Study: 51% of LGBT Youth Have Been Verbally Harassed at School

The Human Rights Campaign recently released “Growing Up LGBT in America,” a study of 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people and straight youth ages 13-17. The study is the largest known survey of LGBT youth. A major finding of the study was that LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked, or shoved at school. More than one-half of LGBT youth (54 percent) say they have been verbally harassed and called names involving anti-gay slurs.

Other highlights of the research include:

  • LGBT youth are more than two times as likely as non-LGBT youth to say they have been verbally harassed and called names at school. Among LGBT youth, half (51%) have been verbally harassed at school, compared to 25% among non-LGBT students.
  • Among non-LGBT youth, 67% report being happy while only 37% of LGBT youth say they are happy.
  •  Among LGBT youth, about a third (29%) disagreed with the statement “There is at least one adult I can talk to about my personal problems” while only 17% of the non-LGBT youth disagreed with it.
  • Over half (52%) of LGBT youth say they have used alcohol and drugs while only 22% of non-LGBT youth say they have.
  • LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. Among LGBT youth, 17% report they have been physically attacked often while 10% of their peers say the same.

What is the most difficult problem facing you in your life these days?

LGBT Youth

  • My parents/family not accepting 26%
  • Trouble at school/Bullying 21%
  • Afraid to be out/open 18%
  • Eating disorders/Self-harm/Depression/Suicide 14%
  • General being LGBT 12%
  • Trouble with classes 9%
  • Lonely 7%
  • Religion leading to lack of acceptance 6%
  • Problems in romantic relationship 6%
  • Concerns about college/money for college 6%
  • Confused about sexuality 5%
  • Finding a partner/Accepting partner 5%
  • Drama 3%
  • Nobody to date 2%
  • Other 4%
  • Don’t know/Refused 1%

Non-LGBT Youth

  • Trouble with classes/Exams/Grades 22%
  • College and career decisions 17%
  • Financial problems/Paying for college/Getting a job 14%
  • Family stress/Pressure 10%
  • Life balance 8%
  • General stress 5%
  • Want a boyfriend/Girlfriend/Boy/Girl problems 5%
  • Family illness/death 3%
  • Problems with lack of friends/Social life 3%
  • Bipolar/Depression/Eating disorders/Anxiety 3%
  • Injuries 2%
  • I don’t have any difficult problems 2%
  • Problems in romantic relationships 1%
  • Drugs/Drinking 1%
  • Other 15%
  • Don’t know/ Refused 1%

Read the full report.

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