A Nationwide Children’s Hospital study states that openly homosexual teenagers are two to three times more likely to be bullied than heterosexual teenagers.
Even though many adolescents are experiencing this violence, it is more likely to occur in teenagers who do not fit under the “social norm.” Those who do not fit under that norm are highly vulnerable to loneliness, harassment and even discrimination, such as bullying, according to a research study available online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. It also showed that many older adolescents are being bullied.
Researchers studied and focused on the correlation between sexual orientation and bullying through the GUTS (Growing Up Today Study), an on-going study of teenagers in the United States. Pulling in over 7,500 adolescents, researchers revealed youth who openly admitted to being gay or lesbian were less likely to bully others and much more likely to be bullied by heterosexual teenagers.
Elise Berlan, MD, author and physician in Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has a very strong opinion on the issue.
“Parents should also take time to communicate with their children about sensitive topics such as sexuality, peer relations and violence,” Berlan said. “Students, parents, schools and community organizations can work to create environments that are supportive and accepting of all students, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
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