Gay teens, young adults more likely to be bullied

January 30th, 2010 - 5:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 30 (ANI): A new American research suggests that gay teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable to bullying than their counterparts.

The study found that bullying rates more than tripled for lesbians, while bisexuals reported being bullied more often.

Researchers discovered that bisexual girls were more likely to be bullies themselves whereas gay males were much less likely to bully others.

The study team came up with their findings from a 2001 survey of 7,559 children of female registered nurses.

Although, the study does not prove that being gay or bisexual is directly responsible for causing people to be bullied or to turn into bullies, it does point out the size of the bullying problem, showing that it is not limited to grade school.

Lead author Elise Berlan, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said the research shows that “kids who are different - who are perceived as weak and falling out of the mainstream - are more vulnerable to bullying.

“It’s really important to have some documentation about what the experiences of our kids are.”

The participants in the study were aged between 14 and 22.

Out of 2,720 males, 93.5percent said they were heterosexual, 4.5percent said they were mostly heterosexual and 0.5percent said they were bisexual. The other 1.4percent said they were mostly or completely homosexual.

Among the 4,839 females, 88.3percent said they were heterosexual, 9.5 percent said they were mostly heterosexual, 1.9 percent said they were bisexual and 0.3percent said they were mostly or completely heterosexual.

Compared to completely heterosexual kids, all these groups were more likely to have experienced bullying except for bisexual girls. Gay males, mostly or completely gay, had double the risk after the study team adjusted the statistics for factors like age and race.

Before the statistics were adjusted, 44percent of mostly or completely gay males and 26percent of completely heterosexual males said they had been bullied.

Fifteen females, who were completely or mostly homosexual, were over three times more likely to be bullied, while bisexual females were 2.4 times more likely to report bullying others.

The findings of the study have been published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. (ANI)

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