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LGBT adults report higher incidence of school bullying

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LGBT adults report higher incidence of school bullying

It’s no surprise that despite the progress made by the LGBT community in gaining acceptance from society in the past years, there is still a high resistance from others in the form of online and school bullying.

In a survey done by Harris Poll for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network), over half of all LGBT adults (or 52 percent) that were polled say they recall being bullied while at school.

This is in contrast to 43 percent of all adults.

Cyber and school bullying

The survey concluded that the LGBT people still experience “unacceptably high levels of bullying that adversely affect environments at school, at home and online.”

LGBT adults who experienced bullying also report higher than average incidents of physical bullying.

75 percent said they experienced physical harm as compared to 68 percent of all respondents.

For cyber bullying, nearly nine in ten (or 86 percent) of LGBT adults said technology has made it easier to bully someone.

By nearly 2-1, 37 percent of LGBT adults say they encountered cyber bullying, as compared to 20 percent of all adults.

“Once again, data confirms that LGBT people– as students and adults– are more likely to face bullying than their peers,” Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director, said.

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,219 U.S. adults online between February 17 and 22, 2016.

Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Of the 2,219, 2,011 indicated they are heterosexual. 150 self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

The spread of school bullying

In the survey, LGBT people related not only greater number of incidents of experienced bullying, they also gave recollections of bullying others.

Nearly a quarter or 24 percent of LGBT respondents stated that they also bullied someone else while they were in school, compared with 10 percent of all adults.

In this case, those who were bullied themselves were three times as likely as those who weren’t bullied to admit that they bullied someone else.

“It’s not surprising to learn that some individuals, including LGBT people who often are targets, can be found in both camps– as victims and also as perpetrators of bullying,” said Bob Witeck, President of Witeck Communications.

“Research suggests that hostile climates can reinforce vicious cycles of hurtful behaviors,” Witeck added.

Causes of LGBT school bullying

Among the frequent reasons cited for LGBT bullying in school include:

  • Social awkwardness 64% (53% non-LGBT)
  • Sexual orientation 53% (21% non-LGBT)
  • Unusual qualities such as interests, fashion 52% (31% non-LGBT)
  • Race/ethnicity 43% (33% non-LGBT)
  • Non-conformance to gender stereotypes 39% (17% non-LGBT)
  • Gender identity 26% (13% non-LGBT)
  • “Over our 25 years of work, we have made progress in reducing the extreme rates of bullying, harassment and violence that LGBT students face daily, but we must continue to close the gap,” Dr. Byard said of GLSEN’s efforts.

    “With every GLSEN program, initiative and campaign, our ultimate goal remains the same – we seek to ensure that the next generation of LGBT adults will report having had fewer experiences of bullying in childhood, and a greater climate of respect for all in their everyday lives,” she added.

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