Study: LGBT Students Twice As Likely To Experience Bullying, Dating Violence

Study Is A Chance To Raise Awareness, Activist Says

School hallway

An advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Wisconsin says a new national report is a chance to raise awareness about the struggles LGBT students face.

According to a study released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBT high schoolers are more than twice as likely to experience physical and sexual dating violence and are nearly twice as likely to be bullied online or at school compared to their straight peers

Chelsea O’Neil Karcher, executive director for the nonprofit GSAFE, which works to improve school conditions for LGBT students, said the CDC report, “Thankfully shines light on, I think, the urgencies of working with schools and families and communities to address the disparities that are faced by LGBT youth.”

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Increasing societal acceptance can lead to misconceptions about the experiences of LGBT people, she said.

“What we find is that there’s still a really high prevalence and intensity of homophobic attitudes and beliefs,” Karcher said. “As well as kind of a general cultural acceptance of bullying and violence toward the LGBT community.”

Karcher said the results of the study aren’t shocking to people working with LGBT students. But, she believes that a national spotlight on results will hold communities responsible.

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