LGBT Youth More Likely to Experience Abuse and Bullying, Says New Study


Young people who self-identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to experience bullying, sexual abuse and parental physical abuse, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.  As a result, LGBT youth are also more likely to miss school.

Study co-author Mark S. Friedman, Ph.D., told ScienceDaily that this abuse is one of the underlying reasons for higher rates of mental illness among LGBT youth.

"However,” Friedman said, “I cannot stress enough that these youth experience sexual and physical abuse and bullying because they identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual or experience same-sex attraction; abuse does not 'cause' sexual orientation or identification."

A number of studies had previously been conducted on this topic but were limited in size.  Friedman and co-authors conducted a meta-analysis of the previous data that provided more accurate results.

The full study is available by subscription only but you can read more at ScienceDaily.


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Ryan Schill

Ryan Schill is the editor of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism.