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LGBT Bullying Facts and Information

Updated/Revised Date: 17th Jul 2022
Author: Sexual Diversity | Contact:
Additional References: Sexual Bullying Publications

Synopsis: Information pertaining to sexual bullying and harassment, including helpful fact sheets, and tips on reporting and stopping bully behavior and harassment.


Sexual Bullying

Sexual bullying is defined as any bullying behavior, whether physical or non-physical, based on a person's sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls towards other boys or girls - although it is more commonly directed at girls. It can be carried out to a person's face, behind their back, or through technology. Sexual harassment and sexual bullying are very similar; they involve unwelcome or unwanted sexual comments, attention, or physical contact. Sexual bullying doesn't just happen to girls. Boys can harass girls, but girls also can harass guys; guys may harass other guys, and girls may harass other girls.

Main Section

Defining Other Bullying Terms


The use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.

The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences in social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size, or ability. If a group does bullying, it is called mobbing. "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying.

Sexual Harassment

Harassment can happen anywhere but is most common in the workplace and schools. It involves unwanted and unwelcome words, deeds, actions, gestures, symbols, or behaviors of a sexual nature that make the target feel uncomfortable. Gender and sexual orientation harassment fall into this family. Involving children, "gay" or "homo" is a common insult falling into this category. The main focus of groups working against sexual harassment is protection for women, but protection for men is coming to light in recent years.


Can be the use of sexual words to put someone down, like calling someone a slut, a slag, or gay, or spreading rumors about someone's alleged sex life. In its most extreme form, it can be inappropriate touching, sexual assault, or even rape.

UK charity Beatbullying has claimed that children are being bullied into providing sexual favors in exchange for protection as gang culture enters inner-city schools.

Gay Bullying

Gay Bashing - Expressions used to designate verbal or physical actions that are direct or indirect by a person or group against a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), of questionable sexual orientation, or one who is perceived to be so, because of rumors or fitting gay stereotypes. Gay and lesbian youth are more likely to report bullying.

Relational Aggression

Mean girl bullying, Covert aggression, Covert bullying - Relational aggression is a type of bullying. Bullying, in general, is defined as physically or psychologically violent re-occurring and not provoked acts where the bully and victim have the unequal physical strength or/and psychological power. Relational aggression has been primarily observed and studied among girls. This non-physical form of aggression among adolescent girls includes gossiping, rumor spreading, exclusion and rejection. Relational aggression can lead to tragic and sometimes fatal outcomes. Relational aggression creates a hostile social environment in schools and affects girls' ability to learn and grow. Three groups are involved in relational aggression: the aggressor or bully, the victim, and the bystander.

Cyber Bullying

Any bullying done through the use of technology. This form of bullying can easily go undetected because of a lack of parental/authoritative supervision. Because bullies can pose as someone else, it is the most anonymous form of bullying. Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, abuse using email, instant messaging, text messaging, websites, social networking sites, etc.

In a study of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, those experiencing both cyber and school bullying were most likely to engage in aggressive and suicidal behaviors. However, bullied youth who felt connected to an adult at school were not more likely to report such behaviors.

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Latest Sexual Bullying Publications

The above information is from our reference library of material relating to Sexual Bullying that includes:

Greater Adolescent Empathy Helps Prevent Bias-Based Cyberbullying thumbnail image.
Florida Atlantic University study first to explore empathy types in early U.S. adolescents and the relationship to online bullying.
Publish Date: 8th Aug 2022 - Updated: 5th Jan 2023
Romantic Relationships Buffer Gay and Lesbian Youth from Emotional Distress thumbnail image.
Lesbian and gay youth showed significantly less psychological distress and were buffered against the negative effects of bullying and victimization when they were in a relationship.
Publish Date: 15th Feb 2018
Opinion: Sexual Harassment: Doing Nothing Not an Option thumbnail image.
While the current discussions of sexual harassment have raised awareness for many, it will be meaningless unless it results in a change of behavior.
Publish Date: 21st Dec 2017
Resilience to Adversity Determines if Children Survive or Thrive When Bullied thumbnail image.
Article looks at whether there is a major personal characteristic or trait that buffers and protects kids against internalizing the harm intended through bullying and cyberbullying.
Publish Date: 15th Oct 2017
Sexism in Sexual Assault Study - This Time Men Are The Target thumbnail image.
Study debunks long-standing theory that sexual assault is not as emotionally traumatizing for men as it is for women.
Publish Date: 9th Aug 2017

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Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

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• (APA): (2022, July 17). LGBT Bullying Facts and Information. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from

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