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Bullying Among LGBT Youth

Sensitive research carried out recently discovered that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults who experience high levels of school victimization in middle and high school degrees testify damaged physical and mental health including suicide attempts, depressions that need medical attention, sexually transmitted diseases and risk for HIV.  Initially, these cases were reported but there were no actions taken. Several professionals under this field also neglected to address the situation and it greatly affected the youths in high and middle school levels. Nevertheless, there have been a number of studies carried out to address the situation and come up with solutions to the aggravating situations on adolescents in schools. The government is also trying to come up with a permanent solution to such actions. The ultimate aim of this study is to examine the LGBT bullying among the young adults across United States who are affected by such harassments. Thus, the paper describes a research done by involving the adolescent learners from both middle and high school levels using questionnaires that were supplied to various students.

Hypothesis

It is anticipated that the following hypothesis may be the outcomes of the LGBT study;

  • There is an increase in the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases and infection of HIV/AIDS due to LGBT bullying that has recently been reported to increase among the adolescent.
  • The adolescent bullied by the LGBT practice get extremely depressed and might think of doing something unpleasant like committing suicide
  • Such adolescents also feel unworthy in the society and lead unhappy and unpleasant life

Methods

Research was carried out using questionnaires that were issued to 100 students from various schools in New York region. The questionnaire contained the most relevant questions that address the LGBT situation that has recently been noted to affect majority of the youths in numerous institutions in United States and other regions in the world. Gender was highly considered while distributing the questionnaires where fifty were issued to girls while the other fifty were issued to the boys all at the adolescent stage.

Findings

The response by the adolescent students on the questionnaires was good because out of the 100 questionnaires, 90 were fully responded to with relevant information while 10 of them were partially answered with fairly relevant information. Three major findings were noted:

  • Several young adults at adolescent stage fall victims of LGBT in the society due to increased rates of such sexual behaviors.
  • Most of the young adults who are sexually harassed in terms of LGBT were much depressed and were most likely to commit suicide while some of them were attempting to take away their lives. Around 60 percent of the LGBT victims were more likely to report a suicide attempt that required medical attention.
  • More than 50 percent of the LGBT victimization adolescence are reported to be diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases and heavily at risk for HIV infection
  • Gay and bisexual males and the transgender young adults reported higher degrees of LGBT school victimization than lesbian and bisexual young women.
  • The LGBT young adults who gave an account for lower degrees of school victimization testified higher degrees of self-esteem, social integration and life satisfaction in comparison to the adolescents with higher degrees of school victimization during the adolescent period.

 

Discussion

According to the recent studies, it is clear that the LGBT bullying actually exists in middle and high schools today. Besides, there is neglect by the teachers and authorities when such cases are reported to them. However, although bullying is done in both sexes, it is evident that men are the more affected compared to women. In fact, physical bullying is the most common form of harassment on the adolescent boys as far as sexual behaviors are concerned. Males found under these distinct groups are often assaulted, beaten and threatened that they will be killed. Verbally, they have been called names like ‘fagot’ which affects the victims emotionally. This usually leads to long term effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Moreover, the outcome of the study shows that the LGBT bullied students encounter several devastating effects on their physical and mental beings. For example, the mental health of these adolescents is affected in two main ways. First, gay and lesbian youths are at an increased risk since their distress is a direct outcome of prejudice and hatred that surrounds them. Note that this does not happen because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation but through hatred and extreme dislike by the bullies. Lastly, gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults are three times more likely to have a shot on suicide than their heterosexual counterparts are. Therefore, such actions make the victims to leave in constant depression and fear of being abused thus performing poorly in school and in other activities. The constant depression and fear makes the young adults to view their lives as unworthy thus end up committing suicide. To make it worse, most of the adolescent have been successful in taking away their own lives due to LGBT harassment yet the relevant authorities are doing nothing to stop this behavior.

According to the recent statistics reported in the study by Caroline Cassels, the adolescents are extremely affected by the bullying process based on their sex. After such harassment, the young adults develop complicated health difficulties. One of the health risks discussed in the research is post-traumatic stress disorder. This is caused by the emotional stress they undergo due to verbal bullying. Moreover, in order to reduce their distress, the youths usually engage in bad behaviors like using drugs such as cocaine, bang, cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. These youths start using drugs when they are at a very young age as a form of reducing stress related issues caused by bullying from the other students. As a result, the adolescents end up destroying their health lives since these drugs have massive effects on the health of an individual. Moreover, their education progress and performance deteriorates and the next thing that rings in their minds is to quit school. Several  institutions tend to hide these issues since they do not want the institution to be exposed and spoil its reputation thus living the youths to face difficult times all by their own (Cassels, p6).  This is clearly proved by Cassels where she discussed that people ignore the issue and yet a generation is going down in drain. She has indicated that the parents and the teachers are neglecting the youth who are being bullied sexually in terms of LGBT leading to health risks. Although the institutions neglect the situations of the students, the general performance of the schools go on deteriorating and the worst thing is that they are still doing nothing to save the situation. The study also indicates that if teachers and the authorities do not take necessary actions, a whole section of a generation might be wasted. Therefore, they must do something to save the situation.

Historical Precedent of LGBT Bullying

Just as mentioned, the issue did not start in the recent past, it was there in the early twentieth century. Based on a study by Valarie Lehr, the LGBT bullying among the youths has not just begun but it started long time back in early 1920s. During that period, different youths used to hide themselves due to the discrimination they would get from their peers and adults. These ancient days’ behaviors were believed to be a taboo in the society whereby it was believed to be illegal for any person engaging in such sexual behaviors. The people who practiced the behaviors bullied all sorts of individuals who came their way thus causing different health risks. The problem is that the people ignored the main problem and instead they resulted in bullying and discriminating the involved participants. This means that they ignored all the rules of the society and engaged in LGBT behaviors, to make it worse, they forced other innocent individuals to participate in it. Nevertheless, the fact that it was a taboo to practice such behaviors made the LGBT bullying to be somewhat suppressed in comparison to what is examined today.

Therefore, it is clear that there is a relationship among the studies done by different scholars. For example, both of them address the ancient situation of LGBT bullying and the general effects of LGBT harassment on adolescents in schools. Moreover, both researches address similar theories concerning the LGBT behaviors. Nevertheless, the methods used in collecting the information in Cassels’ and Lehr’s are different from each other. Lehr has used historical sources to collect the different information. The different data used varies from secondary sources from other research articles to primary sources such as the history books that were being written in the past. Cassels on the other hand carried out the study by employing the questionnaire method to gather information where different victims were interviewed to give helpful information to the researcher.

Conclusion

            In a society, there are various behaviors that the society lives by and deems them acceptable. On the other hand, the people who decide to go against these set of behaviors are seen as outcast in the society. In the current society, there are several individuals who disobey and disrespect the standards of the society by practicing un-respectful behaviors like LGBT bullying especially among the adolescents and end up harming them in one way or the other. Statistics indicates that different youths in different institutions are bullied on a daily basis. In the process, different forms of bullying are used such as physical, verbal and cybernetic. Nevertheless, the authorities only see and try to stop the physical bullying but fail to understand or deal with cybernetic and verbal bullying. As a result, the victims of this problem may be prone to health risks like acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, developing depression and being at risk of HIV and AIDS disease.

            The best thing to do to save the situation is that the schools have to offer safe and respectful learning environment for all the students. Any form of LGBT harassment reported by these students has to be examined keenly and proper action taken to the bullies in order to stop the behaviors. The society must as well be taught on the essence of practicing good behaviors in the community in order to end such practices. Therefore, the government must be on alert as far as GLBT bullying is concerned.