Bisexual, gay and lesbian youth are more likely than their straight peers to be punished by their school or the criminal justice system for the same transgressions.
In an analysis of the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, teenagers attracted to people of the same sex were 41 percent more likely to be expelled from school and 42 percent more likely to be convicted of a crime as an adult, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.
The study highlights the extent of bias and intimidation experienced by non-heterosexual teens, study author Kathryn Himmelstein said.
Some suicides of gay teenagers, including that of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, have been linked to peer bullying.
It appears that bias against gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers extends to adults as well, Himmelstein said.
“It’s not just kids who are bullying, adults are stacking the deck,” said Himmelstein, who is now a high school teacher in New York.
The paper was completed when she was an undergraduate at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
The differences weren’t explained by greater participation by gay and lesbian teenagers in illegal behaviors or actions that violated rules, the paper found.
The research also found that gay and lesbian teenagers were 38 percent more likely to be stopped by the police, compared with heterosexual teenagers, and 53 percent more likely if they identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Research has shown that gay and lesbian teenagers are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide. Suicides of students such as Clementi, who was a freshman at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, have sparked campaigns against bullying.
Clementi plunged from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on Sept. 22, three days after live video of a sexual encounter between him and -another man was transmitted on the Internet, according to Middlesex County, New Jersey, prosecutor Bruce Kaplan. Two people were charged with invasion of privacy in the incident.
In October, the US Department of Education said schools that don’t address the bullying of gay students may lose government funds for failing to enforce gender-discrimination laws.
Himmelstein and co-author Hannah Bruckner, a sociology professor at Yale, analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 20,745 teenagers in grades 7 through 12 in the US from 1994 to 1995 and a follow-up, of 15,197 young adults, from 2001 to 2002.
People who work with adolescents need to be aware of the challenges that face gay teenagers, Himmelstein said.
“Institutions need to design policies for treating all youth fairly and equally,” she said.
In a separate report, San Francisco State University researchers found that an accepting family significantly lowered the risk of suicide attempts, substance abuse and depression in gay teenagers, according to a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around