School violence and bullying among sexual minority high school students, 2009-2011.J Adolesc Health. 2014 Sep; 55(3):432-8.JA
School-based victimization has short- and long-term implications for the health and academic lives of sexual minority students. This analysis assessed the prevalence and relative risk of school violence and bullying among sexual minority and heterosexual high school students.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 10 states and 10 large urban school districts that assessed sexual identity and had weighted data in the 2009 and/or 2011 cycle were combined to create two large population-based data sets, one containing state data and one containing district data. Prevalence of physical fighting, being threatened or injured with a weapon, weapon carrying, and being bullied on school property and not going to school because of safety concerns was calculated. Associations between these behaviors and sexual identity were identified.
In the state data, sexual minority male students were at greater risk for being threatened or injured with a weapon, not going to school because of safety concerns and being bullied than heterosexual male students. Sexual minority female students were at greater risk than heterosexual female students for all five behaviors. In the district data, with one exception, sexual minority male and female students were at greater risk for all five behaviors than heterosexual students.
Sexual minority students still routinely experience more school victimization than their heterosexual counterparts. The implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based programs and policies has the ability to reduce school violence and bullying, especially among sexual minority students.