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GLSEN Factors Contributing to Hostile School Climate for Gay Youth
pretty interesting article in a study from GLSEN on factors contributing to bad school environments for LGBT kids. thoughts?
Groundbreaking research, conducted by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), examining how regional, community-level and school-district level variables relate to hostile school climates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth has been published in the August issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. The article reveals that youth in rural and impoverished areas face increased levels of bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN Research Director Joseph Kosciw, PhD, also serves as a guest editor for the issue, co-authoring a special introduction that explores new research on LGBT youth.
Using data from GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey, a national survey of 6,209 LGBT secondary school students, the article demonstrates that LGBT youth in rural communities, communities with higher poverty and communities with lower adult educational attainment may face particularly hostile school climates.
"Although LGBT youth as a whole face hostile school environments, findings from this study demonstrate that LGBT youth are not a monolithic group - their experiences differ depending upon their individual characteristics, their location, and the characteristics of their community," said Dr. Kosciw. "These findings highlight the importance of considering the multiple contexts that LGBT youth inhabit, particularly as they pertain to educational experiences."
- Although there were high incidences of victimization of LGBT youth irrespective of region or locale, for LGBT youth, schools in rural communities were the more unsafe than schools in urban or suburban areas.
- LGBT youth in higher poverty communities reported more victimization in school because of sexual orientation and gender expression than those in more affluent communities. Yet, they were less likely to hear homophobic remarks - both homophobic epithets and remarks using "gay" in a derogatory manner.
- LGBT youth in communities with a higher proportion of college graduates were less likely to hear homophobic remarks or experience victimization based on sexual orientation.
- Regional differences in tolerance and acceptance levels appear to be related to other community-level factors, such as educational attainment and income.
GLSEN research experts have been interviewed for numerous media outlets in almost every region of the country. They make the case that anti-LGBT bullying and harassment is a pervasive problem in America's schools and offer evidence-based solutions that can help improve school climate for all students.