction, that could potentially lead to decreased prejudicial attitudes.”

Diaz says the research shows that groups like GLSEN might need to rethink the way they approach the experiences of students in these communities.

Diaz: “It’s really a holistic approach that needs to be taken. LGBT students are not a monolithic group. They have a diversity of experiences very much influenced by the characteristics of their school communities and their larger communities, and that school communities often reflect the larger communities in which they reside.”

The research appears in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

-Aaron McQuade

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Written by OutQ News staff

September 2, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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