According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to say that they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school than their peers. And a 2005 study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, said that appearance was the number one reason for bullying, while the actual or assumed sexual orientation or gender identity of a student was the second most common.
Now, GLSEN has released a new study showing the states where students get harassed the most for their sexual orientation: the 2013 National School Climate Survey, which asked nearly 8,000 students aged 13 to 21 about their school lives. And more than 55% of those asked said they felt unsafe due to their sexual orientation.
On top of that, 74.1% of LGBTQ students were verbally harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation and 55.2% because of their gender expression. 36.2% were physically harassed because of their sexual orientation and 22.7% because of their gender expression. 16.5% were physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and 11.4% because of their gender expression.
But GLSEN just took things a step farther. They recently released more information about what the survey looks like by each state. Plus, they also released snapshots for 29 states. And while this is clearly a serious problem that all states need to address, there are obviously some states where this is a bigger problem than others. How does your state do?
South Carolina, for example, had the largest percentage of LGBTQ students who reported facing verbal harassment or assault in the past year: 87%. 48% of those questioned in Tennessee, meanwhile, reported experiencing physical harassment. And, 28% of those asked in Alabama reported experiencing physical assault.
Bullying in the LGBTQ community is a huge problem no matter where you are, but this survey gives us a better perspective on what’s going on where.