Bullying Targets Lesbian, Gay Teens
Lesbian and Gay Teens Are Three Times More Likely to Report Being Bullied Than Other Teens
March 30, 2007 -- A study on teen bullying shows that lesbian and gay teens
are three times more likely than heterosexual teens to report being
"It's clear that sexual minority youth are a population vulnerable to
bullying," researcher Elise Berlan, MD, says in a news release.
"This needs to be addressed, particularly in schools," says Berlan,
who works in the adolescent medicine division of Children's Hospital
She and her colleagues studied more than 7,500 U.S. youths who were 14-22
years old (average age: 17) in 2001.
Participants completed surveys in 2001 about bullying and their sexual
In the surveys, they described their feelings of attraction as completely
heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly homosexual, completely
homosexual, or unsure.
Berlan's team excluded data from participants who were uncertain of their
Among the youths studied, 90% described themselves as "completely
heterosexual," another 8% called themselves "mostly heterosexual,"
and about 1% called themselves bisexual.
The researchers combined the "mostly homosexual" and "completely
homosexual" responses into one lesbian/gay category. About 1% of the
participants were in that group.
Lesbian or gay participants were three times as likely as heterosexual youth
to report having been bullied.
In contrast, lesbian or gay youth were about 80% less likely than
heterosexuals to say they had bullied someone, the researchers note.
The findings were presented in Denver on March 28 at the Society for
Adolescent Medicine's annual meeting.