Bullying of lesbian and gay youth: a qualitative investigation

Case Studies & Research
17 p.
Periodical title
British Journal of Social Work, 39, 1598-1614

The preponderance of bullying research does not address sexual orientation as a possible factor. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of service providers and youth advocates working with lesbian and gay communities in order to increase understanding of bullying of lesbian and gay youth. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine key informants from various education and social service settings. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive data analysis was conducted using a constant comparative method. Six major categories emerged: prevalence, sites and perpetrators, institutional and community factors, effects of bullying, and barriers as well as strategies to address bullying. Several dimensions of bullying that may be specific to lesbian and gay youth (e.g. pervasiveness across their social ecology and risks to coming-out; sexual prejudice in the media; and ‘conversion bullying’) suggest the importance of investigations to support development of targeted, multi-sectoral interventions.

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