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Homophobic Bullying Among Sexually Questioning and LGBT Adolescents (page 2)

— Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Apr 6, 2011

Peer Pressure Plays a Major Role in Homophobic Bullying

Peers assume perhaps the most instrumental role in promoting homophobic banter.    Poteat (2008) found that individuals who belonged to aggressive peer groups reported increases in their use of homophobic epithets over time.  Students with friends who held negative attitudes toward GBLT youth reported an increase in calling other students, “gay,” “faggot,” or “lesbo.”  

Positive Support from Parents and Teachers is Critical

It is clear from the research that much work still needs to be done in order to create more tolerant and safe schools for all children, especially those youth are starting to question their sexual orientation. 

  • These studies suggest that homophobic teasing is commonly experienced by all youth with administrators and teachers condoning it through denial and perhaps their own heterosexist attitudes. 
  • It has also been established that peers contribute to the exacerbation of homophobic teasing. 
  • However, the picture is not completely negative.
  • Questioning and LGBT students who have supportive schools and parents are protected from the negative effects of experiencing homophobic teasing.

References

American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. (1993). Hostile hallways:The AAUW survey on sexual harassment in America's schools (No. 923012). Washington, DC: Harris/Scholastic Research.

American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. (2001). Hostile hallways: Sexual harassment and bullying in schools. Washington, DC: Harris/Scholastic Research.

Bahr, M. W., Brish, B., & Croteau, J. M. (2000). Addressing sexual orientation and professional ethics in the training of school psychologists in school and university settings. The School Psychology Review, 29, 217-230.

Blackburn, M. V. (2005). Agency in borderland discourses: Examining language use in a community center with black queer youth. Teachers College Record, 107, 89-113.

Espelage, D.L., Aragon, S. R., Birkett, M., & Koenig, B.W. (2008).  Homophobic teasing,psychological outcomes, and sexual orientation among high school students: Whatinfluence do parents and schools have? In S.M. Swearer & D.L. Espelage (Eds.), Sexual orientation, homophobia, and bullying during adolescence [Special issue].  School Psychology Review, 37.  

GLSEN and Harris Interactive (2008). The Principal’s Perspective: School Safety, Bullying andHarassment, A Survey of Public School Principals. New York: GLSEN.

Harris Interactive and GLSEN (2005). From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, A Survey of Students and Teachers. New York: GLSEN.

Kimmel, M. S., & Mahler, M. (2003). Adolescent masculinity, homophobia, and violence. American Behavioral Scientist, 465, 1439-1458.

Poteat, V.P. (2008). Contextual and moderating effects of the peer group climate on use of homophobic epithets. In S.M. Swearer & D.L. Espelage (Eds.), Sexual orientation, homophobia, and bullying during adolescence [Special issue].  School Psychology Review, 37.  

Rivers, I., & Noret, N. (2008). Well-being among same-sex and opposite-sex attracted youth at school. In S.M. Swearer & D.L. Espelage (Eds.), Sexual orientation, homophobia, and bullying during adolescence [Special issue].  School Psychology Review, 37.  

Rivers, I. (2001). The bullying of sexual minorities at school: Its nature and long-term     correlates. Educational & Child Psychology, 18(1), 33-46.Thompson & Sharp, 1998.

Savin-Williams, R. C., & Ream, G. L. (2003). Suicide attempts among sexual-minority male youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 509-522.

Savin-Williams, R. C. (2001). Mom, dad. I'm gay. How families negotiate coming out. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Stein, N. (1995). Sexual harassment in K-12 schools: The public performance of gendered violence. Harvard Educational Review, Special Issue: Violence and Youth, 65(2), 145-162.

Swearer, S.M., Turner, R.K., Givens, J.E., & Pollack, W.S. (2008). “You’re so gay!:” Do different forms of bullying matter for adolescent males? In S.M. Swearer & D.L. Espelage (Eds.), Sexual orientation, homophobia, and bullying during adolescence [Special issue].  School Psychology Review, 37.  

Tozer, E., & Hayes, J. A. (2004). Why do individuals seek conversion therapy? The role of religiosity, internalized homonegativity, and identity development. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 716-740.

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