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Study: School Bullying Causes LGBT Health Problems

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A new study has found that LGBT youth who experience high levels of victimization at school are more likely to report health problems in early adulthood. Such conditions may include depression, attempted suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV risk.

The Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University examined data from a previous survey it conducted among 245 LGBT adults ages 21 to 25. The Project says the resulting study is the first known to examine the relationship between anti-gay bullying at school with different aspects of young adult health and adjustment.

Family Acceptance Project Director Dr. Caitlin Ryan co-authored the study. She says it’s part of a “much longer portfolio of research” that has spanned about a decade.

RYAN: We know that experiences that happen in childhood and adolescence have a big impact in the future, and so we anticipated that we would find what we found in this study.

Among the results are that LGBT young adults who reported high levels of school victimization were 5.6 times MORE likely to report having attempted suicide. The same number of respondents said their suicide attempt required medical care.

Anti-gay bullying victims were also 2.6 times more likely to report suffering from depression. And they were more than TWICE as likely to have been diagnosed with an STD or report being at risk for HIV infection.

The study also found that young gay and bisexual men, along with transgender adults, were victimized MORE than lesbian and bisexual young women. Meanwhile, LGBT young adults who reported lower levels of victimization at school, showed higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction.

Ryan says she hopes this information will motivate lawmakers and families to support LGBT children.

The study is published in the Journal of School Health.


3 Responses

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  1. Now what can be done to prevent the bullying? And what support can schools give to those who are being bullied?


    May 17, 2011 at 8:02 AM



    May 28, 2011 at 3:29 AM

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