New Study Proves Gay & Bisexual Kids Are Victims of Bullying More Than Heterosexual Kids

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It may not come as a surprise that gay and bisexual kids are bullied more, but the results of a new study go much deeper than what is assumed on the surface.

Reuters reports that lesbian, gay, and bisexual kids are 91% more likely to be bullied and 46% more likely to be victimized than heterosexual kids. The study included interviews with 4,268 students (all of unknown sexual orientations) who were fifth graders in Alabama, Texas or California.

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The students were asked questions regarding current social and physical bullying, and were considered “bullied” if they were harmed at least weekly. They were then interviewed in grades seven and 10 and asked about their sexual orientation and attractions.

Overall, 21% of 10th grade girls and 8% of boys reported some attraction to members of the same sex. The study also drew attention to the fact that, in general, bullying decreases as age increases, but that it still happened more often to lesbian, gay and bisexual kids than heterosexual kids.

Dr. Mark Schuster, the lead author of the research letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine, said “Bullying in general — as has been reported by others — decreases as kids go through school, but the disparity does not.” Schuster also speculated on why gay, lesbian and bisexual kids are at a greater risk for bullying, explaining that some kids might be viewed as “gender variant” by their peers — meaning other students don’t see the girls as “girly” enough and the boys as masculine enough.

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Schuster also acknowledges that family upbringing is most important when dealing with issues such as bullying. He encourages parents to stray away from mocking LGBT individuals, because they may be setting a poor example for their children. 

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