Youth bullying because of perceived sexual orientation widespread and damaging

by Catherine Shen
Anti-bullying poster on the front door of a Berea, Ohio, school. Credit: Flickr user Eddie~S

(Medical Xpress)—Bullying because of perceived sexual orientation is prevalent among school-aged youths, according to a study led by Donald Patrick, professor of health services at the UW School of Public Health. The study was published online May 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.

The research team analyzed responses collected in a 2010 Washington state survey of more than 24,000 public school students in grades eight through 12. The study found that 14 percent, 11 percent and 9 percent of in grades 8, 10, and 12 respectively reported being bullied because of perceived . For female students in those grades, the numbers were 11 percent, 10 percent and 6 percent respectively.

"These findings underscore the need for early prevention efforts before 10th grade," wrote the authors.

Being bullied because of perceived sexual orientation was linked to lower quality of life scores and increased the odds of or consideration of suicide. Moreover, the size of these associations was greater than being bullied for other reasons

"Youth at this age group are extremely vulnerable to the effects of bullying when they are perceived rightly or wrongly to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. The effects are profound for many youth struggling with issues of identity and self-esteem," said Patrick, principal investigator of the study.

"Bully-prevention or harm-reduction programs must address bullying because of perceived sexual orientation. All youths are entitled to safe school environments and support is essential for those who are most vulnerable to being bullied because of perceived sexual orientation," the study concluded.

More information: ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/… 105/AJPH.2012.301101

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study suggests gender gap around homophobic bullying

Apr 26, 2012

A new study from Educational and Psychological Measurement (published by SAGE) found that when it comes to homophobic bullying, there could be a gender gap. While male victims are more likely to be bullied by male homoph ...

Recommended for you

Family dinners reduce effects of cyberbullying in adolescents

10 hours ago

Sharing regular family meals with children may help protect them from the effects of cyberbullying, according to a study by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Because family meal times represent ...

The Edwardians were also fans of brain training

16 hours ago

Brain-training programmes are all the rage. They are part of a growing digital brain-health industry that earned more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$6 billion by 2020. The extent to which they actually improve brain function re ...

Report advocates improved police training

Aug 29, 2014

A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) May 20, 2013
Garbage. Enough already. Progressives you can stop the pretense. Everyone knows that Bully Prevention Programs are nothing more than a way to promote the homosexual lifestyle.

If they truly want to stop bullying, then bullying prevention programs would be aimed at stopping ALL bullying.

Woops I forgot, according to Progressives, Homosexuals are special people deserving more rights and protection than average people. If you are white, male, normal sexual orientation, you
are on your own.