LGBT Bullying Facts and Information

Bullying - 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 by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can 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 of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying.

Sexual Bullying - Any bullying behavior, whether physical or non-physical, that is 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 the use of technology. Sexual harassment and sexual bullying are very similar, they both 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.

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.

Beatbullying - 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, have 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 in nature by a person or group against a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT), or 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, according 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 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 social environment in schools that is hostile and affects a girl's 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 lack of parental/authoritative supervision. Because bullies can pose as someone else, it is the most anonymous form of bullying. Cyber bullying 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.

School Connectedness Can Help Bullied Gay and Bisexual Youth

"In recent years, clubs such as Gay-Straight Alliances have played an integral role in creating safer environments in schools. These efforts are often student-led with the guidance of only a handful of adult advisors; however, our study highlights just how important adults are in buffering sexual minority youth from bullying's consequences," states Jeffrey Duong, lead author of the Journal of School Health study.

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