Examining the Effects of Victimization on the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Youth
Kahle, Lindsay Leann
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Youth violence has garnered the attention of researchers and policy makers alike, because of the unique risk factors associated with victimization and the poor physical, mental, and educational outcomes that stem from such experiences. In particular, sexual minority youth--those who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or who have sexual contact with persons of the same or both sexes (CDC, 2016)--are among those most at risk for victimization. Research that highlights and addresses these issues is crucial. This study utilizes the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data in order to investigate different forms of victimization and their consequences in lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) youth. Drawing from a sample of 12,642 9th-12th grade youth, this study investigates the prevalence of bullying, homophobic bullying, dating violence and sexual assault, as well their effects on school avoidance, poor mental health, and substance use outcomes. Results reveal that differences do, in fact, exist between sexual minority and heterosexual youth, where LGBQ youth experience higher rates of every type of victimization, and are more likely to report school avoidance, depression, suicidality, and substance use. Furthermore, this study also investigates the intersections of sexual orientation and gender, and finds that females who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning are most at risk for every type of victimization. Findings highlight the need for recognition of the importance of sexual orientation and gender in youth victimization, and the need for policy that explicitly outlines protections for sexual minority youth within the school environment, as well as services extended to victims of IPV.
- Doctoral Dissertations