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One In 10 Florida Girls Sexually Assaulted, LGB Face Greater Risk

Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center
Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center

One in five bisexual girls of middle and high school age reported a forced sexual encounter, according to a new report.

A new study shows 1 in 10 middle and high school girls has been raped, with queer girls particularly at risk.

Research released today by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center shows 20 percent of bisexual girls in the Sunshine State report forced sexual encounters, as do 14 percent of girls questioning their sexual identity. About 12 percent of lesbians report being victimized in a rape, compared to 6 percent of straight girls.

The study also found significant racial and ethnic disparities, with the Native Hawaiian population particularly at risk. There, 20 percent of girls reported being raped compared to 17 percent of Native Americans, 9 percent of whites and Hispanics, 8 percent of Blacks and 3 percent Asians.

The study found 18 percent of Florida girls had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Again, this statistic showed particular risk for LBQ girls, with a third who identify as gay/lesbian, bisexual or unsure of their orientation reporting suicide ideation. That was three times the rate of heterosexual peers.

The study shows that the LBQ category includes roughly 22 percent of girls growing up in the state of Florida.

"There were greater disparities amonh this group for sexual and physical victimization, suicide ideation and attempts," reads the executive summary regarding the queer population.

The study was part of the "See The Girl" series on the status of girls growing up in Florida, according to Florida Politics.

Researchers Vanessa Patino Lydia and Vinessa Gordon note in their report that girls who endure rape and sexual violence grow up at greater risk of depression and drug abuse, problems that also plague the LGBTQ community as a whole at greater rates than the population at large.

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