Wednesday, March 18, 2009

GLSEN puts out first study dealing specifically with anti-trans bullying

My old workplace, GLSEN, just put out a study called Harsh Realities. This is GLSEN's first study dealing specifically with bullying against transgender students. But this is not GLSEN's first act for transgender equality.

GLSEN - The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network - focuses on the issue of school bullying against students for their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Focus on "gender identity and gender expression" includes focus on students who identify as "transgender", "gender-variant", or some other label or non-label. So GLSEN has been long in the business of fighting anti-trans bullying. But the Harsh Realities is the first comprehensive study focusing specifically on that. The past studies have exposed anti-gay, anti-trans, and other related prejudices as a whole phenomenon. But Harsh Realities zeroes in on transgender students specifically and how bullying aginst them differs (and in many ways worse) than bullying against lesbian, gay, or bisexual students (copy paste from here):

  • Transgender students who experienced high levels of harassment had significantly lower GPAs than those who experienced lower levels of harassment (verbal harassment based on sexual orientation: 2.2. vs. 3.0, gender expression: 2.3 vs. 2.8, gender: 2.2 vs. 2.7).(at the link "here", third bullet point on "Impact of Victimization on Educational Outcomes")
  • Transgender youth face extremely high levels of victimization in school, even more so than their non-transgender lesbian, gay and bisexual peers (first sentence in the "here" link)
But transgender students are more likely that LGB students to talk openly about LGBT issues in school:

  • Most transgender students had talked with a teacher (66%) or a school-based mental health professional (51%) at least once in the past year about LGBT-related issues. Transgender students were also more likely than non-transgender lesbian, gay and bisexual students to talk with school staff about these issues.
  • Although transgender students were not more likely to report having a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance, student-peer support group) in their school, they did report attending GSA meetings more frequently than non-transgender LGB students.
Check out the stats, here , and see the full report, Harsh Realities.

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