LGBT Youth Face Pervasive But Decreasing Harassment, Says GLSEN Study

GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey found that while LGBT students still face substantial barriers to equality, incidents of harassment due to sexual orientation are on the decline.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

September 06 2012 3:50 PM ET

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network Wednesday released its annual National School Climate Survey, finding that while LGBT youth still face pervasive harassment in schools, 2011 saw a significant decrease in the number of assaults based on perceived sexual orientation. 

"The 2011 survey marks a possible turning point in the school experiences of LGBT youth," said GLSEN senior director of research and strategic initiatives Joseph Kosciw. "But an alarming number of LGBT youth still face barriers that inhibit their ability to receive an education. And although we have seen an increase in school supports that can improve school climate for these youth, many of these young people reported being unable to access these supports in their schools."

The study, which surveyed more than 8,500 students from all 50 states, also found that in 2011, 81.9% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation. Almost 39% reported being physically harassed, and 18.3% reported being physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation.

Keeping with current data trends, almost two thirds of students whose gender does not conform to strict stereotypical presentations reported being verbally harassed. Some 27% of students reported being physically harassed in school as a result of their perceived gender identity.

Read more about the results here

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